am reading a new edition of the book English Pleasure Gardens by the American garden writer Rose Standish Nichols, which first appeared in 1902. She wrote: “The Graeco-Roman style of garden brought to its perfection in the first century before Christ-the period of the conquest of England-is the most interesting to us as showing the style likely to have been introduced by the Romans into Great Britain.” That style included water fountains and statuary in the garden
The important point she makes is that the English garden has beginnings in the Roman garden tradition, which itself shows much influence from Greece. Gardening styles depend on the gardens of other cultures. We impact one another in that way.
At England’s grand landscape at Stourhead the building called the Pantheon, constructed in the mid 1700s, has a distinct Greek name, at a time when the English continued to show an interest in the classics. Many were reading Latin writers such as Virgil’s work on farming and gardens.
Any country’s garden style has origins in how people before them gardened. That style often comes from other cultures. Here in America we look at our nineteenth century garden style as a reflection of the English style, which had evolved over centuries, and in the nineteenth century was called picturesque, then gardenesque, and finally formal.
Today where do you get your ideas for gardening?