The Garden Guide

Book: The Principles of Landscape Gardening
Chapter: Chapter 3: Design Composition in Landscape Gardens

The mansion and offices

Previous - Next

1552. The mansion and offices first demand attention, as the central feature of art and refinement. What relates to the design of these groups of buildings belongs to architecture; but the situation, aspect, style, and accompaniments are within our province. In determining the situation, a great variety of circumstances, some of a general, and others of a local or peculiar nature, require to be taken into consideration. Natural shelter, dry subsoil, the view of the house from a distance, and the distant prospect seen from the house, belong to the former; and removal from the boundary of a public road, suitableness of the adjoining grounds for the garden-scenes which accompany mansions, trees already there, or so situated as to aid the effect, &c., belong to the latter. According to Repton, the choice of a situation ought to be founded on-'First, The natural character of the surrounding country; Secondly, The style, character, and size of the house; Thirdly, The aspects or exposure, both with regard to the sun and the prevalent winds of the country; Fourthly, The shape of the ground near the house; Fifthly, The views from the several apartments; and, Sixthly, the numerous objects of comfort; such as a dry soil, a supply of good water, proper space for offices, with various other conveniences essential to a mansion in the country; and which in a town may sometimes be dispensed with, or at least very differently disposed.'