The Garden Guide

Book: Sketches and Hints on Landscape Gardening, 1795
Chapter: Chapter 1: Concerning different characters and situations

Milton Park Red Book

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MILTON PARK. Where the ground naturally presents very little inequality of surface, a great appearance of extent is rather disgusting than pleasing, and little advantage is gained by attempts to let in distant objects; yet there is such infinite beauty to be produced by judicious management of the home scenery, as may well compensate the want of prospect. There is always great cheerfulness in a view on a flat lawn, well stocked with cattle, if it be properly bounded by a wood at a distance, neither too far off to lessen its importance, nor too near to act as a confinement to the scene; and which contributes also to break those straight lines that are the only causes of disgust in a flat situation. Uneven ground may be more striking as a picture, and more interesting to the stranger's eye, it may be more bold, or magnificent, or romantic, but the character of cheerfulness is peculiar to the plain. Whether this effect be produced by the apparent ease of communication, or by the larger proportion of sky which enters into the landscape, or by the different manner in which cattle form themselves into groups on a plain, or on a sloping bank, I confess I am at a loss to decide: all three causes may, perhaps, contribute to produce that degree of cheerfulness which every one must have observed in the scenery of Milton.