The Garden Guide

Book: The Principles of Landscape Gardening
Chapter: Chapter 2: Compositional Elements of Landscape Gardening

Approach roads in the modern style of garden design

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1545. The approach in the modern style was well understood by Repton, and the following excellent observations by this artist seem to sum up every thing that can be said on the subject:-The road by which a stranger is supposed to pass through the park or lawn to the house is called an approach; and there seems the same relation betwixt the approach and the house externally, that there is internally betwixt the hall or entrance and the several apartments to which it leads. If the hall be too large or two small, too mean or too much ornamented for the style of the house, there is a manifest incongruity in the architecture, by which good taste will be offended; and if the hall be so situated as not to connect well with the several apartments to which it ought to lead, it will then be defective in point of convenience: so it is with respect to an approach; it ought to be convenient, interesting, and in strict harmony with the character and situation of the mansion to which it belongs. First, It ought to be a road to the house, and to that principally. Secondly, If it be not naturally the nearest road possible, it ought artificially to be made impossible to go a nearer. Thirdly, The artificial obstacles which make this road the nearest ought to appear natural. Fourthly, Where an approach quits the high road, it ought not to break from it at right angles, or in such a manner as to rob the entrance of importance, but rather at some bend of the public road, from which a lodge or gate may be more conspicuous; and where the high road may appear to branch from the approach, rather than the approach from the high road. Fifthly, After the approach enters the park, it should avoid skirting along its boundary, which betrays the want of extent or unity of property. Sixthly, The house, unless very large and magnificent, should not be seen at so great a distance as to make it appear much less than it really is. Seventhly, The first view of the house should be from the most pleasing point of sight. Eighthly, As soon as the house is visible from the approach, there should be no temptation to quit it (which will ever be the case if the road be at all circuitous), unless sufficient obstacles, such as water or inaccessible ground, appear to justify its course. (Enquiry into the Changes of Taste in Lands. Gard., p. 109.)