The English garden, also called English landscape park, is a style of Landscape garden which emerged in England in the early 18th century, and spread across Europe, replacing the more formal, symmetrical Garden à la française of the 17th century as the principal gardening style of Europe. The English garden presented an idealized view of nature. They were often inspired by paintings of landscapes by Claude Lorraine and Nicolas Poussin, and some were Influenced by the classic Chinese gardens of the East, which had recently been described by European travelers. By the end of the 18th century the English garden was being imitated by the French landscape garden, and as far away as St. Petersburg, Russia, in Pavlovsk, the gardens of the future Emperor Paul. It also had a major influence on the form of the public parks and gardens which appeared around the world in the 19th century.
The predecessors of the landscape garden in England were the great parks created by Sir John Vanbrugh (1664–1726) and Nicholas Hawksmoor at Castle Howard (1699–1712); Blenheim Palace (1705–1722), Castle Howard, and the Claremont Landscape Garden at Claremont House (1715–1727). These parks featured vast lawns, woods, and pieces of architecture, such as the classical mausoleum designed by Hawksmoor at Castle Howard. At the center of the composition was the house, behind which were formal and symmetrical gardens in the style of the Garden à la française, with ornate carpets of floral designs and walls of hedges, decorated with statues and fountains.