Capability Brown designed Chatsworth’s landscape in the eighteenth century.
This is the 300th jubilee year of the birth of Lancelot Capability Brown (1716-1783) .
He was the most famous landscape gardener in England from 1750-1780. Some have called him “England’s greatest gardener.”
Among the gardens he designed was Chatsworth, Thomas Jefferson’s favorite English garden.
England formed an organization to provide programs and events during this year to understand and appreciate Brown’s role in the history of the English garden.
On the group’s website a representative of Chatsworth provided an article about Brown’s work there. You can check it out at this link: Chatsworth.
The 4th Duke of Devonshire (1720-1764) brought Brown to Chatsworth to redesign the landscape in what was then called the ‘modern’ style.
Brown’s associate or foreman, Michael Millican, oversaw an extensive program of earth moving, drainage, levelling and tree planting from the late 1750’s until 1765.
Millican was the ‘man on the ground’ supervising the land forming, drainage and turfing while Brown made visits to inspect and advise.How I remember my visit to Chatsworth on a June summer day. It seemed more a park than a garden, but then that was an idea included in these extensive gardens. They were often called ‘park.’
Arabella Lennox-Boyd and Clay Perry wrote a wonderful book on English garden history called Traditional English Gardens.
They write, “The eighteenth century landscapes were great works of art, their creators achieving with water, trees, earth and masonry what artists were representing with oil paint.”
English gardens like Chatsworth were considered works of art.
This year 2016 is the time to remember Lancelot Brown, the mid-eighteenth century landscape gardener who inspired that ideal landscape in over 250 sites, including Chatsworth.