In the 19th Century England’s Garden Magazines Outnumbered America’s

You can judge the interest of a culture by what the media cover.

In the late nineteenth century newspapers and magazines were the major forms of mass media.

More garden magazines became available because the communication technology of that time made printing them in the thousands possible, but also because there was an audience for them  and for the products promoted within their pages.

Buffalo landscape designer Elias Long wrote a book in 1884 called  Ornamental Gardening for Americans: A Treatise on Beautifying Homes, Rural Districts, Towns and Cemeteries.

He said in the book: “A comparison of our garden literature with that of England, for example, indicates a general lack of interest in the subject.  We support but one periodical monthly, devoted to general ornamental and useful gardening. In London alone, there are published no less than five periodicals devoted to the subject, and these are weeklies, of large size”

The American magazine Long refers to was Philadelphia nurseryman Thomas Meehan’s 30-year publication called Gardener’s Monthly.

Here [left] is an American garden magazine from the early 1890s, simply called American Gardening. The image comes courtesy of MagazineArt.org.  AG was one of several garden magazines introduced in the 1890s.

For most of the nineteenth century America may not have had as many garden magazines as England, but America enjoyed a robust interest in gardening magazines later in the nineteenth century.

This was another instance in which Long promoted the English garden as the model for gardening in America.

 

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Comments

  1. I once lived in Burnley in Lancashire. I never really knew the folks there to be too much into gardening. Not like the folks down south. Of course most of Burnley was very blue collar. Most of the culture in Burnley I would describe as Daisy & Onslo from “Keeping Up appearances” if you know what I mean.

    One thing is for sure, the Brits did pioneer alot of love and techniques for the gardening world. Aussies called them Palmys for the Victorian love of anything Palm speciman looking for interior Conservtories. I can imagine what cargo ships looked like coming from around the world back to Britain with all manner of speciman collections.

    • thomasmickey says:

      Love the term ‘Palmys”. It is true the Victorians, and the Victorian gardens here in the US as well, maintained a Fernery, or Palm House for their plants that demanded a conservatory. thanks for connecting.

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