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Preacher Encourages Gardening

In his magazine Gardener’s Monthly of 1866 Philadelphia nurseryman Thomas Meehan included a letter from  a clergyman who lived in Adrian, Michigan.

[left: Catalog from the Joseph Breck Seed Company which began in Boston in 1818.]


The clergyman wrote: “First get Buist and Breck, take the Monthly, buy a select list of seeds and plants, and go to work. You have preached patience, practice it now.”

So he recommends his fellow men of the cloth seek out a Breck seed catalog  and order some seeds and start gardening.

The Joseph Breck Seed Company started in early nineteenth century Boston while Robert Buist operated his seed company in Philadelphia for decades  and then passed the business on to his son.

To this day we spread the word about gardening to our family and friends. The companies that help us are the ones we recommend.

And the cycle continues. They, in turn, recommend the same companies.

Mass marketed gardening emerged for the first time when nineteenth century seed companies and nurseries  introduced the mail order catalog as a means to connect with gardeners whether in the city, the suburbs, or on the farm.

Since all advertising, and the catalog was first and foremost an ad,  sells cultural values, in the process the seed and plant merchants sold the English garden style, especially the lawn .

So when the Michigan preacher recommended Breck and Buist, he too promoted the English style of gardening and landscape.


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