The Garden Guide

Book: The Principles of Landscape Gardening
Chapter: Chapter 4: Private and Public Landscape Gardens

General principles for walks through shrubberies and pleasure-grounds

Previous - Next

1590. As general principles for arranging and planting the walks through shrubberies and pleasure-grounds, it may be observed that walks of this description require great care and skill on the part of the landscape-gardener, as they too frequently exhibit a good deal of sameness. The ordinary mode of increasing their interest is by the introduction of buildings, seats, and statues, vases, and similar architectural and sculptural objects, together with baskets of rustic work. All these, when introduced in moderation and in appropriate places, produce the effect intended to a certain extent; but we would add to the variety, and consequently interest, of shrubbery and pleasure-ground walks, by the introduction along them, at various distances, of what may be called botanical episodes. For example, we would introduce near the walk, and connected with it by subordinate walks, such scenes as a rosery, a heathery, a rock garden, an American garden, a garden of British plants, gardens of particular genera of shrubs or flowers, such as of Ribes, Berberis, Spirï¾µ'a, Cytisus, A'ster, Dahlia, annuals, bulbs, a garden of topiary work, of embroidery, &c. At a certain distance from the house we would introduce a thornery, a salictum, a juniper garden, a garden of cypresses, of hollies, &c., and, where there was room, a pinctum, an oak garden, an acer garden, &c. Whether separate gardens of this sort could or could not be introduced, we would commence near the house an arboretum, scattering the trees thinly over each side of the walk among the other trees and shrubs, or on the lawn, and so arranging them us to extend over the whole length of the walk, whether that were half a furlong or two or three miles, taking care that every tree and shrub that formed a part of the arboretum was completely detached, so as to afford ample room for its growth and natural shape. We would also have every plant named. Where the shrubbery or pleasure-ground was not large enough to admit of a complete arboretum, we would introduce only as many species as could be well grown; and, even if that number did not amount to a hundred, it might include one species of most of the genera which constitute the British arboretum.