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Robinson Inspired American Garden Writer Katherine S. White

In 20th century America we continued to  value the English garden design, first marketed in the 19th century.

In the 1950s the editor of The New Yorker, Katherine S. White, wrote a series of garden articles for the magazine, which her husband, E.B. White, after her death, compiled in a book called Onward and Upward in the Garden.

Katherine White attributed the rise of the English garden style in America to both William Robinson and garden designer Gertrude Jekyll(1843-1932).

White wrote in one essay, “If in planting any of the shrubs or trees I have mentioned, you and I strive to obtain a natural effect, to follow the contours of the land, or to study the region we live in so as to make our planting suit it, if we naturalize garden flowers in our woodlands or bring wild flowers into our gardens or strive to make our garden blend gradually into a forest or field, we probably owe our ideas, though all unconsciously, to two great English gardeners and garden writers of the past.

“They are William Robinson, the author of The English Flower Garden, which was published in 1883 and is still a garden classic, and his younger friend Miss Gertrude Jekyll.  It was these two, more than any others, who taught Victorian England, and eventually America, to make a garden, as Mr. Robinson put it, a reflection of ‘the beauty of the great garden of the world.’ ”

Thus American garden writer Katherine White paid tribute to the influence of the English garden, as expressed in the work of Robinson and Jekyll.

How does your garden reflect  the design history of the English garden?


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