The Garden Guide

Book: History of Garden Design and Gardening
Chapter: Chapter 5: Gardens in Asia, America, Africa, Australia

European garden design in India

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751. The residence of Baboo Hurree Mohun Thakoor (fig. 212.), Bishop Heber found more like an Italian villa, and the conversation of the owner more European, than he expected. The house is surrounded by an extensive garden, laid out in formal parterres of roses, intersected by straight walks, with some fine trees, and a chain of tanks, fountains, mid summer-houses, not ill adapted to a climate where air, water, and sweet smells are almost the only natural objects which can be relished during the greater part of the year. The garden is little less Italian than the facade of the house ; and, on the bishop mentioning this similarity, the owner observed, that the taste for such things was brought into India by the Mussulmen. There were also swing whirligigs, and other amusements for the females of the family ; but the strangest was a sort of 'Montagne Russe' of masonry, very steep, and covered with plaster, down which the bishop was told that the ladies used to slide. (Narrative, &c., vol. ii. p. 293.) [Editor's Note: Heber, Bishop (1783-1826) christian missionary and a writer. He met Mir Ashraf Ali