The Repton Gazette and Brown Advisor

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

Tag: Croome (Page 1 of 2)

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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193: Now, tell me about Yew rows?

I find myself caught in a dilemma in respect of the plants used by the King’s gardener Capability Brown. On the one hand, Dr L writes from Essex to ask for more practical detail, as she is encouraging her students to consult the Brown Advisor. On the other hand Mr R of Finsbury Park, London, would prefer a deeper, more abstract, probe into the meaning of the formidable Capability Brown, if there be such.

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186: What can we say about Holm Oak?

The Holm oaks are clumped along Green Lane at Milton Abbey

The holm oaks are clumped along Green Lane at Milton Abbey

‘The ilex, or ever-green oak, presents a character very different from that of the yew. The yew is a close bodied, compact tree. The ilex is generally thin, and straggling; tho we sometimes see it, in soils, which it likes, form a thicker foliage.’ Such, from his vantage point in the New Forest, was the judgement of the Rev. William Gilpin.

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83: Where did he get it from? – Charles Bridgeman

Lady L from Yorkshire asks about the relationship between the evidently esteemed Capability Brown, engine of endeavour, and his predecessor Charles Bridgeman.

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175: Did Brown use exotics in parkland? London Plane

London Plane (Platanus x hispanica) was a tree that very much came into its own in Brown’s day. At the beginning of his century, Thomas Hamilton had to confess that ‘tho they are now comeing in Request here, … as I have no kind of Experience of them, I shall be Silent’.

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166: Can you coppice exotics?

That 17th century virtuoso, Sir Thomas Hanmer, had fine words for coppices and the right way to treat them: ‘thicketts for birds cut through with severall straight or winding gravelly walkes, or [make] a variety of alleys set with high trees as elms, limes, abells, firs pines or others, with fountains Canals, Grottes Cascataes statues, arbours cabinets avearyes and seats disperst as the design and nature of the place will admit.’

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157: Can we have more on mapping?

3 Sandleford Priory Spyers 1781

A plan for Sandleford Priory said to have been copied from Spyers

Many correspondents have returned to the question of mapping, the accuracy of maps, the date of maps where no date is provided, and the inconvenient tendency to overwrite maps, so one scarcely knows who has done what when.

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85: Where did he get it from? – Philip Southcote

So Horace Walpole thought that that great and gracious gardener, the good Capability Brown got his ideas from William Kent and Philip Southcote. ‘Who?’ exclaimed the sociable Mr Honey  when I told him. ‘William Kent? – Furniture designer, set painter, associate of Burlington’  ‘Not him, the other one.’

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141: Quack? Squawk? Growl?

Mrs F has contacted me from Kenilworth to ask whether Capability Brown designed menageries.

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124: What is the Concave?

The postman has bounced again, and this has brought further inquiries to my breakfast table, all on the subject of quarrying and mess.

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The Brown Advisor©2015

By John Phibbs