The Garden Guide

Repton, Humphry

Born - Died : 1752 - 1818

English author and landscape designer. Humphry Repton was a minor squire who had worked in business and as a farmer. In 1788, at the age of 36, he decided to take up the profession of landscape gardener. A series of commissions led Humphry Repton to publish a book of Sketches and Hints on Landscape Gardening in 1795. Like his later books, it drew upon the 'Red Books' he had produced for clients. These were bound volumes making recommendations for his client's estate and making ingenious use of Repton's 'before' and 'after' sketches. Humphry Repton hoped to follow in Lancelot Brown's footsteps but much of his career was during the Napoleonic wars and he did not have the same opportunities as his predecessor. Repton believed in making a transition from a terrace near the house, through a serpentine park to a distant view. Owing to the less affluent times in which Humphry Repton worked, many of his commissions were for terraces or gardens near the house. Repton worked at Tatton Park, Woburn Abbey, West Wycombe, Harewood House, Bayham Abbey and many other places. Humphry Repton proposed his first terrace in 1791 and was to propose many thereafter. As he wrote in 1818, Humphry Repton might be accused "of often advising the same thing at different places". There is a biography of Repton, by J C Loudon,  on the Garden History CD.

Gardens designed by Repton, Humphry