Rock Gardening in 19th Century America Followed the English Garden Tradition

English garden writer Edward Hyams in his book The English Garden discusses rock gardening, something that I love in my own garden, where I have a substantial amount of ledge.

He claims that the English garden gave the world the ‘rock garden’.  Perhaps a bit of exaggeration, but let’s look at what he said.

Hyams writes: “A relatively modern development in English gardening, imitated all over the world, is that of rock gardening.  It is derived from the work of collectors sending back plants and seeds from flora of  mountain systems all over the world, the flora which are to be found between the upper limit of the tree line, and the lower limit of perpetual snow.”

Vick's Illustrated MonthlyThe Rochester, NY seedsman James Vick (1818-1882)  also wrote about rock gardens in his catalog and monthly magazine. Thus American gardeners too became fans of the English rock garden.

This black and white drawing [left] appeared in Vick’s Illustrated Monthly of 1879. Notice the detail of the various plants including ferns and hosta.

Are you a fan of rock gardens?

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