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Images from Robinson’s Book Appear in Garden Catalogs

[left: The white Japanese anemone as it appeared in Robinson’s book The Wild Garden, the 1881 edition 

You probably like to read articles, books, blogs, whatever you can find, to become a better gardener.

James Vick (1818-1882) the Rochester, New York seedsman, saw it as his duty to teach his customers about gardening and the landscape.

He endorsed English horticulturalist William Robinson’s book The Wild Garden in his own seed catalog and monthly garden magazine.

The  image included here of the low white Japanese anemone from Robinson’s book also  appeared in Vick’s garden magazine of 1880 as the same illustration.

Vick is but one example of the  nineteenth century American seedsmen and nurserymen who saw it as their duty to teach Americans the English style of gardening.

Pittsburgh seedsman B. A. Elliott also held up the English garden as the model for the American gardener.  He wrote “We wish to acknowledge our obligation to Mr. William Robinson, of London, England, who has very kindly allowed us to use many of the beautiful engravings made for his most delightful of books, The Wild Garden. We are also indebted to this great champion of hardy flowers for some of the ideas advanced here, culled from his numerous works on gardening, which have done much to make English gardens what they are — the most beautiful in the world.”

Robinson wrote in the Introduction to his  book: “In this illustrated edition, by aid of careful drawings, I have endeavored to suggest in what the system [of the wild garden] consists.”

The Japanese anemone is a perennial that grows quite easily in the Northeast, makes a great ground cover, plus, has a showy white flower in spring.

If you grow this white Japanese anemone, you continue the English garden tradition in your own garden, at least the English garden version of William Robinson.

After buying a cutting of this plant a long time ago at a local yard sale, I  have grown the Japanese anemone for many years.  Believe me when I saw it  has spread quite a bit.  I have had to compost some of it.

Do you also grow this white Japanese anemone ? What do you like about it?


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