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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

English Gardens

In the opening pages of The Uncommon Reader, the queen’s wayward dogs lead her out of the palace’s garden to the traveling City of Westminister bookmobile. The Queen’s dogs may have been romping in an English or “landscape garden,” a type of garden that has been common in Great Britain since the 18th century.

Prior to the 18th century, gardens in England were quite formal, complete with statues, fountains, etc., but as art and literature revolted against classicism, so did landscape design. The poet Alexander Pope is considered one of the originators of the modern English garden, which tended toward a more naturalistic or romantic look. Famous landscape garden designers of the era included Capability (Lancelot) Brown, Charles Bridgeman and William Kent.

For more on English gardens, browse these books:

The Garden Lover’s Guide to Britain by Patrick Taylor

The House and Garden Book of English Gardens by Peter Coats

Rosemary Verey’s English Country Gardens by Rosemary Verey

Capability Brown and the Eighteenth Century English Landscape by Roger Turner

Mark Your Calendars:

In September, look for a number of All Fairfax Reads events including:
The Features of an English GardenLearn more about the art of flower arranging and the features of an English garden with expert floral designer Bruce Nash at 7:30 on September 15 at Pohick Regional Library. Call 703-644-7333 beginning September 2 to register.

Don’t worry. We’ll reminder you closer to the date.

Gardeners – do you have an English or landscape garden in your yard? If so, share some tips.

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