Blenheim Palace Gardens – Henry Wise, c1705
Rousham Gardens – William Kent / Charles Bridgeman, 1720
We start the day at Rousham, an excellent example of an Augustan landscape garden, designed by William Kent on a prior framework by Charles Bridgeman in the 1720s. The gardens are an early example of formal garden design mixed with a carefully designed natural landscape style. Kent is known for his “picturesque”, or English landscape garden. He envisioned the landscape as a classical painting, carefully arranged to maximize the artistic effects of light, shape, and colour. His gardens are dotted with classical temples and their philosophical associations. At Rousham, Roman elements abound, including statuary, urns, and a classical temple looking over the River Cherwell.