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.
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.
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.
Mr E is an old acquaintance, a blustery pipe-smoking man, who swims with his big hands wheeling like paddles and puts me in mind of an old smoke-stack rust-bucket as he battles his way out of the sea. At any rate, he has written from Cromer to say that there’s no point in a park that doesn’t have deer in it.