The Garden Guide

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

Taurida garden design

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455. A plan of the gardens of Taurida, as taken in 1827 (fig. 140.), shows their ex-tent to be nearly sixty acres. The natural surface of the ground was flat, and, in many parts, a bog; other parts were occupied as kitchen-gardens and artillery magazines; there were also many private buildings, all of which were cleared away for the purpose of making this garden, which was begun by Prince Potemkin in the year 1780, and finished by the same prince. Afterwards it fell to the crown, and was a favourite retreat of Catherine II., particularly in spring, before her imperial majesty went to her summer palace Tzarsco Celo, and likewise in the autumn, when the weather rendered it disagreeable to be so far from town. The garden was planned and superintended by William Gould, from Lancashire, who displayed great judgment in forming the ponds, out of which he got sufficient materials to make an agreeable variety of swells and declivities. The ponds are well supplied with water, which is brought upwards of twenty miles in a small canal, cut by Peter I., to supply the fountains in the summer garden of St. Peters-burgh. The gardens of Taurida being adjacent to a large reservoir, a conduit was cut from it to supply the ponds and cascades, after which the water falls into a small rivulet, and is conveyed underground to the Neva, The grounds consist of a pleasure-garden (aaa); a small park, or enclosure for grazing (b); reserve-ground, nurseries, &c. (cc); and forcing-gardens (d). The pleasure-garden begins by walks leading round the pond, which forms the main body of water seen from the palace, and thence round the park, which is bounded on one side by a fence of chevaux de frise, and on the other side by a winding canal, which separates the reserve-grounds from the pleasure-garden. Over the canal are bridges, leading to the nursery and forcing-garden. Some of these (figs. 139. and 141.) are of cast iron, decorated with gilt ornaments, and are considered handsome. The hothouses are of great extent, and contain pines, vines, peaches, apricots, plums, cherries, and figs; there are also flower-houses and a large orangery, with melon, watermelon, and pine pits. The nursery or reserve-ground contains such flowering shrubs as will bear the climate, as Cytisus supinus, Sambucus racemosa, Genista tinctoria, Potentilla fruticosa, Syringa vulgaris, Caragana arborescens, &c., Cratï¾µ'gus coccinea, Cotoneaster vulgaris, Hippophae rhamnioides, Lonicera tatarica, Cornus alba, and various species of Spirï¾µ'a.