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Washington's gardens at Mount Vernon : landscape of the inner man /
Mac Griswold.
Boston, Mass : Houghton Mifflin Co., 1999.
192 p. : ill.
More Details
Boston, Mass : Houghton Mifflin Co., 1999.
general note
"A Frances Tenenbaum book."
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references (p. 181-183) and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Mac Griswold, a garden historian, writes frequently for the New York Times and many magazines, and she lectures extensively. She lives in New York City and Sag Harbor, Long Island, where she is experimenting with drought-resistant plants in her backyard.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Library Journal on 1999-04-01:
In this engaging book, Griswold (The Golden Age of American Gardens, Abrams, 1991) draws a very appealing and human portrait of George Washington as farmer and gardener. She notes that the "secret George," a figure increasingly remote from our time, can be seen as more accessible through his "passionate domesticity." Her text conjures up a man who walked his fields, puttered in his gardens, and, when politics called him away, shopped at nurseries for desirable plants to ship home. It is also a fascinating introduction to gardening and farming practices in late 18th-century America. Washington tried many agricultural innovations, though ultimately the infertility of the land defeated many of them. Nor does Griswold ignore the reality of slave labor at the plantation, "the unwilling machinery of his farm." Washington's innovations made more work for them, but some ultimately benefited by becoming skilled farmers rather than unskilled field hands. The beauty of his garden design has endured, however, and Griswold includes many tips from the present gardeners at Mount Vernon on growing plants typical of Washington's day. Recommended for most gardening collections. [This book is being published to coincide with the restoration of Mount Vernon's gardens; this year is also the bicentennial of Washington's death.ÄEd.]ÄBeth Clewis Crim, Prince William P.L., VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
This item was reviewed in:
Library Journal, April 1999
New York Times Book Review, June 1999
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Main Description
For both gardeners and early American history buffs, this book documents the unknown George Washington: landscaper, farmer, and gardener of Mount Vernon. 156 color photos. 30 illustrations.
Main Description
For gardeners and readers of early American history, here is the first book to document the unknown George Washington --- landscaper, farmer, and gardener of Mount Vernon. Remarkably, the George Washington who spent forty-five years designing and planting the gardens at Mount Vernon is virtually unknown today, hidden behind the icon of the first president's frozen dignity. In her new book, Mac Griswold reveals to us a man who gathered seed, transplanted and pruned trees, and designed a kitchen garden, a pleasure garden, and even a botanical garden, where he did all the experimental work himself. Washington left for historians and restorationists a wealth of memos, directives, diaries, plans, and plant lists that documented every step of his creation (and now the recreation) of his gardens. Out of this wealth of archival material, Griswold paints a remarkably vivid picture of eighteenth-century gardening.
Table of Contents
A Plantation Portraitp. 9
Making a Landscape: The Designp. 32
Making a Landscape: Plants for Vistas and Screensp. 63
The Upper Gardenp. 81
The Lower Gardenp. 103
The Botanical Garden and the Vineyard Enclosurep. 131
A Storehouse and Granary for the Worldp. 143
Plant Listsp. 166
A Timeline for Mount Vernon's Gardens and Landscapep. 173
Notesp. 175
Bibliography of Works Consultedp. 181
Indexp. 184
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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