The Garden Guide

Book: Gardening tours by J.C. Loudon 1831-1842
Chapter: Northern England and Southern Scotland in 1841

New Posso House

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The house has undergone a thorough renovation, and also the mausoleum; and these, the walks, and the plantations, show a desire to do every thing substantially and in good taste. In short, though we had not the pleasure of finding Sir John Nasmyth at home, every thing that we saw convinced us that his reputation for good taste as a professional landscape-gardener is well merited. A very interesting description of New Posso, as it existed in 1715, will be found in our Arboretum, vol. i. p. 93. Whoever recollects it will probably wish to know whether we saw the greenhouse, which was at that time the glory of Tweeddale, and over which was inscribed, in conspicuous characters, alluding to the flowers within, "Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these." We did see it, and found within, hung up on the back wall, the old flower-stem of the first agave that flowered in Scotland, in what year we do not recollect. The greenhouse is placed, as was the custom formerly, in the kitchen-garden; and near it are a fine specimen of Acer monspessulanum, and a venerable old robinia. The architectural alterations and improvements at New Posso have been designed by Mr. Burns, and executed, under his direction, in a neat and most substantial manner. The terraced gardens are at present without flowers, as the family has not resided there for two or three years; but, when they are properly planted, the place will appear much more cheerful and habitable. We passed Stobbo Castle, and arrived at Peebles late in the evening, but with sufficient light to obliterate the impressions which the town and the scenery around had made on us in 1804. It was then a poor place, surrounded by a naked hilly country; but these hills are now covered with thriving plantations. August 2.-Peebles to Melrose. The country is beautifully varied by hills, some of which are wooded, and others cultivated, and exhibiting fields of turnips, and barley or wheat, to the very summits.