Landscape art
Much of the impetus of the landscape movement was supplied by the poet Alexander Pope whose Epistle to Burlington of 1731 advised, 'In all, let Nature never be forgot ... Consult the Genius of the Place/ He was also to a great extent responsible for the 'grottomania' which gripped makers of fashionable gardens despite the scorn of Dr Johnson who wrote 'A grotto is not often the wish or pleasure of an Englishman, who has more frequent need to solicit than to exclude the sun.' Grottoes and hermitages were part of the romantic Picturesque ideal, relating landscape gardening to literature and painting in a very direct way. At Corby Castle in Cumbria during the 1720s Lord Thomas Howard developed a part of Inglewood Forest which he thought resembled Milton's Eden in Paradise Lost. His achievement is described in 1734 by Sir John Clerk. There was, and still is 'A very agreeable winding walk down to the River where there are some artificial grotos ... and statues of the rural deities ... [and] a cascade 140 feet high.'
The hermit's cave at Bowood in Wiltshire is fossil-lined and, with the adjacent cascade which pours with great vigour over rugged moss-and fern-clad rocks, was designed in 1785 for the first Marquess of Lansdowne by Charles Hamilton, taking the scene from a painting by Poussin. The early nineteenth-century turretted flint folly at Houghton Lodge, Hampshire, the mock castle at Hagley Hall, Worcestershire and the general vogue for Gothic buildings such as Brown's bath house at Corsham Court are similarly inspired by the Picturesque ideal.
"To improve the scenery of a country, and to display its native beauties with advantage, is an art which originated in England, and has therefore been called English Gardening', yet as this expression is not sufficiently appropriate, especially since Gardening, in its more confined sense of Horticulture, has been likewise brought to the greatest perfection in this country, I have adopted the term Landscape Gardening, as most proper, because the art can only be advanced and perfected by the united powers of the landscape painter and the practical gardener. The former must conceive a plan, which the latter may be able to execute; for though the painter may represent a beautiful landscape on his canvas, and even surpass Nature by the combination of her choicest materials, yet the luxuriant imagination of the. painter must be subjected to the gardener's practical knowledge in planting, digging, and moving earth; that the simplest and readiest means of accomplishing each design may be suggested; since it is not by vast labour, or great expense, that Nature is generally to be improved."
Humphrey Repton; Sketches and Hints on Landscape Gardening, 1795
The landscapers had banished not only parterres, topiary and terraces from many houses, but also the productive parts of the garden. Fruit and vegetables were relegated to positions out of sight from the house, and sometimes a considerable distance from it. Many of the walled gardens which today provide rich soil and a sheltered environment for roses and other shrubs and climbing plants are a legacy from this period. Even at the time they were built, walled gardens would have been used to grow flowers for decoration in the house, but priority was given to providing vegetables and fruit for what were, in those days, large households of family, servants and guests. Advantage could be taken of sun-warmed south- and west-facing walls for grapes, figs and peaches. For growing tender plants and for over-wintering evergreens that were susceptible to frost, greenhouses had been in use since the end of the sixteenth century, and by the end of the eighteenth many were heated by hot air, steam or hot water.
Unlike other exotic fruit, oranges and lemons were not consigned to the kitchen gardens, but occupied handsome buildings in prominent positions.