The approaching twin anniversaries of the deaths of Jane Austen, in 1817, and Humphry Repton, in 1818, have galvanised Tim into preparing a treatment on the gardens of the Regency period. It is hoped that the book will appear in late 2017 or early 2018 entitled All around is Fairy Ground - Pleasure and the Regency Garden to coincide with an exhibtion on Repton.
The gardens of the period are characterized by exuberant formal parterres, jewelled island beds of graduated flowers, frothy basket-work borders, shrubberies laced with flowers and over-arching trellises covered with rambling roses, jasmine and clematis; while the lawns, enamelled with spring bulbs, are enlivened with elegant vases, strewn with Chinese barrels for casual alfresco seating, cut with oval reflecting pools backed by specimen trees and dramatized by deep-delved grottoes and garden buildings in every conceivable style from Turkish to Indian. Each pleasure ground had its meshed aviary and pheasantry, there were fountains with writhing dolphins, rustic garden seats, thatched and pebble-floored, Swiss-style bridges, greenhouses and conservatories overflowing with exotics. These flowery paradises were readily accessed from the house via ground-length sash windows, tree-trunked verandahs entwined with climbers and conservatories arcing out from the house into the garden. By day they were ablaze with colour and by night, lit by coloured lamps hanging from the trellises and the trees, they sparkled and glittered.
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