Nineteenth Century Communication Inventions Encouraged a Media-Driven Garden

The story goes that a few years ago right after Martha Stewart wrote about hydrangeas in her magazine, garden centers around the country couldn’t keep the plant in stock.

Garden fashion according to the media inspired those gardeners who wanted that hydrangea.

The media-generated garden is a product of late nineteenth century America. Seed and nursery catalogs were printed in the hundreds of thousands.  The audience  became a national readership.

Clifford Edward Clark, Jr. author of the book The American Family Home, 1800-1960 wrote : “The inventions of the typewriter, linotype, photoengraving, and the sextuple printing press led to a revolution in communications at the turn of the century.”

More people could receive the catalog and read about new plants.  Garden magazines featured new plants as well.  More books on gardening appeared than ever before.

All made possible by the new media technology emerging in the late nineteenth century.

Gardening would never be the same: seeds, plants, lawn mowers, tools, urns, sprinklers, rollers, statuary – to name just a few of the products  sold to the modern American gardener right before 1900.

A media-generated garden appeared for the first time.  People gardened according to what the media told them was important. And they bought garden products.

Today’s scenario for the gardener continues although with more information than ever. We read books, magazines, newspaper articles, and catalogs. We watch HGTV. We search online for garden information and even garden blogs.  All so that we can learn the latest and the newest in gardening.

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