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on English gardening. What we afford almost the only situations mean to treat of is the landscape, where all these advantages can be not of England, but of Scotland; and enjoyed. Accordingly, almost all the the art of improving to the utmost gentlemen's seats in this country are the natural capabilities of Scottish placed upon rivers, friths, lochs, (or scenery, particularly where such im- land-locked arms of the sea,) or on provement is most desirable, in the some of the beautiful lakes which neighbourhood of a residence. abound in all mountainous countries.
Some have disputed the propriety This universal choice of the vici. of the term gardening, as applicable nity of water, does not proceed sole. to this art. We shall not dispute ly, or even principally, from the noabout a name; but if the term gar- tion that water is a necessary ingredening is to be retained, we must be dient to the formation of a fine resi. allowed to consider the whole coun- dence. That water, in some of its try as a garden. The materials of forms, is a highly desirable adjunct the art of improving landscape, are to a residence, cannot be disputed; co-extensive with landscape itself, but in Scotland, its vicinity is desi. and include every visible terrestrial rable from other causes. It is only object, from the distant mountain in the neighbourhood of the sea, or towering to the clouds, down to the on the banks of rivers or lakes, that minutest wild flower that is pressed the necessary circumstances of shelbeneath our feet.
ter, warmth, and level, can be obtain. Let it not be supposed when we cd; it is such situations which are talk of improving, that we are so wild favoured with the richest soil, and as to imagine there is any possibility, the most interesting scenery. or that there would be any propriety, The banks of streams or rivers af. in altering the shape of a hill, or the ford, with us, by far the greater num. course of a river, or disturbing in any ber and variety of situations for degree the larger and more unma- building. In choosing the site and nageable features of a country. The aspect of a house, every thing of execution of such freaks as these is course depends on local circumJuckily impossible, and, if they were stances, which can only be studied possible, would be absurd. Some and determined on upon the spot; persons have no idea of improving, but some hints may be given which but by altering; but the lover of may not be altogether useless. The landscape knows, that the prospect course of all rivers is naturally windof a hill, a river, or any large object, ing, leaving one side of the valley at may be improved in various ways, one point, and returning to it at anwithout any alterations in the object other; or the valley itself may wind, itself, by a proper choice of the point or at least deviate considerably from of view from which it is seen, or by one uniform straight direction. From a proper selection and treatment of these causes combined, the river must those more manageable objects in the necessarily be divided into reaches, foreground, which it is within our and the banks on each side will offer power to alter, remove; or supply, as alternate salient and retiring points. taste or propriety may dictate. One observation occurs here as to
This leads us to the first point to this, that the salient bank, with the be considered, in regard to a resin river bounding it on two sides, or dence, namely, the choice of a situa. sweeping round it so as to form a
peninsula, affords the best situation Three things are necessary to be for a house as a prominent object in considered in this choice : 1st, The the surrounding scenery, but the reappearance of the place itself as an tiring bank, or concave left by the object in the landscape ; 2d, The river on the opposite side, will geviews from the place, particularly nerally afford the best views from from the windows of the house when the house itself. A house situated built; and, 3d, What is perhaps of on the salient angle, or on a flat more importance than either, (it be- surrounded by a river, only looks ing always remembered that wespeak across it at one or more points; or, exclusively of Scotland,) shelter. if the sweep be uniform, the banks
The banks of rivers or rivulets, moderately high, and the house at natural lakes, or arms of the sea, some distance, may be deprived of a
view of the water altogether, except to sacrifice some portion of beauty at times of flood; while the house in and ornament to comfort and utility. the retiring nook may be so placed We cannot always have what is abas to have views of two reaches of solutely the best, but must often be the water, one as it advances to the satisfied with what is the best upon house, and the other as it retires the whole, or the best that we are from it. The banks are also seen in able to obtain under all the circumthis way foreshortened, with all their stances of the case. accidents of points, turns, creeks, In cases where an old house has and promontories, until the next bend stood, which is to be taken down, it of the river shuts them from the is often better to build at or near the view. The retiring angle has also same spot, than to go in search of a greatly the advantage in point of new one, though possessing greater shelter, as being removed out of the advantages of view. In such places sweep of those blasts, that at some there is generally some old wood; season or other are felt so severely and in a country where old wood is in the centre or exposed parts of a rare, and where wood of all kinds is Scottish strath.
slow of growth, even a very few good If the river runs nearly east and old trees may afford a reason for west, one side differs much from the building in their vicinity, although other in regard to exposure. The the situation in other respects may north bank, having probably a hill or not be the best. rising ground bebind it, has the ad- The remarks that have been made vantage of the southern aspect, which on situations by the banks of rivers, is of great consequence in Scotland, may apply to almost every other in particularly in the winter months; this northern part of the kingdom. and therefore should be preferred What has been said of the banks of a wherever it can be attained, if the river, is equally true of the sides of place is intended for a winter resi- a glen or strath, or the shores of a dence. The south bank, howerer, loch of fresh or salt water, or of a firth, or situation on the dark side of the or even of the ocean itself. The rules hill, may be pleasant in summer for for placing a house in all cases are the the opposite reason, and as it looks same-raise your house sufficiently over the gay and sunny region oppo- above the floods, and shelter it suffisite, may enjoy the advantage of ciently from the storm. If you do finer views, and hence may be pre- these, you cannot go wrong. Atferred as a residence during summer. tending to these two cardinal rules,
Though fine views are doubtless you may look out for such spots, as desirable, we cannot always place a shall both fulfil these requisites, and house exactly where the finest views at the same time afford the happiest can be commanded. Objections may combinations of hill and plain, of occur to situations that at first sight rock, wood, and water, which everyappear the most unexceptionable, where abound in the winding vales and which can only be known to one of Scotland; and when you have thoroughly acquainted with all the found such a spot, and unalterably local circumstances. A spot of un- fixed your locality by building your equalled beauty or capability may be house, then study the capabilities so placed as to be exposed to the in and accidents of the situation so as tolerable blasts of winter, without to improve them to the utmost, and the possibility of obtaining adequate display them to the best advantage. shelter ; or it may be exposed to oc- We have mentioned the points in casional or periodical floods; or it which the scenery of Scotland, genemay be close upon the extreme rally speaking, differs from that of boundary of the property, and over- England. These differences are such looked by the residence of a neigh- as to make it often an entirely differbour; or there may be extreme diffi. ent operation to form a residence culty in procuring a good access; or here, from what it is in the southern it may be impossible to procure, parts of the island. We may menwhat is of the first necessity to the tion as an instance of this, what all comfort of any house, a command of writers on English gardening seem good water. In all these and various to consider of primary importance, other cases, we must be content often namely, the formation of a lawn. It is VOL. XXXIII. NO, OCVI.
properly so with them, for in a flat tion. Where this is the case, we country, the lawn or ground imme. would seriously recommend it as diately surrounding a house, is that worthy of consideration, whether it which most directly strikes the eye, would not be advisable, where the and the improvement or decoration form of the ground is favourable for of which should necessarily occupy it, to recur to the old style of decoour first attention. Where all is ration, by means of terraces and steps. smooth and level, and no prominent It occurs to us, that in many situaobjects appear to arrest the eye, the tions, where a mansion has to be sweep or turn of a road, the position placed on the declivity of a hill, this of a bridge or ornamental summer is the most appropriate, and by far house, the disposition and grouping the handsomest and most graceful of a few scattered trees, the arrange- mode of disposing the ground in ment of a few beds of exotics or front of the house. So far are we evergreens, the management of an from thinking that its stiff and artifienclosure wall, or the proper placing cial appearance would be offensive, of a few yases and statues, form all on the contrary, it occurs to us that the variety which it is possible to this very stiffness is a recommendabring within our view, and comprise tion, being at once in harmony with the whole materiel upon which the the buildings, and contrasting well landscape gardener can display his with the ruder and more striking feaart. It is very different in the straths tures of the surrounding country. and vales of Scotland, where we are We would also be disposed to leave surrounded on all sides with objects out an entire chapter, which forms a of striking and enduring magnitude; very considerable one in the works where nature herself has furnished on English gardening. We allude to us with objects which make the puny the formation of artificial lakes and inventions of man dwindle into insig- ponds. Whatever may be the case nificance. Who thinks of the ac- in some rare instances, as at Blencompaniments of a lawn, by the banks heim, where a great improvement of the Clyde or the Tay, or amidst has certainly been effected, by damthe magnificence of the Grampians ? ming up the waters of a rivulet, we Even among hills of moderate alti- would be disposed to say, in general, tude, and by streams of far inferior that attempts of this kind very selnote, our attention is exclusively at. dom succeed; and that the effects tracted by the prominent natural fea- produced are not likely to repay the tures that present themselves, and vast labour, expense, and sacrifices all the work of the gardener, all the of various kinds, which must be made smoothing, shaving, levelling and roll- in order to obtain them. In Scotland, ing, which have been bestowed to there are objections to such attempts clear a few yards of flat ground oppo- peculiar to the country itself; for as site the door, dignified by the name Scotland possesses so many splendid of a lawn, goes for nothing, is never natural lakes, surrounded with every looked at, or thought of but as so variety of romantic scenery, many much labour thrown away.
of which have been chosen as sites For this reason, we shall say little of residences,- from the humblest or nothing of lawns. In situations ornamented cottage or villa, up to that admit of lawns, they form an the most splendid ducal palaceagreeable adjunct, and ought to be every attempt at forming a lake in treated accordingly; but let it be un- such a country, where such objects derstood, that a lawn of any extent are familiar, must appear an absurdis not a necessary appendage to a re- ity. When a great pond or sheet of sidence in Scotland. In many hilly water is to be formed, at any rate, for districts, and in places commanding some useful purpose,-as, for inthe finest views, and the best adapted stance, to supply a canal, or to form for the situation of a mansion, there a compensation to mills or the like, is not to be found much more level it may be taken advantage of, and, ground than is necessary for a site if the adjoining scenery harmonizes for the house and offices. A place for with it, may be adopted as an ornaa kitchen garden may sometimes be mental feature in the landscape, or, found with difficulty, but a lawn is, at any rate, may be prevented from in such situations, out of the ques. being offensive. The utility of the purpose in such cases removes any is thus that it attains its greatest idea of the preposterousness or folly Splendour and beauty. of such an undertaking ; but in no It might be thought, that in a councase whatever, even under the most try of mountains and vallies, the mafavourable circumstances, would we nagement of wood would be more advise any improver of grounds to difficult, and that its effect, in an orattempt the formation of an artificial namental point of view, would be lake, for the sake of ornament alone. less than in a plain, where there are We have never seen any thing of the fewer grand and distinctive features kind in Scotland that has appeared of landscape; but the fact is precisely to us at all tolerable; and we would the reverse. In hilly and rugged almost as soon advise, as an improve countries, the effect of judicious ment of Scottish landscape, the in- planting is incomparably greater than troduction of an artificial mountain in one that is flat and level. One as an artificial lake.
great advantage in the former case Holding, then, as we are disposed is, that the effect of planting is here to do, the two great elements of land almost immediate. In a plain counand water, in all their forms of hill try, wood does not become an object or mountain, valley or strath, river of consequence till the trees have or lake, to be in themselves unalter- attained a considerable size; but a able—at least, that they are to be hanging wood on the steep side of a considered so when speaking of Scot- mountain produces an effect within tish scenery-it follows, that the art a very few years after it is planted, of improving landscapes in this part In the course of five or six seasons, of the world must be almost entirely or as soon as the plants come to a limited to the management of wood. size sufficient to cover the ground, And let it not be supposed, that even the new plantation is already an imwhen so limited, the art is either in- portant object, not merely in its own significant in itself, or of small con- immediate vicinity, but highly orna. sequence in regard to its effects. As mental to the district in every point a tree is, beyond all comparison, the from which it can be seen. greatest and noblest production of In level countries, it is often matthe vegetable kingdom, the study of ter of great difficulty to determine its nature, and of all that is neces- the sweep and outline of plantations sary for its successful cultivation, is there being no natural features to one of the most interesting branches guide the eye, or direct our endeaof knowledge, and none can be better vours to throw the plantations into suited to employ the leisure of an natural and picturesque forms. But active and intelligent country gentle- among the hills, there is scarcely a man. We can hardly, indeed, con possibility of going wrong in this receive any object better deserving at- spect. We have only to plant such tention, or more fitted to furnish at ground as is suited for wood, and all times an inexhaustible fund of not so well suited for any thing else; entertainment and delight.
and if we follow this rule, we shall We do not mean here to enter into find that our plantations naturally the subject of planting for profit, assume those forms which are most though this is a matter which cannot picturesque, and that all formality is well be overlooked by any one who effectually excluded. For instance, plants at all. We speak of woods where, as in many hilly tracts, the chiefly as matter of ornament; but mountains are rocky in their sides it fortunately happens, that those and summits, with a considerable modes of cultivation which are cal- depth of soil towards the bottoms, culated to render wood most profit- washed down by rains from the suable, are in general precisely those perior parts, and with here and there which render it most ornamental. gutters formed by the action of mounEvery tree, in order to attain to its tain streams --it is here almost imgreatest size and perfection, should possible to follow any rule but one. be planted in a soil and in a situation Beginning at the line where the congenial to its nature and habits. mountain meets the valley, and where It is by this means only that it be the soil, though steep, is sure to be comes valuable as an article of com. well adapted for wood, plant upmerce; and it is needless to say, it wards, as far as you can go, with fo
rest trees. Beyond that, in the cre- helps to break the force of the winds, vices of the rocks, plant brushwood which, as we formerly mentioned, and low-growing trees of the hardier often sweep with great violence along kinds, for
copse and scattered bushes; the lollow of a Scottish strath. In and even among the rocks themselves, the case of some of the larger rivers, ivy and other creepers may be intro- where the adjacent grounds are sufduced. Plant your gullies on both ficiently raised to be beyond the reach sides--you will there sometimes find of floods, it may be desirable to plant an extraordinary depth of soil, well the steep ma ins of the river with fitted for rearing all kinds of wood. fringes of wood, which, from the If, as is commonly the case, some windings and natural bends they aflevel grounds are found at the base ford, cannot fail to furnish many of the hills, such as are in Scotland beautiful effects.
In other cases, called haughs, skirting the margin of where the haughs or grounds next a river, these ought not to be planted, the river are annually overflowed, but reserved for cultivation or pas- the sides of the valley often present ture.
a kind of natural terrace-a short but If the hills ascend more gradually, steep ascent or bank, of nearly uniand present a succession of gentle form height, sometimes continued for swells and eminences, a little more miles. It has an exceedingly good variety may be introduced. The effect, in all cases, to plant these steep steeper parts may be plantedas before, banks, leaving the level ground beand such as are most fitted for it may low, and the gentler slopes abore be entirely covered with wood. In them, open, or divided into fields by cases where a low round hill occurs hedge-rows. The banks we allude among others that are high and rocky, to are not fit for any thing but plantwe have seen it have a good effect ing; and in this way land otherwise to plant the low eminence entirely useless can be made to produce a with wood, as it forms a fine contrast most profitable crop, while in no siwith the bare and rocky summits tuation is it possible to produce so towering above it. In other cases, great an effect with wood at so small it may have a good effect to leave an expense. Economy and taste the sloping sides of an eminence in therefore join in recommending the pasture, or laid out in corn-fields, practice. and cover its top with a crown of It is obvious, that by following the firs, which, by its dark and sombre course that is here pointed out, it is hue, contrasts well with the more easily possible, without sacrificiog a cheerful colours of the slopes below. single acre of really good and cultivaIn a third case, an eminence may be bleland,to introduce anextraordinary surrounded by a belt suited to the improvement not merely into detachslope of the ground, and the flat top ed spots, but whole districts of coun: left open, or it may have a good ef- try. Indeed, in a great many parts of fect to leave two or three green Scotland, this has already been done; knolls covered only with the verdant need I do more than allude to the turf, and merely divided by planting valleys of the Nith, the Clyde, and up the hollows between them. the Tweed, and some of their tribu.
In most valleys, the ground next to tary streams? In some, the plantathe river consists of alluvial soil, form- tions upon their banks have been ed by thegradual deposition of floods. made at so remote a period, that we This is in general" the richest and hardly think of the time when they most productive land in the country, did not exist, and look upon the and is too valuable to be planted; beautiful scenery which we see, as and it is fortunate that it is so, in an naturally belonging to the country ornamental point of view, as it is through which we are travelling; highly desirable, for the sake of instead of what is really the case, beauty, that these rich bottoms should that it is the effect of many successive be kept comparatively open. This, improvements, continued through a however, does not prevent, when the great length of time, and by succesbreadth of the valley admits, the sive generations. In other cases, planting of hedge-rows, or detached we find such improvements actually timber, in proper situations, which in a state of progress. In some rare both gives variety to the views, and cases, we find the most splendid