The Garden Guide

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

Gardens in Lithuania

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488. In Lithuania there are several substantial noblemen's seats, surrounded by woods and cultivated grounds, accompanied by walled gardens and often with an extensive farmyard and a village. In passing through this country in 1813, we took sketches of a number of these (figs. 159. 160. and 161.). It was melancholy, at the same time, to observe the ruins of residences which had been burned down during the retreat of the French from Moscow. Among others we examined the naked walls of the hospitable mansion of the enlightened General Benningsen, and the blackened remains of his gardens and hothouses, in which he had a fine botanical collection, near Wilna. The smaller residences and cottages which were burnt, being generally built of timber, had left no traces of the spot where they had stood, but a rank vegetation, and here and there a solitary brick chimney (fig. 162.). The only small villa which had escaped conflagration, that we observed in the route of the army, was that of Colonel Lachanitzki, at Poniemenia, on the high bank of the Niemen, near Grodno, a most romantic and picturesque situation, on which much care and expense had been bestowed by the owner.