The Repton Gazette and Brown Advisor

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

Tag: Ampthill

46: Rabbits?

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

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220: Did Brown really use geometry?

No more than a fortnight ago I found myself in colloquy with Mrs M from Barnsley who asked if that asked if the lugubrious Capability Brown really used geometry as much as I think he did.

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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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214: Did Brown really dislike deer?

In my last (note 213), I offered to my companions at the Tatler’s Waste-bin a list of all those landscapes of that fine man and lord-lieutenant of Huntingdon, Capability Brown, for which I had records of an active deer park.

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117: What effect did poaching have on landscape design?

Rather as Einstein and Newton both expected to find a single simple solution at the heart of the problems of the universe, so there are those who would look to find a simple explanation for the flowering of the English landscape in the second half of the 18th century; and loud among competing voices are the grim shooting men of Norfolk, who claim that it was a response to the exponential increase in poaching through this period.

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173: Should we replant a wider range of trees than Brown?

Professor R of Cambridge has asked whether Brown used a wider range of trees than the few survivors of his planting would indicate. His question builds quite neatly from the last note, on fruit trees.

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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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122: Did Brown get on with architects?

Mr M is curious to know how a landscape gardener like Capability Brown will have got along with architects, supposing they were employed at the same time, and has written from London to ask which of the two would rule the roost.

05-Drawing-by-Nicholson

John Carr is very likely to have been involved with Scampston, but the house still looked like Brown’s handiwork.

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26: Was Brown a Whig?

Connections and networks count for more in this world than political principle

Connections and networks count for more in this world than political principle

The Brown Advisoris not in any sense a dating agent, however Mr L. of Bromsgrove, has asked me to put him in touch with Mrs D. of Hampshire with the offer of assistance for her planned tour of Worcestershire, and I have conceded.

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The Brown Advisor©2015

By John Phibbs