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Americans Consulted English Garden Writers

I just finished a massive volume on early American gardens, published by the Garden Club of America.

The title says it all: The Golden Age of American Gardens: Proud Owners, Private Estates, 1890-1940.

The authors Mac Griswold and Eleanor Weller published this massive tome in 1991.

There are hundreds of gardens mentioned from around the country, from Maine to California.

The authors must have spent days, weeks, months, and perhaps years of research, just collecting information on the gardens listed.

The book is truly an important addition to the history of American gardening. The book is divided into areas of the country, and then discusses the important gardens in a particular state within that area.

What I remember most is the influence of English garden design on the American stage.

They write, “Comparisons drawn between the gardens of Europe and America were widespread.

“English books on gardening were consulted as often as American ones, especially the works of William Robinson and Gertrude Jekyll.”

One of Robinson’s books is instrumental for guidance when including a wild garden in the landscape. The book, The Wild Garden, is still referenced today for ideas on what to do when you want to install such a garden. [below]

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