How could such sweet and wholesome hoars Be reckoned, but with shrubs and flowers}
CONTINUING our practical efforts, we were moved to enlarge around our dwelling the space which, after a year's occupation, we found rather too contracted to be entirely satisfactory; for, though we have no especial preference for terraces, which used to form a feature of many old-fashioned homes, the conditions of our house-lot have forced them upon us on three sides. As I have before stated, the flat top of the knoll is very limited in extent, so that, even in building, we were forced to cut our coat according to our cloth, and support the rear of the house with a high basement, to serve for laundry, dairy, and other offices, instead of adding the more usual L, or wing.
The width of the lot at this point would not allow of more than ninety feet between us and the highway, even by setting the building as far back as possible; and when this was done, leaving a gentle slope from the front door to the road, the ground on the north and south sides of house fell with such abruptness from the foundations that no room was left even for a passage-way.
This lack was remedied on the north of the house by constructing a terrace sufficiently wide on top for a tree or two, and some shrubbery to mask the foundations, with plenty of space for climbing things to grow over the veranda- This bank, supported on the east by the heavy wing-wall of the house, slopes to a driveway below, which leads to the stable behind. It is high and steep, but well sodded, and rather adds to the commanding effect of the house, beside serving to break the height of the building at the back. A flight of steps at the rear of the veranda leads to the drive below, and some good-sized Pines have been planted there to still further hide the basement.
The main approach was not planned with sufficient consideration for anything but convenience, and consists of a semicircular driveway to allow the houge to be easily reached from both ends of the town, but it would be better if the front door were only accessible from the north to carriages, which would give us an unbroken stretch of grass on the east and south, whereas now there is a half-moon of greensward in front, inclosed between the driveway and the street, thickly planted with trees, destined soon to form an effectual screen betwen us and the dusty road.
South of the house, near the highway, the ground slopes gently into the swale, which, with its groups of trees, forms a side lawn of uneven surface, bounded at the rear by the hill, with its rising tiers of little Pines. Near the dwelling, however, in order to get any greensward or shade at all, we were forced to build, of stones and gravel, a terrace some twenty-five feet in width at its narrowest part, to support which about two hundred feet or more of massive wall were constructed. This wall is low in front, and buries itself in the grassy slope, but where it curves around the knoll at the rear, it is six feet high, and makes a warm background for Grapevines, and the hot-beds, which are placed below the vines, fronting the south. A steep bank, thickly sodded, descends from the level of the lawn to the top of the wall, which is also covered with turf. This sunny south terrace is the very spot for the old-fashioned Rose bushes which we have transplanted hither from the other parts of the place, and here, too, is a bed for more delicate specimens, which can be protected by a glass frame in the winter-time, as well as a tree to shade the south windows from the heat.
The wall was quite an important construction, and I am afraid to say how many tons of stone went into it, for the largest portion of it is underground, the results being very solid and substantial.