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The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction Volume 19, No. 528, January 7, 1832

by Various

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In our volume, just completed, we noticed the origin of this Establishment; and the annexed engravings report favourably of its progress, They represent

Two of the Entrance Lodges.

Another rustic building, the appropriation of which is not yet decided.

And a glazed circular building intended as a Refreshment room, but at present occupied by tropical birds, &c.

All three buildings are thatched, and they enliven the picturesqueness of the grounds, which, in a few months will form the most delightful promenade in the environs of the metropolis. Their extent, as we have stated, is about fifteen acres. Mr. Loudon, the intelligent editor of the Gardeners' Magazine objects to their plan, although, "speaking of the gardens as such, he is, on the whole, highly gratified with them. Their chief defect, at present, is a want of unity in the different scenes which come successively into view; that is, in proceeding along the walks, the different buildings and other objects, to the right and left, meet the eye with nearly equal claims to attention, and rather puzzle than delight the spectator. We call this a defect, because it may yet be remedied by planting. The object, in such a garden, ought to be, to lead the visiter to one scene after another, and to keep every scene so far distinct, either from that which has been just passed, or that which is next to come, as that its full unmingled expression shall be produced. At the same time, there ought to be just as much indicated of the coming scene as will excite curiosity and invite the stranger to proceed. The theory on this subject has been beautifully laid down by Morel and Girardin."

The Editor then proceeds to speak of the prompt and spirited manner, in which the buildings of the Surrey Gardens have been executed:—

"The London Zoological Society has certainly the merit of taking the lead in this description of garden; but Mr. Cross has not only proceeded more rapidly than they have done, but has erected more suitable and more imposing structures than are yet to be found in the gardens in the Regent's Park. What is there, for example, in the latter garden which can be at all compared with the circular glass building of 300 ft. in diameter, combining a series of examples of tropical quadrupeds and birds, and of exotic plants? In the plan of this building, the animals (lions, tigers, leopards, &c.) are kept in separate cages or compartments towards the centre; exterior to them is a colonnade, supporting the glazed roof, and also for cages of birds; within this colonnade will be placed hot-water pipes for heating the whole, and beyond it is an open paved area for spectators; next, there is a channel for a stream of water, intended for gold, silver and other exotic fishes; and, beyond, a border, under the front wall, for climbing plants, to be trained on wires under the roof. It is singular that the elevation of this building is almost a fac simile of the elevation which we made in May last for the hot-houses of the Birmingham Horticultural Society's garden; the only difference being, as it will afterwards appear, the addition, in our plan, of exterior pits, and of pediments over the entrance porches....