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Scott’s Book of 1870 Promoted the Lawn

Since the seventeenth century the English landscape style  encouraged the lawn.  The lawn  became part of the English garden aesthetic.

American landscape designer Frank Scott wrote The Art of Beautifying Home Grounds of Small Extent in 1870.  The lawn, he said, played an essential role in  landscaping the ‘home grounds’.

Scott mentioned in the book his mentor, A. J. Downing, who, in turn,  looked to the famous editor of England’s Garden Monthly J. C. Loudon as  his inspiration.  Each writer proposed the lawn.

The seventeenth century landscape at Chatsworth in England features this extensive lawn. Photo from my visit.

The Philadelphia nurseryman Thomas Meehan in the 1872 issue of his  magazine Gardener’s Monthly included  this review of Scott’s book: “Certainly we must speak for American gardening, and return thanks in its behalf.  It marks an era in our literature of which we may well be proud.”

Scott’s book would inspire much of American gardening, as Meehan predicted, til the end of the century.  The home landscape would of course include the English lawn.


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