We own much of our gardens and parks to the design and influence of the great Lancelot “Capability” Brown. He wasn’t christened Capability, his parents were not possessed by cognitive powers to be able to see into the future of the young Lancelot and think, “well, he’s clearly going to be a capable person. Better go with that as second name”. They did go for the rather romantic Lancelot though, so you’d be forgiven for thinking they’d hedged their bets a bit and gone with the Capability as well in case it stuck. As you might have guessed Capability was a well-earned nickname given to a man who went well beyond the realms of simple garden design and into the that of physical engineering as well. His designs can be seen around the country and examples include the beautiful Prior Park located in Bath. Locals to the area often enjoy a walk around these beautiful grounds and if you are looking for a rental property in the area then Letting agents Bath pritchards-bath can help you find the perfect place.
Brown is the driving force in the 19th Century for the many landscape gardens that you see today dotted about the country and generally owned now by the Historic England or the National Trust. Brown was a not a one for the walled and formal garden. Walled and formal gardens are easy to spot as they are usually square and very, very organised. They have things like box hedges and symmetrically planting groups so that when the summer comes everything appears in neat ordered rows. Walled gardens are similar as they were seen as a way of creating the Garden of Eden in the family home and it was naturally assumed that God would have gone with everything nice and tidy. The formal garden was also seen as human beings laying down the law to nature and telling it how to grow and what way it should. The upper classes were more than happy to let this kind of thing carry on as it made life easy for the servants to maintain and they did not need to get their nice shows dirt as they could wander the beautifully appointed raised beds on some tasteful gravel.
Brown abhorred the organised. He suggested that gardens should reflect nature. It should, in fact not look like a garden at all. He was very keen on the phrase “as nature red in tooth and claw”, not that he was suggesting they let bears and wolves roam around willy nilly, instead he was referring the trees growing free, a prominent lake (which sometimes involved a very complicated gravity fed engineering system designed by Brown requiring the work of canal navvies) and little hillocks to break up the vista. This was a landscape to wander lonely as a cloud in. He wasn’t averse to a bit of order. He liked the tree line drive or avenue of trees running off into the distance like the line of the great family that owned the land themselves.
The upper classes bought the change in fashion and Brown became greatly favoured by society. It would take about 200 years before we mere proles enjoy it rather than have to maintain for very little pay.