Almost 300 years ago a genius called
Capability Brown was at the cutting edge of fashion in landscape design. He had a natural talent for creating landscape gardens that fitted in seamlessly with the
countryside around him, but he didn’t keep very meticulous records. So we don’t know what’s his and what’s somebody else’s. But there are a few hints and tips that
we can give you that might help you spot when you’re wandering through a
Capability Brown landscape in the countryside Number One. Rivers that aren’t rivers. Brown liked his lakes to be winding and snaky. He was an expert at tricking you into thinking a lake is a river. Number Two. Plane trees and cedar trees, especially near bridges. These aren’t native to England and not many other gardeners used them in big open landscapes, but Brown really liked them. Number three. Clumps of trees. If you think about it trees don’t usually grow in little groups with nothing else around them. They’ve been specially planted and cared for to look like this. Number four. Lawns that come right up to the front door. A few decades before Brown came along
the fashion was for formal gardens close to the house with the wilder parkland further off. Brown swept all of that away and brought the open turf right up to the window. Now he wasn’t the first to do this, but this was a style that he used a lot. All of that is just guidelines of course. Not a guarantee. But you never know the landscape around you could have been planted by Capability Brown.