Trimmed

The groves of Blenheim were captured in their infancy by S.H.Grimm

The good Yorkshireman Professor W*, to whom I referred in my last, has also raised with me the question of groves, and in particular, for he has a great interest in the subject, whether Brown himself was a planter of groves.

He was, Professor, let me assure you, a dedicated planter of groves, but these take several forms. There are the groves of trees in parkland, such as one finds at Benham (sweet chestnut) and Ickworth (oak); but there are also garden groves, and I would look to the deftness of his planting at Wrest, and at the Oak Circle at Burghley. While the parkland grove consists merely of trees in grass, the garden grove seems to come associated with shrubberies, which group themselves around the stems of the trees in loose aggregations, some trees being half-buried in the undergrowth, some standing freely, in which case they may be entwined with honeysuckles and roses. The whole having the character of a piece of forestland in which the bracken and brambles have been replaced by flowering exotics. They are a form of garden often seen and easily recognised in a Brown design. Truly is it said that in the groves of Claremont I have often sauntered or tarried with delight.

*Please note that Capability Brown was not born in Yorkshire and should not be addressed as a ‘Yorkshire yobbo’.