Capability Brown joins the Chichele Garden Fair

In 2016 Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown added a new dimension to the Chichele Garden Fair in Higham Ferrers.

The Fair, organised by Higham Ferrers, Business and Community Partnership, worked in collaboration with the Northamptonshire Gardens Trust to celebrate Capability’s 300th birthday. There was an exhibition of the great man’s work in Northamptonshire, a film of Castle Ashby, one of his most well-known landscape masterpieces, together with a model of Knuckle Bone Arbour at Castle Ashby complete with bonsai trees.

Involving local schools

Visitors were treated to special celebratory birthday cake donated by Waitrose who also sponsored a children’s Tree Art Competition featuring trees that Capability Brown would have planted. A Name Capability Brown’s Horse competition was sponsored by Wyevale Garden Centre in Podington.

Another special feature this year was the Best of British Scarecrow competition where children from Higham Ferrers Junior School displayed a fantastic array of famous Britons, from Her Majesty the Queen to Geri Halliwell in her Union Jack dress.

Capability Brown exhibition on tour

In June, visitors to Wyevale Garden Centre in Podington will have the opportunity to see the Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown: the Man and his work in Northamptonshire  exhibition and a chance to enter the Name Capability Brown’s Horse competition

Throughout the summer the exhibition will tour other Wyevale Garden Centres in Northamptonshire; Wellingborough in July, Harlesden in August, and Northampton in September.

New book signing

Steffie Shields, a well-known Brownaholic, accompanied the exhibition signing copies of her newly published book Moving Heaven & Earth: Capability Brown's Gift of Landscape. Jane Brown, the author of The Omnipotent Magician: Lancelot 'Capability' Brown: 1716–1783, was also there to share her expertise.

A beautiful day!

The sun shone, the gardens looked splendid, thanks to a dedicated band of volunteers, and there was an interesting diversity of garden related stalls from plants to pots of honey. 

Many hundreds of people enjoyed a truly community focused event, learning a little more about garden history, buying plants and produce or simply relaxing in the special atmosphere of the Chichele College Garden and savouring Capabili-Teas.