Capability Brown: Designing the English Landscape
The name Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown has become synonymous with the eighteenth-century English landscape garden: between 1751 and 1783 his consultancy handled over 170 major commissions. Ruthlessly efficient, he could stake out the ‘capabilities’ of a particular terrain within an hour on horseback. Rising to the position of Master Gardener to George III, his trademark features included bald lawns, clumped trees, undulating lakes and enclosing belts of woodland on the estate’s perimeter. With this standard park formula Brown and his followers held the commercial monopoly on garden design well into the following century, resisting the more rugged topography advocated by Richard Payne Knight’s new generation of Romantics.