The Repton Gazette and Brown Advisor

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

Tag: Nuneham Courtenay (Page 1 of 2)

282: With whom did Brown take coffee?

In my last I (note 281) gave my verdict on the varnished version of verisimilitude that is held to characterise the work of the gardener Capability Brown. Now Mr C of Nailsworth and Ms B of Swindon clearly assume that I have powers to communicate with the dead and so have joined to ask me what question I would put to the man if I had the power to do so.

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284: Are there no crumbs?

Hirsute and with her head in a bandage again, Mrs W of Staffordshire never looks her best after a fall, but her one wild eye is still a-roving, and thus she came to me seeking as it were a mix of bread-crumbs which she felt would liven up this dish of advisory notes and give them more kick as they came fresh from the oven.

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273: Can close kin be clients?

I have occasionally observed that after a dram or two, some men display a memory of astonishing acuity, correcting the smallest faults in a narrative with a pedantry entirely at odds with their slurred speech and loosely buttoned waistcoats.

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68: Netting?

 

If this were a strictly theatrical planting, the spiky junipers would be out of place

If this were a strictly theatrical planting, the spiky junipers would be out of place

How productive simple misunderstandings can be! My note 67 caught the eye of Mrs B of Kew, who was prompted by the discussion of netties to ask about netting shrubberies to protect them from grazing animals.

Well, Mrs B, that’s not precisely what is meant by a nettie, but your question remains worthwhile.

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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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238: How are we to know where Brown worked?

Mr Honey beat my door like an old carpet this morning, with the complaint that all the talk of valleys whether ‘transverse, direct or the other thing’ in my recent note (note 236) made a wholly misleading summary of our discussions.

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211: Are there any good illustrations of Brown’s work?

Spring brings out the cynic in men like Captain Ken – it is the sudden and unpredictable change in the look of things. Mr Honey on the other hand grows steadily less repressible. ‘Hark at the lark!’ he is wont to say, at every chirrup from a passing sparrow.

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188: If no juniper, then no gin?

Conversation at the Tatler’s Waste-Bin, which had been of a general and easy nature, turned suddenly to juniper, and at a stroke Captain Ken and Mr Honey found themselves in opposition.

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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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102: Did Brown do garden rooms?

A Cotswold garden room

A Cotswold garden room

Mr J, the braggart, writes from the Cotswolds to tell me he has twelve garden rooms and boasts that that is twice as many as Capability Brown ever managed in the 18th century.

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The Brown Advisor©2015

By John Phibbs