Moving Heaven and Earth

My back has annoyingly gone again – off to the physio next Tuesday! This gives me time to read (which is heaven) and that, links me perfectly to ‘Moving Heaven and Earth’ by Steffie Shields.

Known for creating sweeping landscapes, meandering lakes, and swathes of trees in our English landscape – just who is Capability Brown, and why is so much attention being paid to him?

Through our work at Belvoir and the discovery of Brown’s original plans, my curiosity intensified. To celebrate the tercentenary of Brown’s birth this year the Duchess of Rutland resolved to complete Brown’s unfinished plan. Being part of this project, it was impossible not to become swept up in Brown euphoria.

Shields has created a book that is very readable; plenty of pictures and illustrations is a godsend for an old dyslexic like me.

Being a Lincolnshire girl, I am rather thrilled to learn his drainage skills were gained from work in our very own county, and that he married a Lincolnshire lass. So that’s the reason for success!

But there is far more to it than that. This is a lifetimes work; full of knowledge and written with passion.

What I like most about Steffie’s story is her insight into the man himself; I have learnt that Brown was an astute business man – he had to be – coming from such humble beginnings. I have learnt what an incredible communicator he was – even in today’s climate of Political Correctness – working for the aristocracy usually entails a ‘who you know’ introduction. I have learnt what charm he must have had… what an incredible salesman he must have been. I can show clients examples of my work on an ipad – he died before examples of his work were ever complete….

I am still learning……

Thank you Steffie, a great read.

Buy ‘Moving Heaven and Earth’ here

Heaven and Earth

Nikki Applewhite

Bunny Guinness and the Sunday Telegraph

I first met Bunny at one of her lectures on garden design in the north of the County. As well as feeling reassured that I was working on the right lines, she was wonderfully liberal with her advice and information.

So you can imagine my delight when I had a phone call from a dear friend, Jane Pruden (freelance writer and editor) to join her and Bunny for supper, to talk about the great Capability Brown. We never drew breath; Brown and his charm for the ladies, attacking bindweed and worries of the proposed banning of glyphosate……I had to steel myself to stop interrupting all the time!

It was a delight to see Bunny’s garden, and I was staggered at how much of the work she still does herself.

Bunny was very interested in our progress at Belvoir; the monumental task ahead and our achievements so far. Thus, the article was born.

A big thank you to Bunny and also my dear friend Jane who always champions my work!

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