The New Traditional Garden : A Practical Guide to Creating and Restoring Authentic American Gardens for Homes of All Ages
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The unique combination of utility and beauty that has been the glory of the American garden for the past three hundred years is once again blooming, as home owners rediscover the magic of individual, homemade, horticultural splendor. Yes, the golden age of gardening is dawning, and much of the current enthusiasm for creating distinctive, unforgettable designs was spurred by nationally respected landscape architect and horticulturist Michael Weishan. His impeccable taste, common sense, and comprehensive knowledge of America's gardening history make him the ideal advisor for today's gardeners.
Respectful of the past and mindful of contemporary needs and lifestyles, Weishan lays down the underlying principles for creating--either from scratch or from the ghost of a lost garden--a domestic landscape with purpose and personality. He explains with utmost clarity how to
- Discover exactly which type and style of garden is right for you
- Analyze the archaeology of your old garden and recreate it from the past
- Arrange walls and fences for beauty and privacy
- Transform front, side, and back yards into one harmonious environment
- Lay out graceful walks and drives; rescue an orphaned front door
- Master the disciplined symmetry of a formal garden, the exuberance of a Victorian yard, or the charming randomness of a cottage garden
- Establish a mini-orchard featuring delicious rediscovered varieties of apples, peaches, cherries, and other fruits and berries
Lavishly designed with more than two hundred illustrations, The New Traditional Garden also includes a compendium of historic plants, detailed plans for great antique gardens, a directory of the most beautiful historic gardens in America, a comprehensive list of garden suppliers, and hundreds of other features to help you create a garden with elegance and character.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Author Michael Weishan is an expert in recreating gardens of early America; his mission is to resurrect the styles of the 18th and 19th century, when settlers in the New World were trying to distinguish their landscapes from the British style so beloved by gardeners today. This book is particularly targeted toward owners of Colonial- or Victorian-style homes, and the narration has a bit of a highbrow New England feel to it in lines like, "our founding fathers, men so dedicated to a controlled system of checks and balances that they fought and won a war to establish their principles, built gardens imbued with the same spirit." Weishan emphasizes "order and balance," and he wishes the '50s had never happened, with those boring perfect lawns and hardware-store perennials.
Throughout The New Traditional Garden there are evocative passages about locating the "ghosts" within the garden: covered-over plantings, perennials that have reappeared each spring for decades. "Be on the lookout for something old in the garden," Weishan writes. "You never know when it may teach you something new." For gardeners who find that working the soil is a nostalgic process that's as much about uncovering the past as creating a future, this is an expert guide. It includes an exhaustive historic plant list, dating the introduction of various species back to the 1700s. Weishan's ultimate goal is to remind us of early American attitudes of "stewardship," wherein we see ourselves as tenants of the land, caretakers, not tyrannical owners who must make our mark at any cost. --Emily White
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