Certainly, nothing can be a more beautiful sight in its way, than the numerous herds of deer, short-horned cattle and fine sheep, which embroider and give life to the scenery of an English country home of this kind.* There is a quiet pastoral beauty, a spaciousness and dignity, and a simple feeling of nature about it which no highly decorated pleasure grounds or garden scenery can approach, as the continual surrounding of a country residence. It is, in fact, the poetical idea of Arcadia, a sort of ideal nature, softened refined, and ennobled, without being made to look artificial.
Of course any thing like English parks, so far as regards extent, is almost out of the question here; simply because land and fortunes are widely divided here, instead of being kept in large bodies, intact, as in England. Still, as the first class country-seats of the Hudson now command from $50,000 to $75,000, it is evident that there is a growing taste for space and beauty in the private domains of republicans. What we wish to suggest now is simply that the greatest beauty and satisfaction may be had here, as in England (for the plan really suits our limited means better), by treating the bulk of the ornamental portion as open park pasture, and thus getting the greatest space and beauty at the least original expenditure and with the largest annual profit.
To some of our readers who have never seen the thing the idea of a park pastured by animals almost to the very door will seem at variance with all decorum and elegance. This, however, is not actually the case. The house should eitherstand on a raised terrace of turf, which, if it is a fine mansion, may have a handsome terrace wall or if a cottage, a pretty rustic or trellis fence, to separate it from the park. Directly around the house, and stretching on one or more sides, in the rear, he the more highly dressed portions of the scene, which may be a flower-garden and shrabbery set in a small bit of lawn kept as short as velvet - or may be pleasure grounds, fruit, and kitchen-gardens, so multiplied as to equal the largest necessities of the place and family. All that is to be borne in mind is, that the park may be as large as you can afford to purchase - for it may be kept up at a profit - while the pleasure grounds and garden scenery, may, with this management, be compressed into the smallest space actually deemed necessary to the place, thereby lessening labor and bestowing that labor in a concentrated space, where it will tell.
* All attempts to render our native deer really tame in home grounds have, so far as we know, failed among us, though with patience the thing may doubtless be done. It would be well worth while to import the finer breeds of the English deer, which are thoroughly domesticated in their habits, and the most beautiful animals for a park. - A. J. D.
The practical details of keeping the stock upon such a place, are familiar to almost every farmer. Of course in a country place only comely animals would be kept, and a preference would be given to breeds of fine stock that " take on flesh" readily, and command the best price in the market. In cases where an interest is taken in breeding cattle provision must be made in the shape of hay and shelter for the whole year round; but we imagine the most profitable, as well as least troublesome mode, to the majority of gentlemen proprietors would be to buy the suitable stock in the spring, put it in good condition, and sell it again in the autumn. The sheep would also require to be folded at night to prevent the flocks from being ravaged by dogs.
With this kind of arrangement and management of a country place the owner would be in a position to reap the greatest enjoyment with the least possible care. To country gentlemen ignorant of farming, such an extent of park, with its drives and walks, along with its simplicity of management, would be a relief from a multitude of embarrassing details; while to those who have tried, to their cost, the expenses of keeping a large place in high order, it would be an equal relief to the debtor side of the cash account.