Saturday Snippet: Fragrance in Bloom

A wonderful book by veteran gardener and garden writer Ann Lovejoy, whose books on perennials and mixed borders are among my very favorites, Fragrance in Bloom sums up this season very well:

For gardeners, fall is less an ending than the beginning of another great cycle of work and rest and fulfillment. In fall, we plant the bulbs that will illuminate the spring yet unborn. In fall, we dig and divide and recombine our plants into fresh combinations to enjoy next summer. In fall, we commit new plants to the ground, giving trees, shrubs and perennials a chance to make strong root growth before winter. In fall, we can relax and let our plants ripen into maturity before they sleep. Autumn is also glorious in its own right. As the night air cools, leaves catch fire, the tired greens igniting to lava reds, ember oranges, and smoldering copper. As the slanting daylight lengthens, it gilds the garden with a soft haze. Numinous and transcendent, the autumn light turns mess into magic. When we can appreciate that the slumping, seed-spangled demise of summer’s magnificence is truly magnificent in itself, it becomes easier to stop being so concerned about grooming away every browning leaf. Instead, we can relax and simply revel in autumn’s richness.


Early American Women Garden Designers and Horticulturists – a brief summation

This is a wonderful overview of several early American garden designers who were women and thus somewhat overlooked these days, with the possible exception of Beatrix Farrand.

Plinth et al.

Despite scholarly work and books, the contributions of American women in garden design and landscape architecture have not received their recognition as those of their overseas contemporaries have. Perhaps due to United States’ European colonial history, Americans have looked towards Europe for inspiration and with varying degrees of success attempted to replicate the styles here. And there is no discounting the romantic appeal of the Edwardian flower borders, the Italianate waterworks, and Grecian ruins, all of which were not created in a nascent country. Well-do Americans increasingly made the trans-Atlantic journey to visit and see them, and certainly returned home, buoyant from their travels and receptive for a piece of ‘Europe’.

During my research into the ‘tropicalismo’ or ‘Victorian subtropical bedding’ in North America, I began to note the regularity with which the same female names appeared in magazines and books. These women boasted distinguished careers as strong as Gertrude…

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