The Lawn Became the Essence of the English Garden

I have often written on this blog about the lawn.

To this day the lawn embodies the classic English garden.  That idea struck me in a book I am currently reading.

English garden writer Edward Hyams wrote in his book The English Garden: “Lawn surrounded by borders of flowering shrubs, surrounded in their turn by completely enclosing trees, is a very characteristic feature of the English garden.”

4a. spring05Today Americans still want a lawn.

Perhaps we need to devote less space to one, however.

Even perhaps replace part of the lawn with groundcover or herbs.

It is amazing that the green grass continues in importance.

The James Vick Seed Company from Rochester, New York wrote in its magazine Vick’s Illustrated Monthly  in 1884: “The lawn-mower and the massing of showy plants in beds gave a remarkable impetus to gardening in this country, and they have transformed the village and suburban grounds from plots of high-grown, tangled grass and weeds to carpets of emerald, studded with bright jewels.”

It seems the role of the lawn for the American gardener has always been important.

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Comments

  1. The look of an emerald green lawn is enticing. Mine never looks that way. It’s usually brown, and weedy. I think the use of chemicals to keep a lawn looking green is what gives lawns such a bad reputation. But, oh, if I could have a carpet of green such as the one you show pictured here! I can certainly see why that look has been copied, although not always achieved. Thanks for joining in!

    • thomasmickey says:

      I agree that the view of that green cover certainly entices many people in making decisions about the landscape. Maybe it is an ideal, and we do the best we can with the growing conditions we have. I rarely stress over the lawn, except when I have to deal with plants like adjuga creeping into the lawn.

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