Friday, July 25, 2008

The Shedworker's Bookshelf - Hints on Ornamental Gardening by John Buonarotti Papworth

First an admission. I don't actually own this book, largely on the basis of price since the cheapest copy on Abebooks of Hints on Ornamental Gardening: Consisting of A Series of Designs for Garden Buildings, Useful and Decorative Gates, Fences, Railings by John Buonarotti Papworth costs £800 and the most expensive docks in at £2,600. But it (or rather 'they', as it's really a two box set) sounds like a treat (a plate from the book is pictured above).

Abebooks describes it thus:
"This is the rarest of Papworth's works following on the success of "Rural Residences". Within the context of Regency landscape architecture, Papworth proposes a variety of rural improvements which led to the "Picturesque" style of garden design, for which the English became famous."
First published in 1818, it features 27 handcoloured aquatints and some marvellous designs including small cottages for estate workers with a garden, so that the "uncultivated mind of the husbandman" is kept occupied and out of the local "village alehouse", a fishing lodge, and an ice house. Papworth himself (1775-1847) was a busy British architect, landscape designer, artist, and furniture designer who also laid out the Montpellier and Lansdowne Estates of Cheltenham.

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