The Repton Gazette and Brown Advisor

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

Category: Working methods (Page 1 of 14)

46: Rabbits?

Professor M gardens on the greensand ridge in Bedfordshire and tells me she is plagued by rabbits.

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301: Was Brown a land artist?

Mrs M writes from New York to ask whether the great gardener (but perhaps in this context he might be better described as an earth-mover) Capability Brown might be compared to the American land artists on the fourth quarter of the 20th century.

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295: Where did he get his trees?

Mrs W of Newcastle-upon-Tyne has asked where the indigenous and ingenious Capability Brown, idol of Indians and Chiefs alike, got his trees and it’s a good question, especially when it comes from that splendid city Newcastle, strong indeed in the matter of coal-mines and ships, but less so when it comes to the commercial tree nurseries of the 18th century.

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293: What part did infinity play?

The Bar adopts at times the quietly assured purr of the contented cat who has seen the mouse and is merely waiting for a propitious moment to spring.

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299: What is Brown’s legacy?

Recently returned from his tour to the eastern states, Captain Ken has reported his astonishment that Americans could describe the architecture and layout of New York as beautiful, and his further astonishment at the praise they heaped on the scenery along the train line from New York to Philadelphia.

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298: Should landscapes be private?

I return to my recent communication (note 296) in response to a particular query from Miss P of Harlaxton who asks what grounds I have for supposing that the Dukes of Rutland drew their sense of themselves from the deep, and probably imagined, past.

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297: Who’d live in a village?

Many questions have been raised about the standing of the 18th century village. Was it Oliver Goldsmith’s Auburn and a heaven on earth, or was it squalid, unsanitary and absolutely to be avoided?

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284: Are there no crumbs?

Hirsute and with her head in a bandage again, Mrs W of Staffordshire never looks her best after a fall, but her one wild eye is still a-roving, and thus she came to me seeking as it were a mix of bread-crumbs which she felt would liven up this dish of advisory notes and give them more kick as they came fresh from the oven.

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285: What of Steffie Shields?

A delayed train to Carlisle having given me an hour or two in hand at Newcastle, I resolved to indulge myself with Steffie Shields Moving Heaven and Earth Capability Brown’s gift of landscape.

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278: What of critics?

At this stage in our tercentennial celebrations for that roly-poly, roistering rooster and riding man, Capability Brown, I have heard cries and sighs of satiation from men and from women – there is too much juice I hear, too much pleasure, they are browned off with Brown.

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The Brown Advisor©2015

By John Phibbs