New Book Defines American Garden Style

Reading garden history has helped me to understand gardening today.

In his new book American Eden Wade Graham reaffirms what I have often written about here. Nineteenth century American landscape designer Andrew Jackson Downing (1815-1852) became a voice for the ideas of English garden writer John Claudius Loudon.  Graham writes: “To begin to assess the

American Eden by Wade Graham, a new book on why we garden the way we do.

legacy of Andrew Jackson Downing  and the middle 19th century on our contemporary American landscape you don’t have to look far: the nearest lawn will do, and it is most likely very near.”

Downing taught us the principles of English garden style, including the lawn,  expressed as the romantic, picturesque landscape that would later influence Frederick Law Olmsted’s design of Central Park.

If it were possible to define any national garden style in our country, Graham admits it is the lawn.

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