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Historic roots of the modern american garden


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Created for a talk for a master gardener association, this presentation gives a short view of a very long history in the development of gardening in North America. Explores roots from Egypt to …

Created for a talk for a master gardener association, this presentation gives a short view of a very long history in the development of gardening in North America. Explores roots from Egypt to England and North America.

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  • Of particular note is artist and landscape designer Roberto Burle Marx from Brazil. His designs are respected and used in many countries of the world. He began as an artist, and gardens became his canvas. The next few slides feature more of his work.
  • There is no apparent clash between the sustainable garden and the naturalistic garden. They just begin from different concepts. The inspiration of sustainable gardening is nature or environmental, and the inspiration for modernist gardens is artistic expression. Actually a garden could be both. I can envision a green roof, for example, that incorporates modern design elements as well.
  • Let’s bring this home a bit. Here is the native plant garden at the McMinnville Library, which Yamhill County Master Gardeners helped install in the 1990’s. They still work cooperatively with the local Native Plant Society of Oregon to maintain the garden.
  • At the OSU Campus, the new Engineer Building installed a sustainable landscape to help meet modern certification standards for “green” buildings.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Historic Roots of theModern AmericanGardenLinda R McMahanOregon State University Extension ServiceMcMinnville, OR
    • 2. What is The Modern American Garden???Geometric?Multicultural?Only Native Plants?Ecologically Relevant?Eclectic?Personal--Not a Copy?Uses Sustainable Practices?Newest Hybrids and Most Recently Discovered Plants?
    • 3. Are These Modern AmericanGardens?
    • 4. These?
    • 5. The modern garden re-engages the issue of the fundamental integration of modern people and eternal nature, and includes abstract expressionism, minimalism, futurism, and cubism, among other expressions.From Cardasis, Dean, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 1994. “Maverick Impossible— James Rose and the Modern American Garden. Proceedings of a Symposium of The Garden Conservancy. Guess the Date of This Sentiment 1890’s 1930’s 1990’s 2010’s
    • 6. Modern gardens fuse principles of science and art in a way that allows us to dismiss "foreign" garden styles, while advancing our quest for a wholly American approach to landscape development.Articles and authors in Forest and Garden, a weekly illustrated journal of horticulture, landscape art and forestry" by Charles Sprague Sargent and a small group of collaborators that included Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr., as reported by Eric MacDonald, School of Environmental Design, University of Georgia in a talk prepared for a conference. Guess the Date of the Sentiment 1890’s 1930’s 1990’s 2010’s
    • 7. “The whole past is the procession ofthe present.”Thomas CarlyleSo Let’s go take a look!
    • 8. Dawn of “Civilization” through Feudal EuropeEARLY GARDEN DEVELOPMENT
    • 9. Early Civilization GardensPerhaps the earliest recorded ornamental gardening were in Egypt.Gardens appeared in temples and in homes of the wealthy.Egyptians built pavilions, shrines, canals, and ponds, all surrounded by flowers or trees, sometimes in enclosed walls.
    • 10. The Hanging Gardens of BabylonGardening development in the “fertile crescent” included the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. Modern archeologists say it was not in fact in Babylon.Considered to be among the seven wonders of the ancient world!
    • 11. Islamic GardensThe Islamic nations introduced the garden concepts of water and restful shade.Gardens provided protection from the outside and included water as a critical element in an environment where water was limited.
    • 12. Greek & Roman GardensGreek and Roman Gardens are considered to be the origin of western style gardens.Greeks used plants in public places as societal ornamentation.Romans tended to create private sanctuaries, a Reconstruction of a Pompeii garden. Author: refuge from busy life. Saiko
    • 13. The Spice Trade and Silk RoadMeanwhile, search for spices fueled exchange of many plant materials, between Europe, Africa, and Asia on the “Silk Road.”The West obtained spices, teas, rhubarb & other crops, as well as plants and seeds from the East.
    • 14. In Europe . . .The 9th to 15th Centuries AD are dominated by the feudal system, where a King rules, is served by a Court, and the “landless” folks provide food & labor.During this time ornamental gardens were purely for the rich, while monks developed their own style of gardens. Très Riches Heures du ducWe will return to this time de Berry, 15th Century, later in the presentation.
    • 16. Oriental Gardens Oriental Gardens have become very influential in gardens worldwide. Chinese began gardening early, and Japanese, Korea and other Asian gardens were adapted from Classical Gardens of Suzhou: the Lingering Garden these. Source: Author: 张骐
    • 17. Oriental GardensChinese gardens are highly symbolic. Old gnarly plants symbolize long life. Stones symbolize strength of the mountains.Shapes have meanings embedded deeply within the culture.
    • 18. Chinese Scholar’s GardenScholar gardens are places to learn, study, and • teach.They are an older style often featuring rocks, water, bridges, pavilions, moon gates & leaky windows (pierced with holes 11th Century Chinese Garden,, Attribution: Lamassu to peek at a view). Design
    • 19. Symbolic Plants in Oriental GardensMany plants carry symbolic value in oriental gardens.One example is the lotus. It signifies purity because it grows out of mud— the flower bud opens to reveal pristine beauty. Nelumno nucifera, sacred lotus. Author: Peripitas
    • 20. Japanese GardenJapanese gardens are designed for study and enjoyment. This moss garden is an example.Many Japanese gardens also incorporate traditional symbolism such as raked sand representing water. Saihouji (kokedera) pond.
    • 21. The Ornate Gardens of ItalyAfter the decline of the Roman Empire, gardens continued to develop in Italy.These changes also influenced other European gardens.Note the strong central axis and Fountain and pools at Villa dEste in Tivoli, Author: fountains. Urns are Wknight94 also common, as in
    • 22. Ornate Italian GardensAside from symmetry and fountains, Italian gardens often contain statues. Author: Franco Pecchio
    • 23. Plant Explorers As plant explorers brought back plants of the tropics and elsewhere, samples were collected in a new wave of botanic gardens. These discoveries also fueled a new wave of garden Royal Botanic Garden, Madrid, founded 1600’s. interest throughout Includes more than 30,000 specimens. Europe. Author: Richie Diesterheft
    • 24. The Age of Plant Discovery and the Rise of Botanic GardensIt was in Italy that we first saw the rise of botanical gardens.Here is one of the first, The Botanical Gardens of Padua (Padova)University as seen in a 16th Century Print.
    • 25. French GardensThe Gardens of royalty in France are known for their ornate and intricate patterns.Plant choices often showcase triumph over nature, as in the Orangery in the ground of the Palace of orangery. Versailles, outside Paris,, Author: Urban
    • 26. Formal, Symmetrical Designs are Common in French GardensCentral axis similar to Italian Gardens.Elaborate walkways with terraces used as overlooks to view the gardens. Vaux-le-Vicomte Author: Thomas Henz
    • 27. French Provincial GardensFound outside of the huge formal gardens of royalty.Reflect a softer style.Yet, still follows structure with paths and hedges. Pavillon de Galon at Cucuron Author: Guy Hervais
    • 28. Our Main Cultural Gardening HeritageTHE INFLUENCE OF BRITISH GARDENS
    • 29. The Cloistered Garden—Return to Post-Feudal EuropePopular in the 15th Century were Cloistered Gardens. Many still exist today.Roman and Greek traditions feature columns and walkways. They are Source: Wikipedia .org, Attribution: places of The Yorck Project reflection, often religious.
    • 30. Monastic GardensIn the same tradition, cloistered gardens led the way to larger Monastic Gardens.Both were orderly places, enclosed by high walls, had raised beds, seats, hedges, herb s & medicinal plants.They were places of religious contemplation but also practical places Holy Spirit Monastery, Conyers, to grow edible plants and Georgia, Author: fruit trees. Nancy Heise
    • 31. The Victorian Era and The Crystal PalaceQueen Victoria officially opened the Crystal Palace in London in the 1850’s.“Victorian” refers to the lifetime of Queen Victoria.Victorian gardens were often ornate, featuring plants brought back from Crystal Palace General view from Water Temple Authors: the tropics by explorers. Philip Henry Delamotte, Negretti and Zambra
    • 32. The Victorian Style GardenA Victorian Style Garden featuring bedding plants of summer ‘annuals.’These often feature fountains, pedestals or urns, and geometric shapes. Victoria Park, Bath, Author: Colin Smith
    • 33. A Modern Day Replica inMcMinnville, OR 2012The influence of the Victorian Era remains strong.Notice the bedding plants, geometr ic shapes, and statuary common in 19th Century England.
    • 34. Enter William Robinson, a Scottish gardener who reacted to Victorian “excess” by promoting “Wild Gardening.”Robinson’s house and
    • 35. Wild gardening definedThe wild garden is…”placing perfectly hardy plants in places they will take care of themselves. It has nothing to do with wilderness.” William Robinson in the English Flower Garden.This form evolved into the English Cottage Garden. Artwork from The Wild Garden, by Robinson,
    • 36. Gertrude Jekylls Long border at Manor House, Upton Grey, Hampshire, UKRobinson’s protégé was Gertrude Jekyll, who became well known as a garden designer for perennial borders.She lived into the 1930s and highly influenced American gardens. Gertrude Jekylls restored long border at Manor House, UK,, Author: Aquilineyes
    • 37. Cottage Garden in EnglandThe English Cottage Garden reflects the informal style. Wikipedia .org Author: Guido Gerding
    • 38. White Garden at Sissinghurst CastleThese gardens, designed by Vita Sasksville-West are well- known and loved by travelers who visit the UK.They continue traditions begun around the time of William Robinson and others of the Romantic era landscape garden tradition.View of rose arbor in Sissinghursts White Garden,, Author: VashiDonsk
    • 39. Settlement to 1950GARDENING IN AMERICA
    • 40. A Case in Point! Our gardening traditions in North America come from England. Here in a “typical” suburban home, we see hedges, bedding plants, vines, and a lawn reflecting the British style.
    • 41. The Border Garden is Common• A recent Yamhill County function included a tour of a garden near Newberg, done in the British wide- border style introduced by Gertrude Jekyll.
    • 42. How Did it all Begin in NorthAmerica?After the first settlers from Europe arrived in North America, their first priority was food, and gardening centered around that goal.Gardening for pure “ornament” was Very old original log cabin in New uncommon. England. Author: Smallbones.
    • 43. Fruit Trees were a Practical Beginning In the 1700’s, fruit trees became important. This interest followed settlers across the continent to the American west. Apples for food and hard cider, plums, & Winslow Homer painting of grafting of pears were particularly fruit trees, 1870, popular.
    • 44. Bartram’s Gardens (PA) -1700’s- 1800’s. An Irony of Origins.Father-son John & William Bartram studied North American plants and promoted them for European gardens.At the same time, they imported European horticultural plants for gardens in America.American plants were only used occasionally for American gardens during this time. John Bartram as naturalist., Author: Howard Pyle
    • 45. Central Park Heralded a New Style of LandscapesCentral Park, which first opened in 1857 in New York City became one large park and garden.Frederick Law Olmsted and others who followed in his path promoted wild areas, reflecting the wilder style becoming popular in England., Author: Ed YourdonParks are important, because people copy what they see, especially if they are from “reliable” sources.
    • 46. Botanic Gardens in AmericaShortly thereafter, in 1859, one of the first botanic gardens opened in St. Louis.Botanic Gardens have been instrumental in showing people Older structures and surrounding gardens at the Missouri Botanical various styles of Garden. Author: gardening for the past Andrew Balet two centuries.
    • 47. The Plantation Garden – An Early Use of American Trees Of the styles developed in North America is the Plantation Garden of the Southern States stand out. Feature large often native trees such as these oaks in a new style. Rosedown Plantation, LA, Authors: Richard Kock and Brandenrush
    • 48. Rise of Ornamental Horticulture in NorthAmericaLiberty Hyde Bailey “Father of American Horticulture.”Hugely influential author of Hortus plant (1858-1954) dictionaries.Botanist, plantsman, nature promoter.
    • 49. The Turf Lawn Known from 16th Century England as commons pasture for grazing animals.These evolved into managed areas of grass, weeded, mowed, and maintained for aesthetics and recreation (to keep down dust). Modern day commons inAt first, only available to the Comberton, England, Wikipedi Author: Andrew Dunn wealthy who could afford to grazing animals or hand cutting.
    • 50. American Lawns Outdid British Lawns . . .The first American use of the term “lawn” was in 1733, becoming a fixed part of American vocabulary in the mid- 1800’s.After the invention of Author: Agri-Fab Inc. the lawn mower in 1830, this symbol of the wealthy became available to all.
    • 51. The American Dream LawnAn 1856 architectural book urged grassy space for children to play and a space to grown fruits and vegetables. This imbued the lawn with cultural importance.In post 2008 The White House Lawn: recession, lawn is being Author: replaced by vegetables C.M. Fitzpatrick and other gardens reflecting a new focus on
    • 52. Inputs from Visionary Landscape ArchitectsMODERNISM IN AMERICAN GARDENS
    • 53. “Modernism” in the American Garden – InfluencesGardening trends are often heralded by landscape architects, who may see gardens as artistic forms.Like fashion, designs are reinterpreted by garden designers and homeowners, adapting Gardens at the Getty Center, Los them for home and Angeles, Author: Vanderven business use.
    • 54. Big Names in American Gardening FashionIn North America, garden fashion leaders included the Olmsteds, Frank Lloyd Wright, James Rose, and Brazilian Roberto Burle Marx.Some turn gardens into geometric forms; others emulate nature or merge the indoors with the outdoors.Olmsted was co-designer of Frederick Law Olmsted New York’s Central Park.
    • 55. Olmsted “Dynasty”Olmsteds included Frederick Law Olmsted (1822-1903), followed by his sons, John Charles (1852–1920) and Jefferson Monument, DC (FL Olmsted, Jr.) Frederick Law, Jr. (1870- Author: Joe Ravi CC-BY-SA 3.0 1957) (The Olmsted Brothers)Featured flowing, natural lines and classic landscape design principles. Portland, OR, Washington
    • 56. Frank Lloyd Wright1935, Falling Water design sought to create harmony between indoors and outdoors.Frank Lloyd Wright and his son Lloyd trained in architecture and landscape architecture in the Olmstead Brothers office, carrying on similar traditions. Author: Sxenko
    • 57. James Rose (1913-1991)Preferred pastoral settings for homes and buildings, with functional designs reflecting nature.Noncomformist and controversial, dismissed from Harvard’s school and landscape design for not following traditions.In later years, incorporated Japanese gardening styles.
    • 58. Marx, a Respected ModernistRoberto Burle Marx (1909-1994), a Brazilian artist and garden designer, is much appreciated in the world of modernist landscapes. Natural and geometric forms. Did some work in Florida. Parque del Este, Venezuela Author: Paolo Costa Baldi
    • 59. Incorporate the Old into Something NewNEW TRENDS OF CONSERVATIONGARDENS
    • 60. So Where Does that Leave Us?Let’s Look at what is happening, or has happened in the past 25 years, to influence what is modern right now.
    • 61. Sustainable GardensWorldwide, conser vation features are being added to gardens, such as this water collection system in a garden in The Netherlands. Water collector in E.V.A. Lanxmeer district, Culemborg, The Netherlands. Author: Lamiot
    • 62. Green Roof InstallationThe sustainable garden approach seeks to work with nature. This green roof is a garden designed to help control water runoff. Here, students at OSU are conducting research on green roofs.
    • 63. Water Conservation Landscapes Gardens to conserve water, such as rain gardens, are becoming more common, such as this Rain Garden at Buchanan Cellars in McMinnville, OR.
    • 64. Pollinator Gardens Planting flowering plants that attract pollinators has become a common past- time. Aster with pollinating bee. Author: John Severns
    • 65. Native Plant GardensHere is one featured at the McMinnville, OR Library. Oceanspray and goldenrod
    • 66. Certification for ConservationStandards, such as LEEDLEED = Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – more than 7000 buildings worldwide are certified.Example is Engineering Building, Oregon State University, featuring Oregon native plants.
    • 67. Recent Study--American Societyof Landscape Architects• When thinking of gardening, Americans tend toward the practical and sustainable with native plants (86.3 percent) and food/vegetable gardens (81.2 percent), with over half of them preferred as being organic (61.2 percent). Recently planted rain garden. Author: BrianAsh
    • 68. The Details. . .Notice the mix of old (e.g., fountains) with the new(e.g., rain gardens & organic)• Landscape/Garden Elements (Percent rating somewhat or very popular for 2012) Low maintenance landscapes – 96.6% Native plants – 87.2% Fountains/ornamental water features – 86.3% Food/Vegetable gardens (including orchards/vineyards etc.) – 81.2% Xeriscaping or dry gardens – 64.3% Organic gardens – 61.2% Rain gardens – 56.6% Ponds/streams – 52.2% Rooftop gardens – 38.3%
    • 69. Outdoor Recreation Wishes Still True--with Sustainability AddedSource: ASLA Newsletter accessedat:
    • 70. So What is the ModernAmerican Garden? The Modern American Garden is one that pleases overall American aesthetic tastes, influenced by decades of gardening traditions and visionary landscape professions, that has a focus on outdoor living and functional spaces, incorporating conservation values.
    • 71. Thank You!• It is now your turn for questions and comments.
    • 72. • Copyright © 2012, Linda R McMahan and Oregon State University• Photographs not attributed to others are by the author. Author’s photographs may be used freely for educational purposes. For other uses, please contact the author or Oregon State University.