The name Lancelot 'Capability' Brown (1716-83) has become synonymous with the eighteenth-century English landscape garden.
Ruthlessly efficient, he could stake out the 'capabilities' of a particular terrain within an hour on horseback.
Rising to the position of Master Gardener to George III, his trademark features included bald lawns, clumped trees, lakes and enclosing belts of woodland on the estate's perimeter, setting a park formula that lasted well into the next century.
Laura Mayer presents a concise and colourful introduction to Brown and other leading landscape gardeners of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, such as William Kent, Richard Payne Knight and Humphry Repton.
She explores how competing ideas in garden design were shaped both by changes in prevailing fashion and by the innovations of particular designers, and why Brown's designs are currently considered to be the epitome of landscape gardening in this period.