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Gardens Of England

Gardens Of EnglandGardens of the National Trust First published in 1996, this new edition has been substantially revised to showcase superb new photography, and to introduce recently acquired properties such as Greenway in Devon and the gardens of houses such as Red House in Kent and Tyntesfield in Somerset. Stephen Lacey paints a vivid picture of individual Trust gardens through historical and horticultural perspectives. He gives his personal take, describing the present state of each and placing it firmly within the context of gardening history in Britain. All the major periods are represented: a knot garden from a 1640 design at Moseley Old Hall in Staffordshire; magnificent eighteenth-century landscapes such as 'Capability' Brown's at Petworth in Sussex; Victorian Gardens like Biddulph Grange in Staffordshire, with its wealth of new plants introduced from all over the world; and the famous plantsmen's gardens of the last century, such as Nymans in Sussex, Sissinghurst Castle in Kent, and Hidcote in Gloucestershire.

William KentWilliam Kent: Architect, Designer, Opportunist William Kent (1685-1748) was great without a hint of gravitas, a con man who became one of the artistic geniuses of his age. He was a high camp Yorkshire bachelor, brought back by Lord Burlington from an artistic apprenticeship in Rome where he had painted for a cardinal and won prizes from a pope. In London, he charmed the surly old Hanoverian King George I, redecorated Kensington Palace for him with a clumsy bravura, and survived the subsequent critical storm - just. England was in stylistic chaos after rejecting its lawful Stuart rulers and Burlington was imposing a chaste and dreary Palladianism on a philistine island people. Kent saw his chance and never looked back. Queen Caroline, the real ruler, used him to project in sensational garden buildings by the Thames at Richmond her vision of a new scientific Britain. Sir Robert Walpole paid him to turn Houghton Hall in Norfolk into an imperial palace outshining anything the German monarchs could raise. Another prime minister, the virtuous Henry Pelham, built with Kent a revolutionary suburban bolt-hole in Surrey. Between them they invented the Gothic Revival out at Esher, but have never been given the credit. Late in life, while raising an alabaster temple to Jupiter at Holkham Hall, also in Norfolk, and the sexiest interiors in London on Berkeley Square, Kent was discovering his true genius, laying out casually at Esher, Stowe in Buckinghamshire and Rousham near Oxford, the Arcadian image of the 'English Garden' that would take the continent, even France, by storm as England's only original contribution to European culture.

The Renaissance Garden in EnglandThe Renaissance Garden in England The great formal gardens of Tudor and Stuart England are a lost art form. This book sets out to evoke both the people and the ideas that led to the creation of the English Renaissance garden. The great formal gardens of Tudor and Stuart England are a totally lost art form. Swept away by the exponents of the landscape style in the 18th century, they are now seen in the form of Victorian re-creations around the ancient manor houses of England. But before Repton, Capability Brown and Henry Wise, England had been open to all the impulses that made the Renaissance garden. Up to the outbreak of the Civil War in 1642, the response had been some of the most legendary garden complexes of Renaissance Europe: Henry VIII's Hampton Court, Burgley's Theobalds, Lord Pembroke's Wilton. Intertwined with this story, which touches on the history of politics, art, architecture, literature and ideas, are some of the great figures of the age: Robert Cecil, Francis Bacon, Inigo Jones, Lucy Harington, Countess of Bedford, Charles I and Henrietta Maria, John Evelyn and Andrew Marvell. The study includes some visual material in the form of plans, diagrams, views and engravings of the lost gardens of Tudor and Stuart England.

The English GardenThe English Garden: A Social History At every stage in every age, we need to ask what owners sought from their gardens. We need to find an answer to the question, what are gardens really for? Charles Quest-Ritson sets out to provide an answer in this history of the English country garden which explains why it changed and evolved as it did. Central to the book is an analysis to how the costs and benefits of gardens and gardening have been perceived through the centuries and the changing aspirations of garden-owners. He explains the social implications of such innovations as garden temples, vineries and herbaceous boarders. We are told that Capability Brown swept away the formal garden of clipped boxes at Pentworth or Longleat and replaced it with a flowing landscape of trees, grass and water. But no one asks why owners were constrained to change their gardens so radically. Why was the formal garden, which had been such a symbol of culture, power and control for 250 years, swept away so suddenly and so completely? Was it just a change of fashion or were there deeper social or financial changes which ushered in the new style? Whilst the gardens of the rich have always been impressive symbols of social and economic success, the gardens of the poor, by contrast, began as a basic means of survival. In a survey spanning the last 500 years, the author shows how gardens have altered across the generations in direct response to changes in society. This is an illuminating piece of social history which reflects England's constant fascination with its gardens and their owners.

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