The lawn is a gift of the English garden tradition from the eighteenth century. Early…
The home landscape became quite similar from California to Maine in the nineteenth century, largely due to the seed and nursery catalogs that sold the romantic English garden in word and images.
Recently I came across the book The American Family Home 1800-1960 by Clifford Edward Clark, Jr.
Clark’s cover illustrates that standardized home landscape quite well. [below] For the book’s cover he borrowed this illustration from Robert W. Shoppell’s book Builders’ Portfolio.
The illustration depicts a Victorian home with the lawn which is surrounded by a wrought iron fence.
That became the look of the home landscape across the country at that time.
Clark writes: “The suburban landscape was itself redesigned to reinforce a feeling of protectiveness by using trees, lawns, and parks to create a pastoral-like setting. With its green lawns, special plantings, flowering shrubs, and shade trees, nature itself was tamed and controlled in the suburbs.”
To own a home in the suburbs meant a landscape of lawn with trees to line the property.