Last week I had the pleasure of visiting a private garden on three acres, south…
Plant collecting reached a level in England in the early 18th century that it had never had before because of the shipping industry. Plants could be gather from remote countries like America, shipped across the sea, and planted in an English garden as part of a garden the English called an ‘American garden’, a spot just for plants from America.
Mark Laird in his book The Flowering of the Landscape Garden says that by the time of Lord Petre’s death in 1742, it is estimated that he had accumulated 219,925 plants in his extensive nurseries and grounds, most of them exotics. In 1739 he had the first camellia from Japan.
Today Monrovia, an important grower for US gardens, collects and sells plants from around the world, including varieties that horticulturalist Dan Hinkley has supplied. Hinkley travels the world, looking for plants suitable for American gardens. Below is one of the newest listings from Monrovia, Pink Yuletide Camellia, for 2011.
So the English practice of plant collecting continues today at American nurseries, eager to supply American gardeners with the newest and the latest in ornamentals.