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American Garden Writers Set the English Garden on a Pedastal

Nineteenth century American garden writers often preferred the English garden style in their writing.

Buffalo landscape designer Elias Long had some revealing comments about the English gardener and the English garden in his book Ornamental Gardening (1884).

A garden in Newburyport, Mass with a Victorian fountain in the center.

He wrote: “The English possess a much greater love for, and knowledge of, everything pertaining to gardening than do Americans.”

Such writing could have made American gardeners feel inadequate, and thus they perhaps  sought out English garden fashion.

Chicago landscape designer Wilhelm Miller wrote a book in 1908 called What England Can Teach Us About Gardening.  He opened with these words: “The purpose of this book is to inspire people to make more and better gardens.”

Last weekend  I attended the Newburyport, Mass. annual garden tour, sponsored by the Historical Society of Old Newbury.  The garden above was one of the  twelve gardens on the tour.  The Victorian fountain, a reminder of nineteenth century America, caught my attention.




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