The Garden Guide

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

Petrovsky Dolgoruky Garden

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458. Petrovskoye, the village and country seat of Prince Dolgoruky, is one of the most magnificent villas, in respect to gardens, in the neighbourhood of Moscow. It is situated on a flat surface, somewhat diversified by natural woods and artificial lakes. The mansion-house is not large, and, though neat enough, and embellished with columns, is not at all remarkable for its architecture. Its appearance is much disfigured by the contiguity of a number of sombre wooden and brick houses, which, however, is quite a la mode Russe; for close to almost every nobleman's dwelling in the country is found a village of peasants. The view of the back facade is by far the most attractive, because it is opposite the gardens. The interior is elegantly fitted up, and the inner apartments open into a finely arranged but small flower-garden, enclosed by a double balustrade. It may be remarked, en passant, that the Russians show their well-known taste for masses of gaudy and splendid colours, even in their gardens. Every where, about Moscow, as well as in the city, and in the interior of Russia, are immense clusters of roses, pï¾µonies, poppies, hollyhocks, sweetwilliams, tulips, jonquils, lilies, pinks, carnations, larkspurs, columbines, Indian cresses, sunflowers, marigolds, hyacinths, bell-flowers, &c., intermixed at times with other flowers of less vivid colours, or arranged in parterres, and frequently disposed with considerable effect. The gravel walks at Petrovskoye are made in the English style; they are very broad, and are kept in excellent order. They wind, to a great extent, by the banks of a large and beautiful lake (fig. 143.), which encircles a number of islands, and bears a small fleet of boats on its bosom, as well as through lawns and woods of luxuriant foliage. Temples, summer-houses, statues, vases, and fine orangeries, diversify the scenery. In another part of the grounds cropped trees and avenues of fantastic figures display the complete triumph of art over nature, and afford an example, the most complete in the neighbourhood of Moscow, of the geometric style of gardening. The Petrovskoye gardens at times are open to the public, particularly on Sundays; and the visiters there enjoy fine promenades, which are often enlivened by music. The estate has now most likely passed for ever from the Razumowsky family; Prince Dolgoruky having paid 300,000 roubles for his purchase; a very large sum of money in the Northern Empire. (Blackwood's Magazine.)