In a recent letter to the editor in the Boston Globe Jeffrey Collins, director at…
Advertising to a mass audience creates similar tastes. Everybody wants the same product that appears over and over again in ads.
Such is the power of modern advertising.
At the end of the nineteenth century which was the birth of modern advertising selling the garden was no different.
The seed and nursery catalogs sold the same plants and seeds, often in illustrations that were quite similar.
Garden fashion often came across in the catalog as well, which the consumer took to mean what was needed in order to show off a modern garden: a lawn, a bed of annuals on the lawn, a group of shrubs, vine on the porch, or certain trees.
Denise Otis in her book Grounds for Pleasure writes: “As you travel across the country, you will find many more similarities than differences among gardens on both coasts and everywhere in between. Had your travels taken place a hundred and fifty years ago, you might have made the same observations.”
Maureen Gilmer’s book Redwoods and Roses repeated the same idea. She included in her book the illustration of California home landscapes of the 1880s. [below #1] I added the second landscape illustration of the same period, also in California.
Both images show the gardens of California in the late nineteenth century. Notice the lawn,fence, urns, and evergreens.
When you see these gardens, you think you are seeing gardens on the east coast in that period.
This is an example of the power of modern advertising. We have to model what we do from what we see as the current fashion.