« AnteriorContinua »
CHAPTER THE TWELFTH.
GARDENS BELONGING TO SCIENTIFIC SOCIETIES.
Royal Horticultural Society's Gardens—Royal Botanic Society's Gar
dens, Regent's Park—Zoological Gardens.
THE ROYAL HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY'S GARDENS, South Kensington, are situate on a quadrangular plot of ground about 500 yards in length by nearly 300 in width, abutting, south, on the Great Exhibition buildings of 1862, and west, on Exhibition Road, where the principal entrance is placed. There is a temporary roadway for admission from Kensington Gore, leading to the back of the conservatory. The ground is part of that purchased out of the surplus fund of the Great Exhibition of 1851, and has been leased by the commissioners of that Exhibition to the Royal Horticultural Society upon certain conditions, one of which was that the society should expend at least £50,000 upon the Garden, the commissioners binding themselves to lay out an equal sum on ornamental arcades. The garden occupies about 22 acres, and the arcades around it afford a sheltered walk of three-quarters of a mile. Here will be held flower-shows and fetes similar to those for which the Chiswick Gardens were renowned. The garden lies on three levels, and is decorated with terraces, waterworks, and cascades, the principal of which is 20 feet wide, and with a fall of 10 feet. When the trees have extended themselves, the effect of these gardens, with their embroidered beds and geometrical flower-plots, will be very good. Amongst the statuary there are two copies in bronze of Rauch's Victory, 9 feet in height. The four terra-cotta statues representing Strength, Temperance, Justice, and Truth, placed at the sides of the entrance to the maze, were given by the late Prince Consort, of whom a marble statue, the gift of the Prince of Wales, is to be placed here. At the north end is a grand conservatory, 270 feet long, 75 feet high, and 100 feet wide. The cost, including the engine-house, was about £16,000. The north and central arcades were designed by Mr. Sydney Smirke. The north arcade, in the style of that of the Villa Albani at Rome, is 600 feet long, 22 feet high, and 26 feet wide. The capitals and shields are in terra cotta. The central arcades are after the Milanese brickwork of the fifteenth century. They are 630 feet long, 20 feet high, and 24 feet wide. In both sets of arcades red brick has been chiefly employed on account of the colour harmonizing with the gardens. Captain Fowke, R.E., designed the south arcades after the cloisters of St. John Lateran at Rome, which were erected in the twelfth century. Their length is 1980 feet, with a height of 20, and a width of 27 feet. Here the pillars are of terra cotta. Upon the highest terrace are two circular houses for musical bands ; and near them are the trees planted by the Queen and the late Prince Consort.
The Horticultural Society was founded in 1804, and formed the garden at Chiswick in 1822. Five years later began those exhibitions of horticultural produce which for many years were among the most attractive events of a London season.
Of late, however, the attendance of visitors, from one cause or other, materially diminished, and the income of the society' was consequently much lessened. The society, indeed, was almost on the point of being broken up, when the late Prince Consort stepped forward, and under his patronage it has been brilliantly resuscitated, at a spot more conveniently situate for the meeting of pleasure-seekers. It was formally opened on the 5th June 1861. From the great benefits already conferred on the community by the society, it deserves every encouragement.
Collectors of plants and seeds were sent into all quarters of the world ; and the experiments of plant-growing conducted at Chiswick have been attended with highly valuable results. As at present constituted, the society's affairs are managed by a council, assisted by a secretary, who is at present the eminent botanist Dr. John Lindley.
Every candidate for fellowship must be proposed by at least three fellows, one of whom must be personally acquainted with him. A fellow paying an entrance fee of 2 guineas, and an annual subscription of 2 guineas (compounded for by a single payment of 20 guineas), is entitled to admission at all times, and has the right of personally introducing two friends, except on certain great show days. A fellow paying an entrance fee of 2 guineas, and an annual subscription of 4 guineas (compounded for by a single payment of 40 guineas), is entitled, in addition
to the preceding privileges, to a transferable ticket, the bearer of which has precisely the same privileges. A fellow subscribing 2 guineas annually is also entitled, on payment of 10 guineas, to an extra transferable ticket for life, admitting one person both on ordinary days and show days. A subscriber of 4 guineas may have three such tickets on paying the same amount. Fellows are entitled to free admission to the garden at Chiswick every day except Sunday from nine to six, and each fellow can introduce by written order four friends a day to the Chiswick Garden.
The prices of admission to the public on single days must be ascertained from the advertisements in the newspapers.
THE ROYAL BOTANIC SOCIETY'S GARDENS are in the inner circle, Regent's Park, where they occupy about 18 acres. The society was incorporated in 1839 for the promotion of botany, but its principal attention is directed to making the gardens an agreeable rendezvous for the gay world. There is a spacious conservatory well stocked with beautiful plants. During the spring months promenades are held, at which military bands attend. There are also splendid exhibitions of fruits and flowers, which are very attractive, and at which prizes to a large amount are distributed. The gardens are supported by the subscriptions of fellows and members, as to which the secretary, Mr. De Carle Sowerby, who resides in the grounds, will give information. The exhibition days are advertised in the newspapers.
The ZOOLOGICAL GARDENS, REGENT'S PARK, are amongst the most interesting and attractive sights of London. During the year 1860-61, the visitors amounted to 293,995. They belong to the Zoological Society, which was instituted in 1826 under the auspices of Sir H. Davy, Sir Stamford Raffles, and other eminent persons. The gardens were opened in 1828, and since that time a very large number of animals from all quarters of the world have been sent here ; some presented by foreign potentates, colonial governors, and travellers, but chiefly purchased. Fellows pay a fee of £5 on admission to the society, and an annual contribution of £3. Annual subscribers pay £3.
EXPLANATION OF FIGURES ON THE PLAN. 1. New Aviary.
18. Pelicans' Inclosure. 42. Armadillo Inclosure. 2. Crane Inclosure. 19. Old Aviary.
43. Coypu's Cage. 2 a. Impeyan Pheasants' | 20. North Pond.
44. REFRESHMENT ROOM. Inclosure. 21. Falcon Aviary.
45. Monkey House. 3. Swine-House. 22. Bison House.
46. Porcupine Inclosure. 4. Southern Ponds. 23. Mandarin Ducks' Pond 47. Rock-Rabbits' House. 5. Young Pheasants' and 24. Seal Pond.
48. Virginian Owls' Cage. Emeus' Inclosure. 25. Kites' Aviary.
49. Reptile House. 6. Brush-Turkeys' Inclo- 26. Winter Aviary.
50. Paradise House. sure.
27. Small Mammals' House 51. Kangaroo Inclosures. 7. Small Carnivora House 28. Racoon's Cage. 52. Sheep Sheds. 8. Pheasant & Pea-Fowl's 29, 30. Garganeys' Ponds. 53. Parrot House. Aviaries.
31, 32, 33. Dens of Wolves 54. Sambur Deer House. 9. Alpacas' Inclosures.
55. Wapiti House. 10. Waders' Inclosure. 34. South Entrance. 56. Elephant House. 11. Zebra & Antelope Ho. 35. Antelope Inclosure. 57, 58. Small Deer's Inclos. 12. Cages of Grt. Carnivora 36. Three-island Pond. 59. Superintendent's Office 13. Bear Pit. 37. Fish-House.
60. Hippopotamus Houses 14. Bear Pond.
38. Harpy's Aviary. 61. Giraffe House. 15. Eagle Owls' Aviary. 39. Eagles' Aviaries. 62. Eland House. 16. Camel House. 40. Beaver Pond.
63. Ostrich House. 17. Water-Fowls' Lawn. 41. Otter Cage.
64, 65. Goat & Deer Sheds.
Visitors are admitted to the gardens on Mondays on payment of 6d. each, and on the other days of the week on payment of 1s. each; cldren
pay 6d. only. Open from nine to sunset. On Saturday afternoon there is usually a military band performing in the gardens. The office and library of the society are at 11 Hanover Square. Dr. P. L. Sclater, the ornithologist, is the secretary, whose official guide (price 6d.) contains a plan of the gardens and several illustrative woodcuts. Refreshments may be obtained in the gardens at prices specified in a printed tariff. Enter at the north entrance in the outer circle of the park, and turn to the right to the New Aviary, where some of the most interesting birds in the collection are kept. Here are the sacred ibis, the scarlet ibis, and the American mocking bird ; close by is the crane inclosure, where numerous specimens of this longlegged tribe may be seen, the handsomest being perhaps the crowned crane. Near at hand is the swine-house,
many species of this dirt-loving family are preserved. Passing ponds where water-fowl are living, we arrive at the inclosures where the llamas and alpacas are confined ; adjacent to which is the inclosure of the wading birds. Opposite this are the new houses containing gnus, antelopes, and zebras. Amongst the latest additions are specimens of the sable antelope, and the hartebeeste, both from Africa ; the latter from the Cape Colony, where it has now become rare in the inhabited districts. Proceeding, we reach the terrace below, in which are found the great