Hundreds of trees planted to celebrate Capability Brown

by | Feb 4, 2016 | Featured Slider, Latest, News

The 300th anniversary of the birth of Capability Brown is being marked with hundreds of trees planted in gardens he designed.

The National Trust has launched a year of celebrations for one of the UK’s greatest landscape gardeners with the first of a series of tree plantings at gardens in its care.

Lancelot “Capability” Brown, who gained his nickname because he would tell clients their estates had great “capability” for improvements to the landscape, transformed the look of 18th century country house gardens.

He moved hills, made flowing lakes and serpentine rivers, dug up formal gardens, drained marshland to create lakes and even moved an entire village out of sight to improve the landscape.

For the start of the celebrations, National Trust director-general Dame Helen Ghosh has planted a cedar of Lebanon at Croome in Worcestershire, one of Brown’s most significant landscapes.

The planting is part of a 10-year effort to restore the park to its former glory, as many of the trees and shrubs planted by Brown were lost during the landscape’s decline in the 20th century.

Some 10,000 trees are being planted to the landscape gardener’s original design – including 500 this year – often using GPS technology to match up planting sites to the 18th century plans, said Katherine Alker, garden and park manager at Croome.

The cedar of Lebanon, a tree used by Brown in many of his designed landscapes, replaces one lost to arable farming in the 1900s.

The National Trust is carrying out other tree plantings this spring in significant Capability Brown gardens at Sheffield Park, East Sussex; Stowe, Buckinghamshire; Wimpole, Cambridgeshire; Dinefwr, Carmarthenshire; and Wallington, Northumberland.

Dame Helen said: “Capability Brown was one of this country’s greatest landscape gardeners.

“Not only did he design or advise on over 250 landscapes in this country over four decades, but his influence spread throughout Europe.

“He created works of art in nature and we are proud to look after some of his most complete landscapes for the public to enjoy.

“We look forward to celebrating his achievements over the coming months through our events, tree plantings and continuing conservation work.”