2017 marks the bicentenary of Jane Austen’s death. Members of her close family were landowners and her cousin used Humphry Repton to ‘improve’ his estate at Stoneleigh Abbey. Her novels chart the shift in landscape and garden aesthetics from the Picturesque sensibilities of the 1790s to the development of Ornamental Gardening with its winding shrubberies and exotic planting.
Timothy Mowl is an architectural historian who specialises in the history of landscape design. His lecture on 27 September described changing horticultural fads as they appear within her novels.
Image shows Stoneleigh Abbey from Repton's 'Red Book'. (picture by Stoneleigh Abbey Ltd)