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October 2021

Cultivating knowledge in nineteenth-century English gardens

Journal/Book: Sci Context. 2000; 13: 40 West 20Th Street, New York, NY 10011-4211, USA. Cambridge Univ Press. 155-181.

Abstract: The popularity of botany and natural history in England combined with the demographic changes of the first half of the nineteenth century to bring about a new aesthetics of gardening, fusing horticultural practice with a connoisseurship of botanical science. Horticultural societies brought theoretical botany into the practice of gardening. Botanical and horticultural periodicals disseminated both science and prescriptions for practice, yoking them to a progressive social agenda, including the betterment of the working class and urban planning. Finally, botany was incorporated into systems of education, reinforcing the union of theory and practice. Three garden plans from the 1790s, 1835, and 1846 illustrate the embodiment of this theory and practice in the design of private suburban gardens. These horticultural/botanical gardens, described in the second half of the article, represent a neglected side of botany's bifurcated descent from Renaissance collections of curiosities into horticultural gardening and herbarium-based systematics.

Note: Article Lustig AJ, Max Planck Inst Hist Sci, Berlin, GERMANY

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