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The Landscape Garden: the quiet but startling national revolution that overthrew the parterres, avenues and canals of formal French-inspired gardens littering Britain by the 1720s. Then the drive took hold country-wide, steered by brilliant designers and visionary owners, to soften lines and create natural-looking planted park landscapes. This was on a huge scale, and all done by hand. The pioneering work and inspiration of Charles Bridgeman and William Kent, had by the 1750s developed into the landscape park and garden epitomised by our national hero Capability Brown. This was Britain's greatest contribution to the visual arts worldwide. Thousands of Landscape Gardens were created for the wealthiest people of taste, often looking so natural that we hardly recognize them as the hand of man, leaving a legacy enjoyed today. By 1800 things had turned extreme, with rugged and scary Picturesque and Sublime parks in the most scenic parts of Britain dramatizing a frisson of danger and startling surprise. Of course there was a reaction, with the reinvention of the controlled flower garden so beautifully illustrated by designer Humphry Repton. Discover the most important designers and places, including those we can still visit today. Illustrated with historic images and photographs of gardens today. Boxes give potted biographies of key designers, and insights into personalities and features.


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