Having recently partaken of viands and a bottle or two of the finest ginger beer, the occasion benign, and the mood as refreshing as a cool breeze on a hot day, I and my companions beg to offer an apology for having hitherto left unaddressed the life and work of the great architect James Paine (1717–1789).
I was delighted to meet Dr S, whom one seldom meets outside his native Surrey, striding amongst the glorious hedgerows of paschal Buckinghamshire. As two people will who share a common interest, we fell to a discussion of the ridings, as they were designed by that king of the English countryside, Capability Brown.
Days come in late March or in April, when Spring has not wholly disentangled herself from Winter, but there is a freshness to the air and it is better to be out than to be in. So I am advised by the good folk of Health and Safety , who have asked me to warn you that happiness can cause damage in confined spaces.
‘The hawthorn.., has little claim to picturesque beauty… Its shape is bad. It does not taper, like the holly, but is rather a matted, round, heavy bush.’ Notwithstanding the Rev William Gilpin’s attack, there is a case to be made for hawthorn as the native that Capability Brown planted in greater numbers than any other tree, ‘the pride of park scenery’ as William Marshall called it.
Free with their experience and knowledge, there are persons amongst the correspondents to the Brown Advisor who perfectly present their problems and are greatly to be praised for it. One such is Mrs C who has written again from the Solent, being well aware of my interest in Brown as a farmer, this time asking what we know of Brown’s treatment of farm-houses.