Designed landscapes are usually studied at a national level, and local and regional variations largely ignored. But the ways in which different styles of design were adapted to local circumstances can tell us much about the principal aesthetic and social concerns of designers and landowners. Moreover, some aspects of local and regional variation may have a cultural and ideological dimension, and examining them may tell us much about the character of English provincial society in the post-medieval period. We thus need to think locally, as well as nationally, when studying designed landscapes: and we need to analyse them in terms of soil types and farming regions, rather than simply by administrative units such as counties. Such an approach is particularly well-suited to the skills of the landscape historian.