Nonfiction Book Reviews
Title: Regency Gardens - Shire garden history series #7
First published 1995 in Great Britain by Princes Risborough (Bucks.) : Shire Publications Ltd.
Eighteenth-century taste was aristocratic, sanctioned by such arbiters as Lord Burlington, Addison, Pope, Hogarth and Burke. Regency taste was more flexible and intuitive and embraced a much wider and more democratic society. In place of pediments, porticoes and Palladian stairways, Regency houses had striped canopies, verandahs, balconies and ornamental ironwork and, as an accompaniment to the light playfulness of the architecture, more 'dressed' grounds near the house, with sinuous shrubberies, flowerbeds, trellis and ornate garden seats. Garden design no longer depended on extent of property for effect, as in the days of 'Capability' Brown, and estate priorities had to be reassessed to meet the cost of living in the Napoleonic Wars and increased taxation.
Gardens became increasingly important in the Regency era. The typical open landscape garden we today refer to as an English Garden fell out of favor and people once again discovered flowers! Humphry Repton was the garden designer in the forefront of the movement; turning open lawns into garden 'rooms' through the use of shrubs, thickets and herbaceous borders. All was laid out in a pleasingly manner reminiscent of classical paintings, the pinnacle of the cultivation of the picturesque.