Those who have had the pleasure of meeting John Phibbs and hearing him talk will know that Lancelot 'Capability' Brown has no greater fan or more eloquent advocate ... 'Place-making' demonstrates not only the vast scale on which Brown and his labourers worked, but also the ingenuity, variety, and unequalled sheer beauty of his creations, and is essential reading for anyone seeking a fuller understanding of England's most famous but elusive landscape designer.
London Landscapes Autumn/Winter 2017
This book, long awaited and many years in the making, is awe inspiring in its scope, depth and detail. ...The publication is undoubtedly handsome, with a wealth of illustrative material both historical and modern. ... the book is essential reading, to be used primarily as a source of reference, for anyone studying Brown and his landscapes, or indeed the eighteenth-century landscape garden generally. ... it is greatly rewarding to be able to enjoy the fruits of so much thought, knowledge and experience.
Garden History, 46:1, 2018
Luxuriously illustrated with drawings, plans, engravings, photographs and paintings, the book beautifully brings to the light the highlights of Brown's long career as a landscape designer.
S. C. Scott, McDaniel College, USA
Choice Connect, June 2018
... Overall, I am impressed by the energy and range of Phibbs's ideas, and so by the attempt to make of 'Capability' Brown, as a place-maker, an artist who does not to surrender to ... the picturesque put-downs ...
John Dixon Hunt
Historic Gardens Newletter, 46, November 2017
The author is the greatest living expert on Britain's greatest gardener ... Place-Making is the vessel into which John Phibbs has poured all of his retained knowledge and opinions. As a result, it's an important record that will, I'm sure, have a purpose and reputation long into the future after more lightweight volumes have been published and fallen by the wayside ... What is fascinating is the way in which he has performed an anatomical, forensic analysis of Brown's work, slicing open every minute part of the body of his landscapes and chronicling them, both individually and as parts of a whole.
... Phibbs has an extraordinary detailed knowledge of each of the parks altered by Brown ... Phibbs has done a very thorough research work in local archives in order to unearth the slightest testimony on Brown's activities and pronouncements. ... usefully challenges received ideas.