Humphrey Repton, one of the greatest landscape designers of the world, died in 1818 yet George Carter shows that his thoughts on gardens and design are as pertinent, relevant and applicable today as when he alive. Read all in Setting the Scene: A Garden Design Masterclass from Repton to the Modern Age.

An example of an approach to a house

George Carter has had a very successful career in garden design, both at home in the United Kingdom and around the world. He has won eight Gold Medals at the Chelsea Flower Show and has written two very well received books, Garden Space and Garden Magic.

This book is almost a textbook of garden design with chapters organised under various headings – Character, Situation, The Flower Garden, Water in the Garden, Ornament, Buildings etc etc with each chapter introduced with a quotation from Humphrey Repton and the theme then illustrated through gardens the author has created himself.

Structure in the garden.

It is remarkable how perfectly applicable Humphrey Repton’s thoughts are even today and the author elucidates how he has worked to those theories of design and illustrates how he has worked through the development of the gardens he discusses from initial assessment to the finished project.

This is a book which the student of garden design and the lover of gardens will enjoy. It is well written and, with photography from Marianne Majerus, perfectly illustrated as one would expect.

Fences and gates!

To finish, one quotation from Humphrey Repton: On Ornament:  “There is no circumstance in which bad taste is so conspicuous, as in the misuse of ornaments and decorations . . . the landscape . . .  if encumbered by buildings in bad taste, or crowded by such as are too large, too small, or in any aspect inapplicable, however correct they be as works of art, the scene will be injured, and thus a thatched hovel may be deemed an ornament, where a Corinthian temple would be misplaced, or vica versa.”   Theory and Practice, 1803

[Setting the Scene: A Garden Design Masterclass from Repton to the Modern Age, George Carter, Pimpernel Press, London, 2018, Hardback, 208 pages, £50, ISBN: 978-1-910258-59-0]