Waltham House, about nine miles from Boston, was, 25 years ago, one of the oldest and finest places, as regards Landscape Gardening. Its owner, the late Hon. T. Lyman, was a highly-accomplished man, and the grounds at Wal-tham House bear witness to a refined and elegant taste in rural improvement. A fine level park, a mile in length, enriched with groups of English limes, elms, and oaks, and rich masses of native wood, watered by a fine stream and stocked with deer, were the leading features of the place at that time; and this, and Woodlands, were the two best specimens of the modern style, as Judge Peters' seat, Lemon Hill, and Clermont, were of the ancient style, in the earliest period of the history of Landscape Gardening among us.
There is no part of the Union where the taste in Landscape Gardening is so far advanced, as on the middle portion of the Hudson. The natural scenery is of the finest character, and places but a mile or two apart often possess, from the constantly varying forms of the water, shores, and distant hills, widely different kinds of home landscape and distant view. Standing in the grounds of some of the finest of these seats, the eye beholds only the soft foreground of smooth lawn, the rich groups of trees shutting out all neighboring tracts, the lake-like expanse of water, and, closing the distance, a fine range of wooded mountain. A residence here of but a hundred acres, so fortunately are these disposed by nature, seems to appropriate the whole scenery round, and to be a thousand in extent.
At the present time, our handsome villa residences are becoming every day more numerous, and it would require much more space than our present limits, to enumerate all the tasteful rural country places within our knowledge, many of which have been newly laid out, or greatly improved within a few years. But we consider it so important and instructive to the novice in the art of Landscape Gardening to examine, personally, country seats of a highly tasteful character, that we shall venture to refer the reader to a few of those which have now a reputation among us as elegant country residences.