Born - Died : 1783 - 1843
Loudon is the only polymath to have taken up the profession of landscape design in the British Isles. The son of a farmer, he studied at the University of Edinburgh and arrived in London at the age of 20 with letters of introduction. This led to a series of commissions for landscape projects in which he sought to introduce 'more of the picturesque' into the English landscape. The results were illustrated in his 1806 Treatise on Country Residences. Ill health having halted this career, he took the lease of a farm, made a fortune and set out to see Europe. This experience gave him an admiration for the 'old' 'formal' 'geometric' gardens which had been out of favour in England for a century. He praised them in his Encyclopaedia of Gardening (1822) and later advocated a style of planting design which he named Gardenesque. The aim was to place exotic species in natural compositions. The influence of this idea lives on. Loudon was an advocate of public parks and published important works on glass houses, architecture, horticulture and agriculture. See biography of John Claudius Loudon, by his wifeï¾ Jane Loudon.