The Garden Guide

Book: Sketches and Hints on Landscape Gardening, 1795
Chapter: Chapter 3: Concerning proper situations for a house

Breaking (clumping) avenues

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One great mischief of an avenue is, that it divides a park, and cuts it into separate parts, destroying that unity of lawn or wood which is necessary to please in every composition: this is so obvious, that where a long avenue runs through a park from east to west, it would be hardly possible to avoid distinguishing it into the north and south lawn, or north and south division of the park. But the greatest objection to an avenue is, that (especially in uneven ground) it will often act as a curtain drawn across to exclude what is infinitely more interesting than any row of trees, however venerable or beautiful in themselves; and it is in undrawing this curtain at proper places, that the utility of what is called breaking an avenue consists: for it is in vain we shall endeavour, by removing nine-tenths of the trees in rows, to prevent its having the effect of an avenue when seen from either end. The drawing No. VIII. [our figs. 20 and 21] may serve to shew the effect of cutting down some chestnut trees in the avenue at Langley, to let in the hill, richly covered with oaks, and that majestic tree, which steps out before its brethren like the leader of a host.