During the nineteenth centry seed companies and nurseries failed to promote native plants. The English however grew them with pride.
Buffalo landscape designer Elias Long wrote a book in 1884 called Ornamental Gardening for Americans: A Treatise on Beautifying Homes, Rural Districts, Towns and Cemeteries.
He said in the book: “They [the English] also explain why many of our own native trees, shrubs, and flowers are better known and appreciated abroad than at home.”
Though a few seed companies and nurseries would promote native plants, it would not be until into the twentieth century that the green industry recognized native American plants.
At the beginning of the twentieth century midwest landscape gardeners brought a new focus on native plants, or what they called ‘prairie plants’. That movement reminded people that we had worthwhile native plants for the garden.
American gardening evolved so that today we see more value in our own native plants, and encourage them for the landscape.
That certainly was not always the case.