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Sir Francis Bacon

Essay 46

Of Gardens.
1 GOD Almightie first Planted a Garden. And indeed, it is the Purest of Humane pleasures. It is the Greatest Refreshment to the Spirits of Man; Without which, Buildings and Pallaces are but Grosse Handy-works: And a Man shall euer see, that when Ages grow to Ciuility and Elegancie, Men come to Build Stately, sooner then to Garden Finely: As if Gardening were the Greater Perfection. I doe hold it, in the Royall Ordering of Gardens, there ought to be Gardens, for all the Moneths in the Yeare: In which, seuerally, Things of Beautie, may be then in Season. For December, and Ianuary, and the Latter Part of Nouember, you must take such Things, as are Greene all Winter: Holly; Iuy; Bayes; Iuniper; Cipresse Trees; Eugh; Pine-Apple-Trees; Firre-Trees; RoseMary; Lauander; Periwinckle, the White, the Purple, and the Blene; Germander; Flagges; Orenge-Trees; Limon-Trees; And Mirtles, if they be stirred; And Sweet Marioram warme set. There followeth, for the latter Part of Ianuary, and February, the Mezerion Tree, which then blossomes; Crocus Vernus, both the Yellow, and the Gray; Prime-Roses; Anemonies; The Early Tulippa; Hiacynthus Orientalis; Camaïris; Frettellaria. For March, There Come Violets, specially the Single Blew, which are the Earliest; The Yeilow Daffadill; The Dazie; The AlmondTree in Blossome; The Peach-Tree in Blossome; The Cornelian-Tree in Blossome; Sweet-Briar. In Aprill follow, The Double white Violet; The Wall-flower; The Stock-Gilly-Flower; The Couslip; Flower-De-lices, and Lillies of Natures; Rose-mary Flowers; The Tulippa; The Double Piony; The Pale Daffadill; The French Honny-Suckle; The Cherry-Tree in Blossome; The Dammasin, and PlumTrees in Blossome; The White-Thorne in Leafe; The Lelacke Tree. In May, and Iune, come Pincks of all sorts, Specially the Blush Pincke; Roses of all kinds, except the Muske, which comes-later; Hony-Suckles; Strawberries; Buglosse; Columbine; The French Mary-gold; Flos Africanus; Cherry-Tree in Fruit; Ribes; Figges in Fruit; Raspes; Vine Flowers; Lauender in Flowers; The Sweet Satyrian, with the White Flower; Herba Muscaria; Lilium Conuallium; The Appletree in Blossome. In Iuly, come GillyFlowers of all Varieties; Muske Roses; The Lime-Tree in blossome; Early Peares, and Plummes in Fruit; Ginnitings; Quadlins. In August, come Plummes of all sorts in Fruit; Peares; Apricockes; Berberies; Filberds; Muske-Melons; Monks Hoods, of all colours. In September, come Grapes; Apples; Poppies of all colours; Peaches; Melo-Cotones; Nectarines; Cornelians; Wardens; Quinces. In October, and the beginning of Nouember, come Seruices; Medlars; Bullises, Roses Cut or Remoued to come late; Hollyokes; and such like. These Particulars are for the Climate of London; But my meaning is Perceiued, that you may haue Ver Perpetuum, as the Place affords.
2 And because, the Breath of Flowers, is farre Sweeter in the Aire, ( where it comes and Goes, like the Warbling of Musick ) then in the hand, therfore nothing is more fit for that delight, then to know, what be the Flowers, and Plants, that doe best perfume the Aire. Roses Damask & Red, are fast Flowers of their Smels; So that; you may walke by a whole Row of them, and finde Nothing of their Sweetnesse; Yea though it be, in a Mornings Dew. Bayes likewise yeeld no Smell, as they grow. Rosemary little; Nor Sweet-Marioram. That, which aboue all Others, yeelds the Sweetest Smell in the Aire, is the Violet; Specially the White-double-Violet, which comes twice a Yeare; About the middle of Aprill, and about Bartholomew-tide. Next to that is, the Muske-Rose. Then the Strawberry Leaues dying, which a most Excellent Cordiall Smell. Then the Flower of the Vines; It is a little dust, like the dust of a Bent, which growes vpon the Cluster, in the First comming forth. Then Sweet Briar. Then Wall-Flowers, which are very Delightfull, to be set vnder a Parler, or Lower Chamber Window. Then Pincks, specially the Matted Pinck, and Cloue Gilly-flower. Then the Flowers of the Lime Tree. Then the Honny-suckles, so they be somewhat a farre off. Of Beane Flowers I speake not, because they are Field Flowers. But those which Perfume the Aire most delightfully, not passed by as the rest, but being Troden vpon and Crushed, are Three: That is Burnet, Wilde-Time, and Water-Mints. Therefore, you are to set whole Allies of them, to haue the Pleasure, when you walke or tread.
3 For Gardens, ( Speaking of those, which are indeed Prince-like, as we haue done of Buildings) the Contents, ought not well to be, vnder Thirty Acres of Ground; And to be diuided into three Parts: A Greene in the Entrance; A Heath or Desart in the Going forth; And the Garden in the middest; Besides Alleys, on both Sides. And I like well, that Foure Acres of Ground, be assigned to the Greene; Six to the Heath; Foure and Foure to either side; And Twelue to the Maine Garden. The Greene hath two pleasures; The one, because nothing is more Pleasant to the Eye, then Greene Grasse kept finely shorne; The other, because it will giue you a faire Alley in the midst, by which you may go in front vpon a Stately Hedge, which is to inclose the Garden. But, because the Alley will be long, and in great Heat of the Yeare, or Day, you ought not to buy the shade, in the Garden, by Going in the Sunne thorow the Greene, therefore you are, of either Side the Greene, to Plant a Couert Alley, vpon Carpenters Worke, about Twelue Foot in Height, by which you may goe in Shade, into the Garden. As for the Making of Knots, or Figures, with Diuers Coloured Earths, that they may lie vnder the Windowes of the House, on that Side which the Garden stands, they be but Toyes: You may see as good Sights, many times, in Tarts. The Garden is best to be Square; lncompassed, on all the Foure Sides, with a Stately Arched Hedge. The Arches to be vpon Pillars, of Carpenters Worke, of some Ten Foot high, and Six Foot broad: And the Spaces between, of the same Dimension, with the Breadth of the Arch. Ouer the Arches, let there be an Entire Hedge, of some Foure Foot High, framed also vpon Carpenters Worke: And vpon the Vpper Hedge, ouer euery Arch, a little Turret, with a Belly, enough to receiue a Cage of Birds: And ouer euery Space, betweene the Arches, some other little Figure, with Broad Plates of Round Coloured Glasse, gilt, for the Sunne, to Play vpon. But this Hedge I entend to be, raised vpon a Bancke, not Steepe, but gently Slope, of some Six Foot, set all with Flowers. Also I vnderstand, that this Square of the Garden, should not be the whole Breadth of the Ground, but to leaue, on either Side, Ground enough, for diuersity of Side Alleys: Vnto which, the Two Couert Alleys of the Greene, may deliuer you. But there must be, no Alleys with Hedges, at either End, of this great Inclosure: Not at the Hither End, for letting your Prospect vpon this Faire Hedge from the Greene; Nor at the Further End, for letting your Prospect from the Hedge, through the Arches, vpon the Heath.
4 For the Ordering of the Ground, within the Great Hedge, I leaue it to Variety of Deuice; Aduising neuerthelesse, that whatsoeuer forme you cast it into, first it be not too Busie, or full of Worke. Wherein I, for my part, doe not like Images Cut out in Iuniper, or other Garden stuffe: They be for Children. Little low Hedges, Round, like Welts, with some Pretty Pyramides, I like well: And in some Places, Faire Columnes vpon Frames of Carpenters Worke. I would also, haue the Alleys, Spacious and Faire. You may haue Closer Alleys vpon the Side Grounds, but none in the Maine Garden. I wish also, in the very Middle, a Faire Mount, with three Ascents, and Alleys, enough for foure to walke a breast; Which I would haue to be Perfect Circles, without any Bulwarkes, or Imbosments; And the Whole Mount, to be Thirty Foot high; And some fine Banquetting House, with some Chimneys neatly cast, and without too much Glasse.
5 For Fountaines, they are a great Beauty, and Refreshment; But Pooles marre all, and make the Garden vnwholsome, and full of Flies, and Frogs. Fountaines I intend to be of two Natures: The One, that Sprinckleth or Spouteth Water; The Other a Faire Receipt of Water, of some Thirty or Forty Foot Square, but without Fish, or Slime, or Mud. For the first, the Ornaments of Images Gilt, or of Marble, which are in vse, doe well: But the maine Matter is, so to Conuey the Water, as it neuer Stay, either in the Bowles, or in the Cesterne; That the Water be neuer by Rest Discoloured, Greene, or Red, or the like; Or gather any Mossinesse or Putrefaction. Besides that, it is to be cleansed euery day by the Hand. Also some Steps vp to it, and some Fine Pauement about it, doth well. As for the other Kinde of Fountaine, which we may call a Bathing Poole, it may admit much Curiosity, and Beauty; wherewith we will not trouble our selues: As, that the Bottome be finely Paued, And with Images: The sides likewise; And withall Embellished with Coloured Glasse, and such Things of Lustre; Encompassed also, with fine Railes of Low Statua's. But the Maine Point is the same, which we mentioned, in the former Kinde of Fountaine; which is, that the Water be in Perpetuall Motion, Fed by a Water higher then the Poole, and Deliuered into it by faire Spouts, and then discharged away vnder Ground, by some Equalitie of Bores, that it stay little. And for fine Deuices, of Arching Water without Spilling, and Making it rise in seuerall Formes, ( of Feathers, Drinking Glasses, Canopies, and the like, ) they be pretty things to looke on, but Nothing to Health and Sweetnesse.
6 For the Heath, which was the Third Part of our Plot, I wish it to be framed, as much as may be, to a Naturall wildnesse. Trees I would haue none in it; But some Thichets, made onely of Sweet-Briar, and Honny-suckle, and some Wilde Vine amongst; And the Ground set with Violets, Strawberries, and Prime-Roses. For these are Sweet, and pr(osper in the Shade. And these to be in the Heath, here and there, not in any Order. I like also little Heaps, in the Nature of Mole-hils, ( such as are in Wilde Heaths) to be set, some with Wilde Thyme; Some with Pincks; Some with Germander, that giues a good Flower to the Eye; Some with Periwinckle; Some with Violets; Some with Strawberries; Some with Couslips; Some with Daisies; Some with Red-Roses; Some with Lilium Conuallium; Some with Sweet-Williams Red; Some with Beares-Foot; And the like Low Flowers, being withal Sweet, and Sightly. Part of which Heapes, to be with Standards, of little Bushes, prickt vpon their Top, and Part without. The Standards to be Roses; Iuniper; Holly; Beare-berries ( but here and there, because of the Smell of their Blossome; ) Red Currans; Goose-berries; Rose-Mary; Bayes; Sweet-Briar; and such like. But these Standards, to be kept with Cutting, that they grow not out of Course.
7 For the Side Grounds, you are to fill them with Varietie of Alleys, Priuate, to giue a full Shade; Some of them, wheresoeuer the Sun be. You are to frame some of them likewise for Shelter, that when the Wind blows Sharpe, you may walke, as in a Gallery. And those Alleys must be likewise hedged, at both Ends, to keepe out the Wind; And these Closer Alleys, must bee euer finely Grauelled, and no Grasse, because of Going wet. In many of these Alleys likewise, you are to set Fruit-Trees of all Sorts; As well vpon the Walles, as in Ranges. And this would be generally obserued, that the Borders, wherin you plant your Fruit-Trees, be Faire and Large, and Low, and not Steepe; And Set with Fine Flowers, but thin and sparingly, lest they Deceiue the Trees. At the End of both the Side Grounds, I would haue a Mount of some Pretty Height, leauing the Wall of the Enclosure, Brest high, to looke abroad into the Fields.
8 For the Maine Garden, I doe not Deny, but there should be some Faire Alleys, ranged on both Sides, with Fruit Trees; And some Pretty Tufts of Fruit Trees, And Arbours with Seats, set in some Decent Order; But these to be, by no Meanes, set too thicke; But to leaue the Maine Garden, so as it be not close, but the Aire Open and Free. For as for Shade, I would haue you rest, vpon the Alleys of the Side Grounds, there to walke, if you be Disposed, in the Heat of the Yeare, or day; But to make Account, that the Maine Garden, is for the more Temperate Parts of the yeare; And in the Heat of Summer, for the Morning, and the Euening, or Ouer-cast Dayes.
9 For Auiaries, I like them not, except they be of that Largenesse, as they may be Turffed, and haue Liuing Plants, and Bushes, set in them; That the Birds may haue more Scope, and Naturall Neastling, and that no Foulenesse appeare, in the Floare of the Auiary. So I haue made a Platforme of a Princely Garden, Partly by Precept, Partly by Drawing, not a Modell, but some generall Lines of it; And in this I haue spared for no Cost. But it is Nothing, for Great Princes, that for the most Part, taking Aduice with Workmen, with no Lesse Cost, set their Things together; And sometimes adde Statua's, and such Things, for State, and Magnificence, but nothing to the true Pleasure of a Garden.

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