The Garden Guide

Book: Sketches and Hints on Landscape Gardening, 1795
Chapter: Chapter 5: Concerning park scenery

Defects in Wembly Park

Previous - Next

WEMBLY. The park* at Wembly is only defective in two circumstances; the first is the common defect of all places where hedges have been recently removed, and too many single trees are left; the natural reluctance felt by every man of taste and experience to cut down large trees, at the same time that he sees the unpleasant effect of artificial rows, is very apt to suggest the idea of breaking those rows by planting many young trees; and thus the whole composition becomes frittered into small parts, which are neither compatible with the ideas of the sublime or beautiful. The masses of light and shade, whether in a natural landscape or a picture, must be broad and unbroken, or the eye will be distracted by the flutter of the scene; and the mind will be rather employed in retracing the former lines of hedge-rows, than in admiring the ample extent of lawn, and continuity of wood which alone distinguishes the park from the grass or dairy farm. This defect will, of course, easily be remedied when the new plantations shall have acquired a few years' growth, and many of the old trees shall be either taken down or blended into closer groups by young ones planted very near them: but there can be little occasion for dotting young trees with such profusion; and I do not hesitate to affirm, that of several hundred such trees now scattered upon the lawn, not more than twenty can be absolutely necessary. *[There is at present no word by which we express that sort of territory adjacent to a country mansion, which being too large for a garden, too wild for pleasure ground, and too neat for a farm, is yet often denied the name of a park, because it is not fed by deer. I generally waive this distinction, and call the wood and lawns, near every house, a park, whether fed by deer, by sheep, or heavy cattle.]