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Loudon Featured a Masschusetts Landscape in the First Year of His Magazine

When John Claudius Loudon (1783-1843) began his garden publication Gardener’s Magazine in England of 1826, his goal was to educate gardeners but especially cottagers, the working class, or peasant population, to learn more about gardening.

He made that goal clear in the first issue of the magazine.

Early on in the magazine he also wrote that many people did not understand landscape gardening, and he had seen a decline in the art of landscape gardening in the years leading up to the debut of the magazine .

Theodore Lyman Property, Waltham, Mass. [Gardener's Magazine, 1826]
Theodore Lyman Property, Waltham, Mass. [Gardener’s Magazine, 1826]

A North American property he did admire was the Lyman Estate in Waltham, Massachusetts.  He included an illustration of it in his magazine.[above]  The property reflected the English origin of its design. A lawn and deer park were the central features Loudon mentioned.

Loudon’s magazine said, “This residence is situated in a very flourishing country, about nine miles from Boston. The grounds round the house consist of a lawn of a mile in length in front, upon which there are many fine oaks, English and American elms, Linden and other valuable forest trees, A deep and clear stream of water, varying in breadth, runs the whole length of the lawn, and afterwards falls into Charles river.”

It was important that through his magazine he let the world know that the English garden had reached a height from which Britain could teach the world the essentials of gardening, whether in Europe or North America.

The fact that he singled out Theodore Lyman’s property says a great deal both about the property and also that the American garden sought the English standard from which to measure its own value as a garden.

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