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England Provided the Model for Horticultural Societies in America

The Spring Flower Shows held recently across the country provide gardeners an opportunity to learn the newest trends along with many of the traditions in American gardening.

I enjoy the annual Flower Shows and this year I attended the Show in Chicago, Hartford, and Boston. Many notes and photos from these Shows prove to me that I found something worthwhile at each of them.

Chicago Flower ShowFlower Shows, according to Richardson Wright in his book The Story of Gardening: From the Hanging Gardens of Babylon to the Hanging Gardens of New York, came as a natural consequence of the forming of horticultural societies in America.

The states with the earliest such horticultural societies include New York (1818), Pennsylvania (1827) and Massachusetts (1829).

Mass Hort SocietyHorticultural societies in America, however, reflected a similar group already in operation in England. Wright says in his book, “These organizations had frankly been based on the scheme of the London Horticultural Society, founded in 1804.”

The annual Flower Show provides us with another example of America’s dependence on the English for learning about the garden. 

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