The Garden Guide

Book: History of Garden Design and Gardening
Chapter: Chapter 4: British Gardens (1100-1830)

John Evelyn on English garden designs

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565. Evelyn, in 1654, visited the following parks and gardens: - Lady Brook's garden at Hackney, 'one of the neatest and most celebrated in England.' Caversham, Lord Craven's, Berkshire. 'Goodly woods felling by rebels.' Cashiobury (fig. 176.), Lord Essex, Hertfordshire. 'No man has been more industrious than this noble lord (Essex) in planting about his seat, adorned with walks, ponds, and other rural elegancies.'-'The gardens are very rare, and cannot be otherwise, having so skilful an artist to govern them as Cooke, who is, as to the mechanical part, not ignorant in mathematics, and pretends to astrology. There is an excellent collection of the choicest fruit. My lord not illiterate beyond the rate of most noblemen of this age.' Wilton, Lord Pembroke's, Wiltshire. 'The garden, heretofore esteemed the noblest in England, is a large handsome plain, with a grotto and waterworks, which might be made much more pleasant were the river that passes through cleansed and raised; for all is effected by mere force,' &c. Hampton Park, Middlesex, 'formerly a flat naked piece of ground, now planted with sweet rows of lime trees, and the canal for water now near perfected; also the hare-park. In the garden is a rich and noble fountain, with syrens, statues, &c. cast in copper by Fanelli, but no plenty of water. The cradle-walk of hornbeam in the garden is, for the perplexed twining of the trees, very observable. There is a parterre which they call Paradise, in which is a pretty banqueting-house set over a cave or cellar.'