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Lanning Roper

Roper, Lanning (American-born landscape architect, lived and practiced in London, 1912-1983)

Lanning Roper was an American landscape architect who lived and practiced extensively in England, designing primarily private gardens. Roper earned his degree at Harvard University in 1933. Shortly thereafter he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, and he was deployed to the European front during World War II. Roper was in charge of Division 67 on D-Day. After the war, he returned to landscape architecture. His work emphasized the English style of border gardens with an American twist, or what the Oxford Companion to the Garden called "a relaxed English style." Roper often chose plants whose foliage followed a color scheme, and he employed strong borders of boxwood to give his gardens bold and distinctive shape. In the 1980s, Prince Charles hired Roper to design the gardens for his newly purchased estate, Highgrove, but unfortunately the project never came to fruition. Weakened by cancer, Lanning Roper withdrew from professional pursuits in 1981, and in 1983 he died at his home in London.

Roper's connection to Dumbarton Oaks was one of mutual admiration. He communicated warmly and professionally with Mildred Bliss and Beatrix Farrand, whose "curiously personal character" he claimed drove the success of the gardens at Dumbarton Oaks.  In 1959 he wrote a complimentary article about their work for the Journal of the Royal Horticultural Society. The Garden Archives contain correspondence about this article.

 

References:

Brown, Jane. Lanning Roper and his gardens. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1988.

Higgins, Adrian. "Remembering Garden Designer Lanning Roper." The Washington Post. May 16, 2012. http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/home/remembering-garden-designer-lanning-roper/2012/05/15/gIQAbIbeTU_story.html

Roper, Lanning. "Dumbarton Oaks: a Great American Garden." Journal of the Royal Horticultural Society. Vol. LXXXIV, Part 7. (July 1959).

Taylor, Patrick, editor. The Oxford Companion to the Garden. 2nd Ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009.