Partie 2 : La question environnementale

Chapitre 12 : The English landscape

The English countryside, page 30

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rolling hills
sprawling dales
to stretch away
an oak
a beech
a birch
a poplar
a willow

Also referred to as Poppy Day or Armistice Day, Remembrance Day (2nd Sunday in November) is observed in the UK and Commonwealth countries. Most people (the young included) wear a paper poppy as a buttonhole.

The English garden, page 30

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a bush
a shrub
a vine, a creeper
lily of the valley
a peony
a shed
a greenhouse
a nursery
a rake
a spade
to prune
to trim
to bloom
to blossom

Two images usually come to mind when people think of English gardens: a cottage garden stocked with roses, perennials and a picket fence, or a lavish country estate with well-tended mixed borders and formal hedges.

Lancelot “Capability” Brown (1716-1783) was the most influential designer of English landscape gardens. He eliminated geometric structures, created artificial lakes and rivers. His aim was “to create an ideal landscape out of the English countryside”.

Food for thought, page 31

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  1. There’s immense respect for country life in Britain. When you talk to English people about it, you often hear them say that they would like to live in a rural area, preferably in a cottage, surrounded by rolling hills or a lake. That’s probably why they love their back gardens, because a garden is nature, on a small scale though.
  2. A feeling for country life is supposed to relate to a feeling for the nation according to the dominant ideological schemas circulated particularly from the 19th century onwards. And this dual identification of nation and countryside is captured in the vocabulary as “countryside” contains “country”.
  3. The British feel for the countryside is particular. Here it is not regarded, as in other nations, as merely an alternative to, or escape from, the town (although that is part of it). The landscape is seen as special, even unique, in itself: ideally a small-scale, intimate and unthreatening mix of the farmed and the wild, which is pretty and charming rather than grandiose and magnificent.