Landscape planted by Lancelot "Capability" Brown 1716 -1783
Brown was born in Northumberland, and moved south in his early twenties. He was appointed Head Gardener at Stowe in 1741, and remained there for ten years, leaving after the death of Lord Cobham to set up an independent landscape and architecture practice. In 1758 he applied for, and failed to obtain, the post of Head Gardener to Princess Augusta at Kew. However, in 1764 Brown was appointed Master Gardener at Hampton Court, and was engaged by George III to re-landscape Richmond Gardens. As at Stowe, his designs involved replacing the work of Bridgeman, and here also that of Kent. To Bridgeman’s straight avenues, and Kent’s follies, Brown preferred gently undulating lawns, with views between various-sized clumps of trees of a body of water in the middle-distance – a landscape seen as desolate by a number of critics. He therefore had all of Kent’s buildings demolished, except the Hermitage, which was left as a ruin, and the Terrace removed, to integrate the river by taking the lawns right to the water’s edge. He also created the Hollow Walk, in 1773, which was initially planted with laurels, but is now the Rhododendron Dell – the only surviving Brownian feature in the gardens.