Front cover image for To live in the New World : A.J. Downing and American landscape gardening

To live in the New World : A.J. Downing and American landscape gardening

"A. J. Downing (1815-1852) wrote the first American treatise on landscape gardening. As editor of the Horticulturalist and the country's leading practitioner and author, he promoted a national style of landscape gardening that broke away from European precedents and standards. Like other writers and artists, Downing responded to the intensifying demand in the nineteenth century for a recognizably American cultural expression." "To Live in the New World examines in detail Downing's growing conviction that landscape gardening must be adapted to the American people and the nation's indigenous landscapes. Despite significant changes in its three editions, Downing's A Treatise on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening remained true to the original intent: to guide country gentlemen - with enough money, time, and taste - in the creation of ideal homes and pleasure grounds. While most historians and critics have focused on the treatise, Judith Major gives equal emphasis to Downing's spirited monthly editorials in the Horticulturist. In the journal, Downing "spoke American" and encouraged his countrymen and women to practice economy, to use America's rich natural resources wisely yet artfully, to be content with a little cottage and a few fine native trees."
Print Book, English, ©1997
MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass, ©1997