In a recent letter to the editor in the Boston Globe Jeffrey Collins, director at…
Lately I have been reading about gardening in the nineteenth century.
By the 1870s the garden Industry witnessed more seed companies and nurseries spreading across the country.
Every homeowner wanted a landscape with a garden.
The seed houses and nurseries, however, had as their goal the ‘selling of the garden.’
They felt it was their job to sell the consumer ways to make money off the garden. Therefore they wrote about ways one could succeed in harvesting a crop, selling flowers, and joining an outside market to peddle your goods.
We are talking about gardening, and love of gardening, or are we?
Cheryl Lyon-Jenness, author of For Shade and For Comfort, wrote an article called “Planting a Seed: The Nineteenth-Century Horticultural Boom in America.”
She points out the heavy commercializing of gardening in the nineteenth century.
Lyon-Jenness then adds that there was not a surge to profit from gardening from every voice, though.
In 1872 the Pomological Society of Michigan cautioned against the onrush in garden writing about the financial gain found in gardening .
The Society published an article called “Floriculture for the Million.”
It said, “It is time that some improvement should be taking place in our horticultural literature; we have, I think, enough books like some recently published: ‘Money in the Garden,’ ‘Gardening for Profit.’ ‘Practical Floriculture,’ teaching mainly how to grow fruits, vegetables, and flowers to sell.
“Let us have something like ‘The delight of Horticulture,’ ‘The moral use of flowers,’ and books of that character, and it will be the commencement of better times in horticulture.”
I never thought of it that way.
We don’t always have to make money from gardening, or see gardening in dollar signs.
Sometimes, can’t we just enjoy gardening?