Definitions

English garden

English garden

The term English garden or English park (Jardin anglais, Giardino all'inglese, Englischer Landschaftsgarten) is used in Continental Europe to refer to a type of natural-appearing large-scale landscape garden with its origins in the English landscape gardens of the 18th century, especially those associated with Capability Brown. The two English parks most influential on the Continent were those of Stowe, Buckinghamshire, and Stourhead, Wiltshire. The European "English garden" is characteristically on a smaller scale and more filled with "eye-catchers" than most English landscape gardens: grottoes, temples, tea-houses, belvederes, pavilions, sham ruins, bridges and statues, though the main ingredients of the English garden in England are sweeps of gently rolling ground and water, against a woodland background with clumps of trees and outlier groves. The name— not used in the United Kingdom, where "landscape garden" serves— differentiates it from the formal baroque design of the French formal garden. One of the best-known English gardens in Europe is the Englischer Garten in Munich.

In the United Kingdom the style is particularly associated with Capability Brown. The dominant style was revised in the early nineteenth century to include more "gardenesque features, including shrubberies with gravelled walks, tree plantations to satisfy botanical curiosity, and, most notably, the return of flowers, in skirts of sweeping planted beds. This is the version of the landscape garden most imitated in Europe in the nineteenth century. The outer areas of the "home park" of English country houses retain their naturalistic shaping. English gardening since the 1840s has been on a more restricted scale, closer and more allied to the residence.

The canonical European English park contains a number of Romantic elements. Always present is a pond or small lake with a pier or bridge. Overlooking the pond is a round or hexagonal pavilion, often in the shape of a monopteros, a Roman temple. Sometimes the park also has a "Chinese" pavilion. Other elements include a grotto and imitation ruins.

Notable designers of the English prototypes of the Englischer Garten include John Vanbrugh (1664-1726). Stephen Switzer (1682-1745), the poet Alexander Pope (1688-1744), Charles Bridgeman (1690-1738), William Kent (1685-1748), and Capability Brown (1716-1783).

A second style of English garden, which became popular during the twentieth century in France and northern Europe, is the late nineteenth-century English cottage garden.

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