The Repton Gazette and Brown Advisor

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

Category: Nature (Page 1 of 2)

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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281: Was Brown asking for trouble?

Mr Honey comes in spinning like a top – I have seldom seen such irritability in a man – and flings onto our table first one issue then another then another of The Spectator – a journal with which I feel myself to be closely associated. Indeed it is one in which I take a nigh-on paternal interest.  Each of these issues has within it another attack on the landscapes of Capability Brown.

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264: What does Kent have to do with it?

Capability Brown was no dandy but a diamond-decent  down-home sort of chap and when Mr C of Essex asked me what that great master of gardening Capability Brown might have learned from Kent, I took it to my companions at the Tatler’s Waste-bin who wondered whether he had the county in mind or the man said to have been his master, that coiffed stylist, William Kent.

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253: How is it for you? (3) Land management

Forgive me if in this note I resume my happy task of setting out the progress of enlightened thought in pursuit of that snappy salesman, the gardener, Capability Brown, through a consideration of Dr Sarah Rutherford’s new book Capability Brown and his landscape gardens.

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248: Should we allow highly-bred plants?

Ms T writes from Hampton Court. She is designing a garden in the style of that man, no nun, but a notable gardener, Capability Brown and wants to know how he would have felt about Fagus sylvatica ‘purple fountain’ weeping copper beech, or corkscrew willow.

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174: Did Brown use exotics in parkland?

Mr A of Boston, and Mrs H of Houston, Texas, raise a robust series of familiar questions about Capability Brown’s use of exotics in parkland: did he use them? Could he have used trees that were not hardy and so have failed? If he didn’t use them why didn’t he use them?

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17: What’s so natural about Brown?

I have just received, for my comments, a piece so vacuous, so cheerfully empty of meaning, that I believe it can only have been pasted together by a PR department. This piece claims, as if it were common knowledge, and without any evidence or attempt to explain what it means, that the quintessential gardener, Capability Brown, made landscapes that were natural.

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34: Why are Brown’s plans so boring?

By great good fortune I came across a Major J.S., recently demobbed, of Wolverhampton while he was feeding the ducks in West Park. ‘Hats off to his handling of the ground’ he said, ‘but I have often wondered what Capability Brown was trying to show with his maps.’

A plan said to have been drawn neither by Brown nor Spyers; this still looks rather like their work

A plan said to have been drawn neither by Brown nor Spyers; this still looks rather like their work

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66: Was Brown a Tory?

Ken from Stroud plans to establish an anarchist commune on Mars and asks how he can create an anarchic landscape to go with it.

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The Brown Advisor©2015

By John Phibbs