The lawn is a gift of the English garden tradition from the eighteenth century. Early…
On my visit to England I had to experience the gardens of Hampton Court.
The property abuts the River Thames. I walked down to the water and could imagine centuries ago summer visitors arriving by boat.
Recently I read the book Furor Hortensis: Essays on the History of the English Garden, edited by Peter Willis. There I read these words: “Hampton Court is the best surviving large scale example in England of Le Notre’s style.”
Andre Le Notre (1613-1700) was the French landscape gardener, famous for the gardens of Versailles. His approach often took a formal, symmetrical look to the garden
In Hampton Court we see a sixteenth century English version of Le Notre’s style.
In th next century, the seventeeenth, England would change its garden style and launch a movement called the picturesque, then the gardenesque, and later in the nineteenth century the Romantic. Each of these styles began as an attempt to design in a different style from the formal, symmetrical look, while sometimes incorporating a bit of symmetry.
Hampton Court stands as an early version of the English landscape garden when the landscape design took a more formal look.