The Garden Guide

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

Portuguese gardens and design

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521. Among the principal gardens in Portugal may be mentioned that of the palace at Belem, which is laid out in the geometric style. Attached to this palace is a botanic garden, and also a museum containing an anatomical collection. The royal palace at Queluz is a neat, agreeable place, surrounded by forests and pasture-land. Part of the road to it from Lisbon is lined with myrtles and geraniums grown wild. The gardens are decorated with a variety of handsome bridges, temples, waterfalls, fishponds, &c. The park, woods, and pleasure-grounds are extensive, and abound in game. The grandees possess the right of shooting in every royal park in Portugal, and can confer that privilege on others. The grounds of the Marialva palace are always open to the public, and are generally crowded on Sundays and holidays. The palace is celebrated for its magnificence; the grounds are rich and very extensive; while the prospects they command are extremely beautiful. The garden near the house is laid out in the geometric style, and affords a striking contrast to the wild and picturesque scenery by which it is surrounded. The quinta of the Penha Verde (the green rock) is so called from a lofty mountain rising immediately behind it in the form of a cone covered to the utmost peak with a luxuriant vegetation, that forms a fine contrast to the bare and craggy rocks that surround it. The noble woods belonging to this seat are so umbrageous, and are so constantly refreshed by numerous fountains, that it is possible to wander among them during the most sultry hours of the day without incurring either heat or fatigue. The grounds are not devoid of that constant appendage to every Portuguese quinta, a sort of terrace, accommodated with seats, and shaded by vines, myrtles, or other light foliage, raised upon the wall which overlooks the public road. Here the ladies of the family consume thu greater portion of their time watching the passers by.