One of the pleasures of garden history is connecting to larger periods in history....
Click to the right for a quick guide to garden history.
Many styles, many places
With global travel and the migration of peoples beyond their ancestral homes, garden ideas have been exchanged and moved all over the world. As a result, “French” gardens can be found in Brazil, “English” gardens in Italy, “Italian” gardens in Florida, “Japanese” gardens in Maine, and so on. Politics and environmentalism also played a role in the popularity of garden styles. With Japan opening to the West in the 1850’s, books like Reginald Farrer’s 1904 The Garden of Asia inspired gardeners to create in that style. In that same year, Jo Sakai organized a group of Japanese farmers to create an innovative farm in south Florida. This set the seed for what would become Morikami, an amazing Japanese garden there. Although the Wild Garden was first talked about in the 1850’s, one hundred years later Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring (1962) gave the natural garden a huge boost. Her book sold 1 million copies in it’s first 2 years alone, led to the banning of the toxic chemical DDT, and is the reason that so many of us are dedicated to native plants and organic garden methods today. Historic gardens remain wonderful places to enjoy the wonders of nature and key elements of these styles continue to be re-invented and remain relevant today.