The Garden Guide

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

Virginia garden design

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848. Mount Vernon was the, scat of General Washington, 'first in peace, first in war, and first in the hearts of his countrymen.' This noble residence is situated on the banks of the Potomac ; a magnificent river, which at the city of Washington 'makes a beautiful sweep, and forms a sort of bay, round which the city is built. Washington was buried at Mount Vernon, and it is easy to distinguish from the river the cypresses that wave over his grave.' (D. M. of the A., vol ii. p. 306.) Mr. Stuart informs us that the extent of this property is 10,000 acres. About five miles of the drive from Washington pass through wooded ground belonging to the property. The situation of the house, on a fine bank of land above the Potomac, and the elevation and undulation of the neighbouring ground, are altogether very desirable, and afford great facilities for making Mount Vernon a magnificent place; but neither the house nor the offices, nor any part of the grounds, are in any thing like good order. Every thing seems to have remained unchanged, save by time, since Washington died. The narrow path at the top of the bank above the river, which was begun by him, just before he was earned off by sudden illness, remains in its unfinished state. The house at Mount Vernon contains only one apartment which would be considered good in Britain. (Three Years, &c., vol. i. p. 397.)