Last edited 19 Jul 2021

Capability Brown

Capability Brown, real name Lancelot Brown (c.1715-16 – 1783), was an English landscape architect who designed more than 170 parks and came to be celebrated as ‘England’s greatest gardener’.

The nickname ‘Capability’ stemmed from the tendency Brown had to inform clients that their property had ‘capability for improvement’.

Brown’s style is characterised by the smooth grass of the garden leading straight up to the house, trees scattered in groups, and serpentine lakes formed by small rivers. His style was so dominant that it almost completely supplanted the previous fashion for formally patterned styles of landscape gardening.

Brown’s work can still be found at Croome Court, Blenheim Palace, Warwick Castle, Harewood House, Milton Abbey, in parts at Kew Gardens, and others.

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