" When lavish art her costly work had done, The honour and the prize of bravery Was by the garden from the Palace won".
A GOOD idea of the number of gardens existing in England in the time of William and Mary may be gathered from the diary of Celia Fiennes,* who travelled on horseback through the country. In every county, and at almost every stage of her journey, she mentions or describes some garden more or less notable. The fountains, or " waterworks," were perhaps the most characteristic feature in the larger gardens, and of these she gives many elaborate descriptions. At Chatsworth there were fountains innumerable, one a willow tree " which rains from each leaf," and there is one bason in the middle " of one garden that's very large and by sluces besides the images severall pipes plays out ye water: about 30 large and small pipes altogether, some fflush it up that it ffrothes like snow." At Wilton there was a grotto with pipes concealed apparently all round and over the roof, which sent forth a sort of shower bath which " washes ye spectators." Again, at Bradby, Lord Chesterfield's house, " In one garden there are 3 fountaines wherein stands great statues. Each side on their pedistalls is a dial, one for ye sun, ye other a clock wch by ye water worke is moved and strikes ye hours, and chimes ye quarters, and when they please play Lilibolaro on ye chimes. All this I heard when I was there".
* Through England on a side-saddle in the time of William and Mary. 1888.
These waterworks, introduced as we have already seen in Tudor times, were now very much in vogue. The ideas for them came from abroad, both from France and Holland. The fountains at Versailles, and other places in France, are too well known to require notice. But waterworks of quaint forms and surprise-arrangements were typical of Dutch gardens, and William of Orange brought these into popular favour in this country, together with many other Dutch fashions. In 1621, Lord Chaworth in his diary * remarks on the " verie fyne gardens " surrounding the house of the Infanta Isabella, in Brussels, " wherein are ye most varietie of the best waterworks of ye world." The gardens at Boughton, Northamptonshire, were laid out during this reign, when the house was rebuilt by Ralph, first Duke of Montague. They were very extensive, covering over a hundred acres, and were remarkable for the "sumptuous waterworks." There was the " parterre of statues, the parterre of Basins and the water parterre, wherein is an octagon basin whose circumference is 216 yards, which in the middle of it has a jet d'eau, whose height is above 50 feet, surrounded with other smaller jet d'eaus. . . . The Canal at the bottom of all, is about 1500 yards in length in four lines falling into each other at right angles. At the lower end of it is a very noble Cascade . . . adorned with vases and statues. The Cascade has five falls. The perpendicular about seven feet. - A line or range of jet d'eaus in number thirteen are placed at the Head of the Cascade . . . There are also several jet d'eaus in the basin underneath. Also the knot of regularly figur'd Islets beset with Aquatick Plants." † Such Cascades were quite formal, all built of solid masonry, and are totally unlike the " Cascades " or miniature waterfalls of a later per10d. The gardens at Boughton were in the French style, but the head-gardener at this time was a Dutchman called Vandertmeulen.
The gardens described by Celia Fiennes have all alike gravel and grass walks, shady alleys of clipped trees, " some walks like arbours close, others shady, others open, some gravel, some grass." Standard cypress or yews "cut in severall forms were dotted about." Trim hedges of holly, laurel or box, divided the parts of the garden :—for instance, " the front garden Wch has the largest fountaine," from " the garden of flower trees, and all sorts of herbage," or the one with "grass plotts " from the bowling-green. Occasionally, mention is made of " fine greens," and " dwarfs," * or oranges and lemons ; a shelter or greenhouse. Or, perhaps, the description of a broad terrace with stone steps ; a wilderness planted with pines ; a grove with alleys cut through ; a pond, a canal, or a fine gateway, varies the recital of her travels and gives a reality to the scenes she recalls. At Mr. Thetwin's, near Stafford, she admires the " fine rows of trees " in the park, " ffirs Scots and Noroway, and ye picanther." She remarks, at Trygothy, in Cornwall, the drawing-room opened into the garden, " wch has gravell walks round and across, but ye squares are full of goosebery and shrub trees, and looks more like a kitchen-garden." Of Blith, near Worksop, she says, " I eate good fruite there," and she made her first acquaintance with orange trees at Lady Brook's house in Wiltshire. " Here was fine flowers and greens, Dwarfe trees and Oring and Lemon trees in rows wth fruite and flowers at once and some ripe, they are ye first oring trees I ever saw".
* Loseley MSS.
† Natural History of Northamptonshire. By John Morton, 1712.
She evidently admires gardens in the new French or Dutch style, more than the gardens of the last generation. She passes over Haddon, merely observing, " it's a good old house, all built of stone on a hill, and behind it is a ffine grove of high trees and good gardens, but nothing very curious as ye mode now is." Again, of " Mr. Paul Folie's seate called Stoake," near Hereford, she writes, " it's a very good old house of timber worke but old ffashion'd, and good roome for gardens, but all in an old fform and mode and Mr. Folie intends to make both a new house and gardens. The latter I saw staked out . . . ye ffine Bowling-green walled in and a Summer-house in it all new." At Barmstone, in Yorkshire, she. notices "the gardens are large, and are capable of being made very ffine, they now remain in the old fashion." Lord Sandwich, near Huntingdon, was having a new garden made. "The gardens and wilderness and greenhouse will be very fine when quite ffinished, with the dwarf trees and gravell walks. There is a large fountaine or bason which is to resemble that in the privy garden at Whitehall, which will front the house. The high terrass walks look out on the road".
* = fruit trees cut small.