International Styles

Garden Path or Road


In the General Plan of Garden this road is designed to possess all the advantages to be gained through grounds of, such limited extent, except that it is not quite the shortest road from the gates; but as the shortest road may not be the best line to adopt, because superior benefits may result from a different course, it must be yielded.

The entrance ought to be so conspicuously placed that the visitor shall not seem to pass the house before he obtains a sight of the lodge or gates - nor should he from any other circumstances be in doubt that he has missed his way, and as it is desirable that the grounds should escape the appearance of too great limitation, it is advantageous that the road should show so much of its line as will assure the visitor that the grounds are of an extent proportionate to the building of which he has had already a distant view, and which should not be visible from the gates, because it would at once define the distance, more usefully left to be discovered in future; and here the form of ground or the plantation should screen the landscape, that it may not be overlooked.

In its progress towards the house, the road should not skirt the boundary, because by doing so it demonstrates limitation; and it ought not to divide the pasture into similar quantities, but pass so near the one side as to escape the first error, giving to the greater portion all the benefit of contrast. The road ought to be wisely supported by occasional plantations, to prevent the nakedness which is otherwise ugly, and its line ought to be curved, because the most pleasing, as it produces greater variety of scene than a straight one, as it is traversed and if the ground be rising, it is also the most natural, for we always attempt to ascend the hill by the easiest means.

The house having been already viewed, it ought to be hideed as near approached, until arrived at the most favourable point it may be comiimanded under all the imposing circumstances of its perspective: here it should burst at once upon the sight, and if from amidst a well-grown plantation whose shadows, as a fore-ground, would give greater brilliancy to the sunshine upon its surface, the effect would be additionally striking.

This road, for a certain distance, will lead toward both house and buildings; but as the stable or farm yard ought to be at some distance in the rear, at a convenient point, a second road should brancl off to them, less in width, and so differing from the sweep of the main road that its purpose shall be unquestionable; and this ought to be adequately distant from the house to prevent the gravel in its vicinity from being disturbed by the traffic to the buildings.

If these points are attended to, and advantage taken of the localities that are about it, the approach will be well disposed; but it must be remembered that its object, and those of diverging roads, shouldl be intelligibly clear. All labyrinths are ugly when the mind is not prepared for a puzzle: an exercise with which the discreet and the wise are most willing to dispense; and as servants and people whose business leads them to the home buildings are many, and not being generally well qualified to solve problematic difficulties, the avenues to them hoiuld be clearly demonstrated.




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