The lawn is a gift of the English garden tradition from the eighteenth century. Early…
The American Garden versus the English Garden.
Recently I came across an article by Noel Kingsbury that brought out the difference between the English garden and the American garden.
The name of the article was Why American yards will never rival British gardens.
I couldn’t believe it.
The story features Daniela Coray, an American garden designer who studied in England where she won awards for her designs. She later came to America to work as a garden designer for a Washington, DC garden center.
Coray said, “This is a key difference between American and English gardening… it’s a status symbol. We don’t have a robust gardening culture and I rarely have clients interested in planting.”
Americans, she argues, are more interested in how the garden provides a sense of social status.
I understand that motivation completely. It supports the reason that from the mid-nineteenth century many people spent fortunes on their suburban landscapes.
Last week I flew to Florida to attend the Tropical Plant Industry Exhibition in Fort Lauderdale, a trade show for the green industry. The show included over 400 growers, many from southern Florida, with about 16,000 attendees who were mainly garden center owners in search of plants.
The day before the show started several of us took a special bus tour of gardens in the Coconut Grove section of Miami.
There we visited a beatiful garden, designed in a modern style, that showed exquisite use of lawn, shrubs, grasses, as well as orchids in the landscape. Here is a photo of the garden that I took that day. [below]
I think it is a beatiful garden.
Since the nineteenth century the seed companies and nurseries of America have considered the English garden the preeminent garden.
I think, however, we have some outstanding gardens here in America.
What do you think?