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By Alan Emmet

Oh, the relief, the satisfaction i've got had in my backyard, an octogenarian grande dame of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, recollects in an 1888 memoir. Alan Emmet s glimpse into greater than dozen gardens that graced New England s cities and nation-state from simply after the yank Revolution into the 20th century has delights of its personal. Drawing from diaries, correspondence, old files, cartoon maps, and work, Emmet treats the garden--ranging from small city retreats to decorative estates of hundreds of thousands of acres--as an artwork shape and examines its evolution shape the utilitarian to the ornate. besides the useful--greenhouses, peach partitions, and pergolas--are came across the whimsical and the idiosyncratic. She describes teahouses, topiary timber, fountains, mazes, marble nymphs, and a three-story viewing tower. And ever-present, after all, are the crops themselves: roses, lilies, tree peonies, orchids, even southern magnolias, in addition to towering elms, colossal lindens, peaches, pears, and boxwood.
But as Emmet delves extra deeply into who equipped those gardens and why, one other tale unfolds. The gardens, it kind of feels, parallel their proprietors lives, and embedded intheir heritage is the saga of households and their emerging and falling tides. We see nice homes inhabited by means of mild ghosts, the growth and next decay of the port cities, the emergence of a mercantile type, the metamorphosis of the towns into sprawling city facilities, and the institution of associations just like the Massachusetts Horticultural Society. conscientiously chronicled, interesting, and generously illustrated, Emmet s backyard journey is especially a lot worthy taking."

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So Fine a Prospect: Historic New England Gardens

Oh, the relaxation, the pride i've got had in my backyard, an octogenarian grande dame of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, remembers in an 1888 memoir. Alan Emmet s glimpse into greater than dozen gardens that graced New England s cities and geographical region from simply after the yank Revolution into the 20th century has delights of its personal.

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Eighteenth-century estate owners imported not only plants and trees but also the books they depended on for guidance in the management of both the useful and the ornamental aspects of their grounds. There were no helpful American books at the time. Henry Vassall, for example, owned and presumably consulted John Mortimer's The Whole Art of Husbandry (London, 1716) and Richard Bradley's A General Treatise of Husbandry and Gardening (1725).  (Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities) Page xvi adhered to the styles of the lands of their origin.

9 To such people as these, knowledge of the land was a means of controlling it. Profitable use of the land seemed the way to strengthen the nation. <><><><><><><><><><><><> John Adams, touring English gardens with Thomas Jefferson in 1786, found that one of his favorite places was William Shenstone's The Leasowes. "10 To him, there was virtue and beauty in a useful landscape. '' Some Americans shared Adams's fear of the corrupting influence of wealth. 11 Virtue would hold the nation together; without it, decay was inevitable.

Notes 1. Greg McPherson, "Shedding the Illusion of Abundance," Landscape Architecture 79 (April 1989): 128. 2. Leo Marx, The Machine in the Garden: Technology and the Pastoral Idea in America (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1964), 8485. 3. , 1045. 4. Ann Leighton, Early American Gardens (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1970), 6. 5. : Yale University Press, 1978), 67. 6. F. R. Cowell, The Garden as a Fine Art: From Antiquity to Modern Times (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1978), 8. 7. Abram English Brown, Faneuil Hall and Fanueil Hall Market (Boston: Lee & Shepard, 1900), 28.

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