The Lawn: Signature Feature of the English Garden

Beginning in 1859, and for the next twenty-nine years,  Philadelphia nurseryman Thomas Meehan published a magazine called Gardener’s Monthly.  He often provided advice on taking care of the lawn, thus establishing its importance in the home landscape.

Meehan wrote in the magazine’s 1860 issue: “The rarest flowers-the choicest fruits-the nicest arrangement of all things on the most scientific principles, are

lost to us, if they are not crowned by a perfect lawn.  To the lawn we bow; and as a subject of horticulture, offer to the lawn our strongest allegiance.”

In February 1869 Meehan wrote in his magazine that the lawn meant more to Americans than to the English: “Much as the lawn plays a part in English gardening, it is of much more account with us. Our heats render the grass particularly refreshing.”

It is little wonder that the pursuit of the perfect lawn, the signature feature of the English garden, lies deep in the American psyche.

 

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