Today starts a new weekly series here on A Gardener’s Notebook — Garden Books. Each week I will highlight a new book or publication that might interest you. If you have suggestions for books I should highlight, please send them along. While most of these posts will simply be introductions to new books, I will also be posting more detailed reviews for those books I find time to read myself. I’ll use Amazon links to provide more information on each book, but many of these books may be available at your local library. Check there first! — Douglas

Garden Books: America’s Romance with the English Garden by Thomas J. Mickey

Garden Books:  America's Romance with the English Garden by Thomas J. Mickey -- a new series from A Gardener's Notebook

The 1890s saw a revolution in advertising. Cheap paper, faster printing, rural mail delivery, railroad shipping, and chromolithography combined to pave the way for the first modern, mass-produced catalogs. The most prominent of these, reaching American households by the thousands, were seed and nursery catalogs with beautiful pictures of middle-class homes surrounded by sprawling lawns, exotic plants, and the latest garden accessories—in other words, the quintessential English-style garden.

America’s Romance with the English Garden is the story of tastemakers and homemakers, of savvy businessmen and a growing American middle class eager to buy their products. It’s also the story of the beginnings of the modern garden industry, which seduced the masses with its images and fixed the English garden in the mind of the American consumer. Seed and nursery catalogs delivered aspirational images to front doorsteps from California to Maine, and the English garden became the look of America. –


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** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out! 

Previously in Garden Books: