The Garden Guide

Book: History of Garden Design and Gardening
Chapter: Chapter 3: European Gardens (500AD-1850)

Ferney Garden Geneva

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411. Ferney. The grounds are laid out in varied walks, like an English pleasure-ground, very ample, and well planted. From the terrace, in front of the house (fig. 123.), the lake of Geneva is seen at a distance of three or four miles; and beyond, Mount Blanc, with other hills, making a very grand termination to the view. The situation, which is delightful, has, nevertheless, one great abatement, the total want of water, which, for every domestic purpose, is brought three miles. Summer-seats and bowers, where Voltaire used to sit and write, and oven his little theatre, time has swept away. A long avenue, between two high hornbeam hedges, where he walked for hours together and dictated to an amanuensis, and a large elm tree planted with his own hands are the only memorials that remain. As these pleasure-grounds were formed and planted by himself, it is remarkable that there is not, nor ever was, a single bust or column, or inscription, dedicated either to friendship or to genius. In the house, the hall and his bed-room are now shown in the same state as they were left at his death. (Duppa's Observations, &c., p. 75.) .