A treatise on forming, improving, and managing country residences

Alternative Title

A treatise on forming, improving, and managing country residences; and on the choice of situations appropriate to every class of purchasers ... With an appendix ... By John Loudon ...

Date Created



Eb 1806 L [de Beer Special Collections]


Longman, Hurst, Rees, and Orme: London


In 2 vols.

Rural scenery is so congenial to the human mind, that there are few persons who do not indulge the hope of retiring at some period into the country.' So begins John Claudius Loudon's A Treatise on Forming, Improving and Managing Country Residences (1806), which was the product of his early career as a landscape gardener. From 1803 to 1807, he ran a busy practice from London. Unlike his mentor, Uvedale Price, who concentrated on the principles of picturesque landscape design, Loudon executed the designs, no doubt helped by practical experience gained while growing up as a Scottish farmer's son.

At the time Loudon wrote this work the ferme ornée (an aesthetically-pleasing forerunner to today's lifestyle block) was the height of fashion. Following a crippling attack of rheumatic fever, Loudon gave up the practice and created his own ferme ornée in Oxfordshire. The profits from its sale in 1811 financed his European travel. Because of its pliable non-splinter quality, larch was suitable for ship-building. Here are some of Loudon's recommendations on how to bend larch trees into shape.




Loudon, John Claudius, “A treatise on forming, improving, and managing country residences,” ourheritage.ac.nz | OUR Heritage, accessed April 21, 2024, https://ourheritage.ac.nz/items/show/7526.