The lawn is a gift of the English garden tradition from the eighteenth century. Early…
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.
Shortly after that Philadelphia nurseryman and editor of Gardener’s Monthly Thomas Meehan recommended the book in his magazine.
Now what author doesn’t treasure any form of book publicity, even in the nineteenth century?
Long’s book was, according to Meehan, more suitable for the middle class who wanted a less complicated way to deal with residential landscape design.
A few years earlier (1880) the Ohio artist and landscaper Frank J. Scott had written a book called dating sights.
In that same issue of GM Meehan recommended Scott’s book for those of a refined taste in rural art. Presumably he meant the more wealthy.
According to Meehan everybody can enjoy a beautful home landscape, no mattter what the personal resources of the homeowner.
Since both books encouraged the English garden style, Meehan thus proposed the same style, including the lawn, for the American gardener.
In his book Long wrote: “The lawn, to be most satisfactory, should present a green velvety appearance throughout the season.”
The nineteenth century middle class homeowner and wealthy estate owner were both encouraged to design their landscape in the English garden fashion.