The Garden Guide

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

Public gardens, or pedestrian promenades

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1595. Public gardens, or pedestrian promenades. These, with very few exceptions, have been in all ages and countries laid out in the geometric style. The Academus at Athens is an ancient example; and the summer-garden at St. Petersburgh a modern one; and however much English gardening has been praised and copied by private persons on the continent of Europe, yet, with the exception of the English garden at Munich, that of Magdeburg, and a few others, the rest are very properly in straight lines. The object of public gardens is less to display beautiful scenery than to afford a free wholesome air, and an ample uninterrupted promenade, cool and shaded in summer, and warm and sheltered in spring and winter. In a limited extent, the combination of these objects must be attempted in one principal walk, which, for that purpose, should as much as possible be laid out in a north and south direction. In more extensive scenes, covered walks may be devoted to summer, and east and west open walks, to spring and winter. The broad open and narrow covered avenues of the ancient style are valuable resources on a large scale; these conjoined, and laid out in a south and north direction, give in the centre an open, sheltered, sunshine walk in midwinter; and a close or covered avenue being laid out along each side of the open central one, will afford shady walks for summer and occasional places of retreat from casual showers in spring. Oxford and Cambridge afford some fine open and covered avenues, though far inferior to many on the Continent.