Capability Brown's Unfinished Garden

Capability Brown's Unfinished Garden


Garden designer “Capability” Brown was actually christened Lancelot. The nickname was used by his grateful clients, 18th-century England’s rich and powerful men who paid huge sums for Brown’s epic imagination.

Not everyone loves him. A current incumbent of Burghley House in Lincolnshire describes Brown as “a visionary vandal” who saw things from a very “male-centric” viewpoint. That is, Brown didn’t like flowers, so he got rid of the huge formal gardens to make great sweeping views across huge expanses of greenery and water.

Bunny Guinness, a regular panellist on Radio 4’s Gardeners’ Question Time, visits Brown’s retirement home Fenstanton, a huge estate in Cambridgeshire. Oddly, though, he never got around to landscaping his own little patch of heaven, so with her sketchbook and pencils Guinness draws some of those signature Brown touches and applies them to Fenstanton – on a computer.


Bunny Guinness tries to carry out the 18th-century English landscape designer's plans for his own garden in Fenstanton, Cambridgeshire. Brown travelled the length and breadth of the country, improving more than 200 of the greatest estates in the land, for some of the most influential people of the day, but the design for his own garden never got off the drawing board.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Bunny Guinness
Director Paul Baker
Executive Producer Diana Hare
Producer Paul Baker