Once dubbed “preposterous inconveniences” by Horace Walpole in his hugely influential essay “On Modern Gardening” of 1780, the extravagant formal gardens of late Stuart and early Georgian England have been consistently eclipsed by their famed “Natural” successors, known the world over as members of that vaunted movement: the “English Landscape Garden.” With their array of literary, political, and painterly allusions, English landscape gardens have captivated generations of scholars and punters alike. Prominent surviving examples at Stowe, Rousham, and Stourhead are lauded for their crucial role in the birth of the picturesque, while Lancelot “Capability” Brown remains the most celebrated figure in British horticultural history, as the scores of monographs and widespread celebrations for the tercentenary of his birth in 2016 attest. In stark contrast,...

 

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