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Loudon and the Flower Garden

John Claudius Loudon (1783-1843), a successor to both William Kent and Capability Brown, practiced a landscape design with a picturesque look.

In 1836 he drew this plan for N. M. Rothchild in which he proposed a serpentine or winding road into the property and trees spotted throughout the lawn to hide the public road.  The plan reflects the picturesque garden style that Loudon inherited from earlier designers Kent and Brown.

The plan also included a flower garden.

Flower gardens were not generally considered a part of the picturesque or naturalistic tradition, originating in the early 18th century.

Mark Laird, however, in his book The Flowering of the Landscape Garden: English Pleasure Grounds 1720-1800 makes the point that flowers were indeed part of the picturesque tradition.

Throughout his designs, beginning at Scone in Scotland, Loudon advocated  for flowerbeds in the landscape.

By mid 19th century American seedsmen and nurserymen, like A. J. Downing, proposed Loudon’s landscape design, including, of course,  flowers.  Loudon, especially through his writing, maintained a prominent role as an English  designer who inspired  American landscapes.



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