The Repton Gazette and Brown Advisor

300 Frequently Asked Questions about Capability Brown, and a further 200 about Humphry Repton

Category: Ruins

269: Can you recommend Harrogate?

In a short but heartening exchange, Mr Honey, flapping himself around his calves, as is his wont, with a horse-whip declared that ‘Nothing, but nothing beats a picture’. He was fresh in from Yorkshire and very full of himself, but I shall summarise his fuller account.

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256: Was Brown really weird?

The Roses about to be plunged, in pots, into the garden.

The Roses about to be plunged, in pots, into the garden.

A Garden of Birds and Roses at Malvern

A Garden of Birds and Roses at Malvern – complete!

News in this second annus mirabilis is rushed to the table of the Brown Advisor from every point of the compass and from every letter in the alphabet. Why this morning I thought I was taking A for Ampthill at quite a lick, when I was distracted by a great thundering at the door and all the rest of the alphabet from B to Z clamoured to make an entry.

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255: How serious is Hampton Court?

Grove planting of some form in the foreground, and look at the regularly spaced bushes against the wall!

Grove planting of some form in the foreground, and look at the regularly spaced bushes against the wall!

Captain Ken commented to me only the other day that though he can walk 30 miles across country without thinking much of it, after twenty minutes in a picture gallery his back aches, his arches have fallen, a terrible feeling of torpor overcomes him, his body cries out for a pot of tea and a simple bench to rest himself upon.

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187: Did Brown take a view on ivy?

Mr Honey picked up a nasty bruise on his knee on a recent visit to a country place. His memories of the episode are indistinct but he has offered that there was a fine cellar, that the place was all tangled up and Gothicked with ivy, and that really the people there should take more care.

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119: What was the Brownian flower garden?

Hornby Castle (1).JPG

Hornby Castle

Having been away on business I was sorry to come late to a communication from Dr L G of Hackney. It is always a pleasure to catch the good doctor’s lean figure through the frosted glass at the chemist’s, easily recognised by the tented chapeau that he wears when it rains for fear, as he puts it, that water may interfere with the working of his magnificent mind. He now wishes to put his considerable talents to the creation of a menagerie garden in the style of that great original, Capability Brown.

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111: Where are Brown’s oaks?

With my companions at the Tatler’s Waste-Bin, Captain Ken, the noted bicyclist, amongst them, we have on occasion devoted our evening’s lucubration to the trees that grow readily in the kingdom. Last night came the turn of the greatest of them all, and the tree most planted by our hero, Capability Brown.

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7: How many ruined churches did Brown have to deal with?

The old church at Woolsthorpe was blown up in the Civil War

The old church at Woolsthorpe was blown up in the Civil War

Dr L has contacted me from Stanstead Mountfichet to ask whether the church at Fornham Genevieve was ruined by the time the great Capability Brown got there.

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103: Were there landscapers in the English style in France?

Mrs D of Hampshire has been in touch again to ask for a list of English-style landscapes in France.

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21: Can you see Croome in less than three days?

Part 2: Cubs Moor to Dunstall Castle

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16: Why are Goths?

The teleological theory of history holds that it may take several ‘transitional’ generations for one great idea to be brought to birth.

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The Brown Advisor©2015

By John Phibbs