Miss E, an entertainer, writes from Ceredigion to ask why Wales has played such a small part in these notes.
Miss E would not care to be described as an easy woman, for she has the force of a torrent, forever in spate, and this makes it alarmingly difficult to find a satisfactory answer for her – one feels one has only moments to react before being swept aside by the onrush of her argument.
It is a subject I have already touched on in note 163, but how is it that Wales has not had its place, and Cardiff Castle, Dinefwr and Wynnstay their due significance in the roll of great landscapes designed by Capability Brown, the quiet gardener? The only plausible excuse for my indifference lies in the particular place Wales has in the constitution of the United Kingdom. This distinguishes it from Ireland and Scotland, and it seems to have weighed heavily with Brown and therefore, one presumes, with his contemporaries also.
Ireland and Scotland he could more or less reject as being not-English, Wales had long been assimilated into the English legal and constitutional system. There I think lies the difference. So when I write of the ‘English garden’ and of the ‘English landscape movement’, it is because that is how they were described in Brown’s day. It might be politically correct to describe both as Anglo/Welsh, but, as things stand, the phrase would not readily be understood. I freely apologise and would promise to do what I can to make amends in future notes – but I see the torrential Miss E is already out of hearing and three bridges on towards the sea.