Skip to content

The Development of the English Country Garden  

1600 to 1837

Blenheim Palace and Gardens
(Image by Dreilly 95 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown
Nathaniel Dance 1770

Presentation Background


A 45 minute powerpoint presentation looking at garden designers and plants-men from the Tudor period through to the accession of Queen Victoria. It looks at how our gardens changed – the tools we used,  and the influences which shaped our garden world. In particular it focuses on the work of designers such as Capability Brown, and considers inventions which changed our lives – such as the lawn-mower.

The English landscape garden, also called English landscape park or simply the English garden, is a style of “landscape” garden which emerged in England in the early 18th century, and spread across Europe, replacing the more formal, symmetrical French formal garden which had emerged in the 17th century as the principal gardening style of Europe. The English garden presented an idealized view of nature. Created and pioneered by William Kent and others, the “informal” garden style originated as a revolt against the architectural garden and drew inspiration from paintings of landscapes by Salvator Rosa, Claude Lorrain, and Nicolas Poussin.

SPACEHOLDER: Wikipedia – 2022

Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown
Nathaniel Dance 1770

Presentation – Summary & Highlights

Lancelot Brown (1715 – 1783), more commonly known as Capability Brown, was an English gardener and landscape architect, who remains the most famous figure in the history of the English landscape garden style. He is remembered as “the last of the great English 18th-century artists to be accorded his due” and “England’s greatest gardener”.

The English garden usually included a lake, sweeps of gently rolling lawns set against groves of trees, and recreations of classical temples, Gothic ruins, bridges, and other picturesque architecture, designed to recreate an idyllic pastoral landscape. The work of Lancelot “Capability” Brown was particularly influential. By the end of the 18th century the English garden was being imitated by the French landscape garden, and as far away as St. Petersburg, Russia, in Pavlovsk, the gardens of the future Emperor Paul. It also had a major influence on the form of the public parks and gardens which appeared around the world in the 19th century.The English landscape garden was usually centred on the English country house, and many examples in the United Kingdom are popular visitor attractions today.

SPACEHOLDER: Wikipedia November 2022

Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown
Nathaniel Dance 1770

Visit these sites to continue your exploration, expand your horizons with new cultural opportunities,

and contribute to charitable organizations helping people – wherever we travel.

Blenheim Palace – Official Palace Website

The Royal Collection Trust  Care and Conservation of the British Royal Collection

The National Historic Trust – “For Everyone. Forever”

The Royal Horticultural Society“Inspiring Everyone to Grow”

The British Royal Family – Official Webpage

The Children’s Society a UK National Children’s Charity allied to the Church of England

You May Also Enjoy

Mike Rendell

Author – Historian – International Lecturer

 “Pass the parcel. That’s sometimes all you can do. Take it, feel it, and pass it on. Not for me, not for you, but for someone, somewhere, one day. Pass it on, boys. That’s the game I want you to learn. Pass it on…” 

character: “Hector, the History Teacher

from Alan Bennett The History Boys 

Facebook  Twitter  Instagram

The “Mostly-Mannered”

Richard Hall 1709 – 1801

‘Georgian Gentleman’