Capability Brown – Famous gardens of the Master Landscapers series

Lancelot Brown was born in 1715 and was perhaps England’s greatest gardener. He was commonly known as Capability and was a landscape architect.

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He designed over 170 parks, most of which are still around today. He was named Capability after he would tell his clients that the property had the “capability” for improvement. His landscapes involve Kew gardens, Warwick castle, Blenheim House, etc.

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His style was of smooth undulating lawns which would run straight to the house, clumps or belts of trees, and serpentine lakes which were created be invisibly damming rivers. This was a “ gardenless” form of landscaping which flew in the face of the previously trendy formally patterned gardens.

His work can best be described by Richard Bisgrove who stated that Capability’s process was of perfecting nature by judicious manipulation of its components, adding a tree here or a concealed head of water there.

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It was his deftness of touch which made the landscapes so good. It looked easy, however was very difficult to imitate.