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Americans Imitated Japanese Gardens after 1893 Columbian Exhibition in Chicago

The search for the latest in garden fashion is nothing new.

The nineteenth century Exhibitions in major European and American cities  gave people a chance to see how other cultures gardened.

In the Agricultural Building at the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893 the Japanese exhibit included a garden.

Denise Otis wrote in her book Grounds for Pleasure: “After Americans saw the Japanese garden at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia and subsequent ones in 1893 and 1894, Japanese gardens too became prized features on the estates of those who collected gardens in different styles.”

The Japanese garden at the Botanical Gardens at the Huntington Library in San Marino, California reopened  this past spring. The garden dates to 1911.  It is an example of Otis’ reference to

Japanese Garden at the Huntington Garden in California [Courtesy photo from the Huntington]
estate owners, in this case Henry Huntington, who installed the Japanese style of garden as part of the landscape.

Since gardening is a type of fashion, it is no surprise that as gardeners we are all in search of the latest and newest.

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