During the mid nineteenth century Andrew Jackson Downing, America’s premier nineteenth century landscape gardener, admired the garden at Chatsworth, the work of head gardener Joseph Paxton (1803-1865).
In 1850 Downing visited England’s Chatsworth, begun in 1617. He later wrote these words: “Chatsworth, the magnificent seat of the Duke of Devonshire, has the unquestionable reputation of being the finest private country residence in the world.”
You know since you need inspiration for a garden or landscape, you sometimes borrow ideas from other gardens you have visited. In one sense it is a high form of admiration.
Downing, like any gardener, found a certain enjoyment in visiting such grand gardens as Chatsworth. They inspired his writing about the kind of home ladnscape America needed at that time, a fashion quite similar to the English garden, though adapted for the American home.
He describes the landscape of Chatsworth in detail, including the water fountains, the rock garden, the arboretum, the greenhouses, and, of course, the lawn that gives the sense of a park to the estate.
You can still see the Chatsworth lawn in the photo here. [below] It is a lawn that Capability Brown installed during the eighteenth century, bestowing upon it even more historical importance.
Downing, a New York nurseryman who wrote several books and edited the magazine The Horticulturist, admired the English garden style. He admitted that his writing depended on the work of English horticulturalist John Claudius Loudon, who had published a garden magazine and many books. Loudon’s magazine also included articles written by Downing. Loudon was probably the most influential English garden writer in the first half of the nineteenth century.
What style does your garden represent? Who is your inspiration for your garden?
Downing admired Joseph Paxton’s English garden at Chatsworth.