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The New Traditional Garden : A Practical…
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The New Traditional Garden : A Practical Guide to Creating and Restoring…

by Michael Weishan

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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0345420411, Hardcover)

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

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:12 -0400)

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