Saturday, August 31, 2019

Plants in Early American Gardens - Early Curled Siberian Kale

Early Curled Siberian Kale (Brassica napus var. pabularia cv.)

Thomas Jefferson's vegetable garden commonly included various Kales such as German, Russian, Delaware, Malta, and Scotch types. This tender green, also known as Borecole and Headless Cabbage, is superior source of vitamins and iron, surpassing even spinach. Early Curled Siberian Kale is an extremely hardy and vigorous variety with blue-green, ruffled, tender leaves.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Plants in Early American Gardens - Fish Pepper

Fish Pepper (Capsicum annuum)

Fish Peppers are a form of Cayenne Pepper with flashy green and white variegated leaves and attractive striped pods that ripen to solid red. Named for its use as a seafood seasoning in Mid-Atlantic urban regions, oral traditions trace the Fish Pepper to 19th century African-American gardening and culinary usage. This very hot pepper can be used fresh or dried, while the compact plant is an attractive addition to the garden or containers.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Plants & Catalogs - Nurseryman Joseph Breck 1794-1873 & his spectacular 1833 circular flower bed

Joseph Breck (1794-1873) of Boston, Massachusetts

Breck, born in Medfield, MA, established his business, Joseph Breck & Company, in 1818 in Boston. From 1822 to 1846, Breck was the editor of the New England Farmer, one of the earliest agricultural magazines established in the U.S., and the first of its kind in New England. In 1833,

In 1840, Breck published his company’s first catalog New England Agricultural Warehouse and Seed Store Catalogue, which was a small book, 84 pages in length.  Breck attempted to use horticulture as an uplifting, educational tool. He included French plant names, listed standard works on horticulture, used illustrations to improve his readers’ tastes. The 1840 catalog featured 72 black-and-white engravings. Breck’s catalog may have been his rural customers only exposure to graphic arts and horticultural literature.

He was one of the founding members of the American Seed Trade Association and a president of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society from 1859-1862. Breck experimented with different forms of catalogs, for one of his schemes he packaged a collection of seeds targeted at specific markets such as the West Indies.  Long essays on gardening were included with the products.  In 1856, he published The Flower Garden, a book about the cultivation of ornamental plants such as perennials, annuals, shrubs and evergreen trees.
Breck Nurseries in 1850, located in Brighton, MA

In 1833, he wrote The Young Florist to educate upcoming generations about natural history and flowers.  In this book, designed "to attract young persons to that delightful employment, the cultivation of a flower garden," he presents a rather complicated plan for a bed of garden flowers. The text is presented as a conversation between an older gardener and his young pupils.

H. You see here a square, within which are three circular beds, or concentric circles, having two rows of figures in each. Now these circles are to be filled with annual flowers, and each number represents a different sort, and you see they are numbered as high as 100, so that I have designed it for one hundred different kinds.

I shall shortly show you a list of these, with their numbers opposite to their respective manes.

I have contrived it so that the tallest plants shall be in the centre and cover an arbor, as you see I have marked. You see a walk from the outside of the square to the arbor, communicating with one large and two smaller circular ones.

For the inner circle of all, such plants as climb to the height of ten feet or more, as the Morning Glory, Flowering Beans, &c., for which it will be necessary to put down birch poles with the branches of the tops left on to form the arbor.

For the second row you will find I have selected Sweet Peas, Cypress Vine, Nasturtium, &c. which are also climbers, and will require brush for their support, neatly trimmed, about four and a half feet high.

For the third circular row, the tallest plants which do not climb; and each successive circle of plants diminishes in height to the outer one, which is composed of dwarfs--and you will find by inspecting the key that no two kinds or colors of flowers come together, so that when it is all in bloom, it will have the appearance of a cone of flowers of every shape, color and shade tastefully intermingled, as represented in the following drawing; in which, however, I have not introduced any arbor, which can be done or not, at pleasure.

M. This will be beautiful, surely, and must have taken some time and patience to arrange it; but I think it will be a perplexing piece of work to transfer it to the ground, and have all the plants sowed in the place you have allotted them.

H. Nothing will be easier, as you will see when I come to lay it out and sow them.

M. What is to be put in the outer part of the figure, and what is the meaning of the letters?

H. That is the place for the perennial plants that we have in our little garden, and for such as we may procure from other gardens and the fields, and may be arranged in any fanciful manner we please. The letters represent fanciful groups of flowers to be in bloom at the same time, for different months of the year, to be composed of annuals and perennials. Ju. for July, Au. for August, A. for April, M. for May, &c., and here you may have opportunity to exercise your taste.

M. That will please me; and by the time you get the ground in readiness, I will exhibit a plan for every month in the season. I wish you would give me a copy of that part which contains the annuals, as I wish to send it to cousin Eliza; she had but a small piece of ground and her father has no place of his own, and or course does not want to be at the expense of cultivating many perennials, as he moves so often from one place to another.

H. I shall be happy to furnish you with a copy for her, and will also send her a portion of our seeds, with directions how to cultivate them. On the following pages you will see a list of the plants arranged in order; you will find some numbers and plants inserted twice; this is done to fill out the circle; and some of them are very showy. Be particular not to make any mistake while you write it off for her.

A KEY TO THE PLAN FOR A GARDEN.

First Circle.
No.
1 Scarlet Flowering Bean, scarlet.
2 Blue Morning Glory, dark and light blue.
3 White Flowering Bean, white.
4 Rose Morning Glory, purplish red.
5 Purple Flowering Bean, purple.
6 Superb Striped Morning Glory, white striped.
7 Scarlet Morning Glory, or Ipomea, scarlet.
8 Two Colored Lemon Gourd (ornamental fruit), yellow.
9 Starry Ipomea, delicate blue.

Second Circle
No.
10 Nasturtium, deep orange.
11 Scarlet Sweet Pea, red.
12 Balloon Vine, white, curious seed pods.
13 Purple Sweet Pea, purple.
14 Mexican Ximenisia, yellow.
15 Cypress Vine, brilliant crimson.
16 White Sweet Pea, white.
10 Nasturtium, deep orange.
17 Tangiers Crimson Sweet Pea, dark crimson.
12 Balloon Vine, white.
15 Cypress Vine (scald this seed), crimson.

Third Circle
No.
18 Red Four o’Clock, deep red.
19 Violet Zinnia, violet.
20 Yellow Immortal Flower, brilliant yellow.
21 White Chrysanthemum, white.
22 Prince’s Feather, very dark red.
23 Tall Blue Larkspur, lively blue.
24 Yellow Four o’Clock, yellow.
25 Variegated Euphorbia, elegantly variegated white and green.
26 Red Lavatera, light red strip’d with deep.
27 Blue Commelina, celestial blue.
28 Yellow Chrysanthemum, yellow.
29 White Lavatera, pure white.
30 Love Lies Bleeding, blood red.
19 Violet Zinnia, violet.
20 Yellow Immortal Flower, brilliant yellow.
21 Variegated Euphorbia, white and green.
26 Red Lavatera, light red.

Fourth Circle
No.
31 Grand Flowering Argemone, elegant white flower and yellow centre.
32 Yellow Zinnia, tawny yellow.
33 American Centaurea, pale purple.
34 Tricolored Amaranthus, each leaf red, yellow and brown.
35 Long Flowered Four o’Clock, white with purple centre.
36 Grand Flowering Evening Primrose, yellow.
37 Purple Amaranthus (soak the seed in milk 24 hours), purple.
38 Red Zinnia, red.
39 White Amaranthus (soak the seed in milk 24 hours), white.
40 Golden Coreopsis, fine yellow with brown centre.
41 Red Opium Poppy, purplish red.
42 Crimson cockscomb, deep crimson.
35 Long Flowering Four o’Clock, white with purple.
43 African Marigold, orange.
37 Purple Amaranthus, purple.
34 Tricolored Amaranthus, yellow, red and brown.
39 White Amaranthus, white.
44 French Marigold, brown velvet orange.
41 Red Opium Poppy, purplish red.
42 Crimson Cockscomb, deep crimson.
46 Night Flowering Primrose, yellow.
27 Commelina, bright blue.

Fifth Circle
47 Tricolored Chrysanthemum, white, yellow and brown.
48 D’ble white and variegated Balsams, white and variegated.
49 Fennel Flower or Love in a Mist, blue.
50 Red Quilled Aster, red.
51 Long Flowered Evening Primrose, yellow.
52 White Expanded Aster, white.
53. Blue Lupin, blue.
54 Double Carnation Poppy, of sorts, red, pin, &c.
55 Yellow Hawkweed or Crepis Barbata, yellow and brown.
56 White Quilled Aster, white.
57. Blue Bottle, blue.
58 Fire Colored and Crimson Balsams, red.
59 Scorzonera, deep yellow and brown.
60 Double White Fringed Poppy, pure white.
61 Purple and Lilac expanded Aster, purple and lilac.
62 Scarlet Malope, red, with purplish stripe.
63 Pot Marigold, orange.
64 White Catchlfy, white.
65 Lemon Balm, blue and fine scent.
66 African Rose, every shade of red.
67 Beautiful Ketmia, straw and purple.
68 Variegated Asters, white, with blue and red stripes.
69 Azure blue Gilia, fine blue.
70 Red Quilled Aster, red.
45 African Hibiscus, straw and deep purple.
71 Sweet Basil, or Lavender, white with delightful scent.
72 Mexican Ageratum, blue
73 Double Purple Balsams, purple.
66 African Rose, every shade of red.
55 Yellow Hawkweed, yellow and brown.
60 White Fringed Poppy, pure white.
69 Azure Blue Gilia, blue.
74 Convolvulus Minor, fine blue and yellow.
75 Scarlet Cacalia, scarlet.
76 Snails, yellow, with curious pod.
77 Sweet Alyssum, white sweet scented.
78 Purple Candytuft, purple.
79 Daisy Leaved Catchfly, fine pink.
80 Caterpillars, yellow, with curious pod.
81 White Evening Primrose, pure white.
82 Double Dwarf Larkspur, purple, pink and white.
83 Lobel’s Catchfly, red.
84 Mignonette, yellowish, very fragrant.
85 White Candytuft, white.
86 Purple Immortal Flower, fine light purple.
87 Beautiful Clarkea, red.
88 Horns, yellow, curious pod.
89 Venus’ Looking Glass, blue.
90 Red Hawkweed, pale red.
91 Hedgehogs, yellow, curious pod.
74 Convolvulus Minor, fine blue and yellow centre.
75 Scarlet Cacalia, fine scarlet.
84 Mignonette, yellowish, very fragrant.
77 Sweet Alyssum, white and fragrant.
92 Wing Leaved Schizanthus, light and dark, purple and yellow.
93 Sensitive Plant, pink, very curious plant.
94 Coronilla, beautiful leaf, yellow.
95 Ice Plant, curious plant, white.
96 Nolana, light and dark blue.
83 Lobel’s Catchfly, red.
84 Mignonete, yellowish, fragrant.
81 White Evening Primrose, white.
97 Forget-me-not, blue.
79 Daisy Leaved Catchfly, fine pink.
98 Thunbergia, fine new plant - yellow and brown.
99 Heart’s Ease, purple, yellow and white.
87 Beautiful Clarkea, red.
100 Purple Jacobea, purple.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Plants in Early American Gardens - Texas Bird Pepper

Texas Bird Pepper (Capsicum annuum glabriusculum)

Capt. Samuel Brown sent Jefferson seeds of this dwarf pepper from San Antonio, Texas in 1812-13; stating that the peppers were as “essential to my health as salt itself.” Jefferson grew them at Monticello and also forwarded seeds to Philadelphia nurseryman Bernard McMahon who popularized it as an ornamental pot plant. Texas Bird Pepper is a lush, compact plant covered in early fall with tiny half-inch, reddish-orange, extremely hot peppers.

Monday, August 26, 2019

William Russell Birch (1755-1834) views American Gentlemen's Country Seats in 1808

English landscape artist & designer William Russell Birch (1755-1834) arrived in Philadelphia in 1794, with a letter of introduction from Pennsylvania expatriate artist Benjamin West. After publishing his successful book of engravings, City of Philadelphia in the State of Pennsylvania, North America, as it appeared in the Year 1800, he traveled up & down the Atlantic coast sketching for his 2nd American book of engravings, The Country Seats of the United States published in 1808.

Birch arrived on the wharf in Philadelphia, with an intimate knowledge the actual appearance of country estates in England as well as the manner in which they had been depicted in British art during the last half of the 18th-century.  He was sure he knew what proper, educated taste was in both architecture & landscape design & wanted to share that insight with a hopefully hungry & appreciative American audience, eager to buy his books.  Country estates in the new republic would not compare with country estates in the motherland, but he would depict them from a viewpoint of looking up at them.  They would sit as small crowns in a natural American landscape owing most of its design to Nature rather than the landscape architect's hand.

In his introduction, Birch wrote, "The comforts and advantages of a Country Residence, after Domestic accomodations are consulted, consist more in the beauty of the situation, than in the massy magnitude of the edifice: the choice ornaments of Architecture are by no means intended to be disparaged, they are on the contrary, not simply desirable, but requisite.  The man of taste will select his situation with skill, and add elegance and animation to the best choice.  In the United States the face of nature is so variegated; Nature has been so sportive and the means so easy of acquiring positions fit to gratify the most refined and rural enjoyment, that labour and expenditure of Art is not so great as in Countries less favoured."  Oh dear, perhaps a little condescending &  awkward, and a disappointed Birch found that his 2nd American book did not sell well in the new republic.
William Russell Birch (English artist, 1755-1834) Hoboken in New Jersey Seat of Mr. John Stevens. Country Seats of the United States 1808

William Russell Birch (English artist, 1755-1834) Hampton the Seat of Gen. Charles Ridgley, Maryland.  Country Seats of the United States 1808

William Russell Birch (English artist, 1755-1834) Landsdown the Seat of the late Wm Bingham Esq Pennsylvania.  Country Seats of the United States 1808

William Russell Birch (English artist, 1755-1834) Mount Vernon, Virginia, Seat of the late Genl G. Washington.  Country Seats of the United States 1808.

William Russell Birch (English artist, 1755-1834) Fountain Green Pennsylvania the Seat of Mr. S. Meeker.  Country Seats of the United States 1808.

William Russell Birch (English artist, 1755-1834) Solitude in Pennsylvania belonging to Mr. Penn.  Country Seats of the United States 1808.

William Russell Birch (English artist, 1755-1834) Devon in Pennsylvania the Seat of Mr. Dallas.  Country Seats of the United States 1808.

William Russell Birch (English artist, 1755-1834) Mount Sidney, the Seat of Gen. John Barker.  Pennsylvania. Country Seats of the United States 1808

William Russell Birch (English artist, 1755-1834) Seat of Mr. Duplantier near New Orleans & lately occupied as Head Quarters by Gen. J. Wilkinson.  Country Seats of the United States 1808.

William Russell Birch (English artist, 1755-1834) Montebello Birch General S Smith Balt.  Country Seats of the United States 1808

William Russell Birch (English artist, 1755-1834) Woodlands.  Woodlands the Seat of Mr Wm Hamilton, Pennsylvania. Country Seats of the United States 1808

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Plants in Early American Gardens - White Turtlehead

White Turtlehead (Chelone glabra)

This robust, showy North American perennial is found in moist woodland coves and along stream banks from Canada to Alabama. It was introduced into Europe in 1730 and named by Linnaeus. The Quaker botanist John Bartram sent seed of both white and red forms to his British patron, Peter Collinson, in 1750-51. The great naturalist, John Clayton, also sent seed abroad to Philip Miller of the Chelsea Physic Garden as well as to Bartram. By the mid-19th century, American garden writers such as Robert Buist promoted the Turtlehead as a desirable, but little known ornamental plant.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

1625 Francis Bacon's essay Of Gardens - Classic Garden Literature

Francis Bacon, (1561-1626), English philosopher, statesman, scientist, lawyer, jurist, & author, wrote of gardens in his 1625 Essayes or Counsels, Civill and Morall in the appropriately titled essay Of Gardens. Bacon had inherited his father's estate at Gorhambury in Hertfordshire in 1602. He gardened there & his notes outlining a scheme to make a four-acre water garden still exist in the British Museum. His essay on gardens coincided with the new North American settlements along the Atlantic coast.
Frans Pourbus the younger (1569–1622) Portrait of Francis Bacon 1617

God Almighty first planted a Garden; and, indeed, it is the purest of human pleasures; it is the greatest refreshment to the spirits of man; without which buildings and palaces are but gross handy-works: and a man shall ever see, that, when ages grow to civility and elegancy, men come to build stately, sooner than to garden finely; as if gardening were the greater perfection.

Gardens by the Season

I do hold it in the royal ordering of Gardens, there ought to be Gardens for all the months in the year, in which, severally, things of beauty may be then in season.

For December, and January, and the latter part of November, you must take such things as are green all winter: Holly, Ivy, Bays, Juniper, Cypress-trees, Yew, Pineapple-trees; Fir-trees, Rosemary, Lavender; Periwinkle, the white, the purple, and the blue; Germander, Flags, Orange-trees, Lemon-trees, and Myrtles, if they be stoved; and Sweet Marjoram, warm set.

There followeth, for the latter part of January and February, the Mezereon-tree, which then blossoms: Crocus Vernus, both the yellow and the gray; Primroses, Anemones, the early Tulip, the Hyacinthus Orientalis, Chamairis Fritellaria.

For March, there come Violets, especially the single blue, which are the earliest; the yellow Daffodil, the Daisy, the Almond-tree in blossom, the Peach-tree in blossom, the Cornelian-tree in blossom, Sweet-Briar.

In April follow the double white Violet, the Wallflower, the Stock-Gffliflower, the Cowslip, Flower-de-Luces and Lilies of all natures; Rosemary-flowers, the Tulip, the double Peony, the pale Daffodil, the French Honeysuckle, the Cheery-tree in blossom, the Damascene' and Plum-trees in blossom, the White Thom in leaf, the Lilac-tree.

In May and June come Pinks of all sorts, specially the Blush-Pink; Roses of all kinds, except the Musk, which comes later; Honeysuckles, Strawberries, Bugloss, Columbine, the French Marygold, Flos Africanus, Cherry-tree in fruit, Ribes, Figs in fruit, Rasps, Vine-flocvers, Lavender in flowers, the sweet Satyrian, with the white flower; Herba Muscaria, Lilium, Convallium, the Apple-tree in blossom.

In July come Gillyflowers of all varieties, Musk Roses, the Lime-tree in blossom, early Pears, and Plums in fruit, Genitings, Codlins.

In August come Plums of all sorts in fruit, Pears, Apricots, Barberries, Filberts, Musk-Melons, Monks-hoods, of all colours.

In September come Grapes, Apples, Poppies of all colours, Peaches, Melocotones, Nectarines, Cornelians, Wardens, Quinces.

In October, and the beginning of November, come Services, Medlars, Bullaces, Roses cut or removed to come late, Hollyoaks, and such like.

These particulars are for the climate of London; but my meaning is perceived, that you may have ver perpetuum, as the place affords.

Scents

And because the breath of flowers is far sweeter in the air (where it comes and goes, like the warbling of music), than in the hand, therefore nothing is more fit for that delight, than to know what be the flowers and plants that do best perfume the air.

Roses, damask and red, are fast' flowers of their smells; so that you may walk by a whole row of them, and find nothing of their sweetness; yea, though it be in a morning's dew.

Bays, likewise, yield no smell as they grow, Rosemary little, nor Sweet Marjoram; that which, above all others, yields the sweetest smell in the air, is the Violet, especially the white double Violet, which comes twice a year, about the middle of April, and about Bartholomew-tide.

Next to that is the Musk-Rose; then the Strawberry leaves dying, with a most excellent cordial smell; then the flower of the Vines, it is a little dust like the dust of a Bent, which grows upon the cluster in the first coming forth; then Sweet-Briar, then Wallflowers, which are very delightful to be set under a Parlour or lower chamber window; then Pinks and Gillyflowers, specially the matted Pink and Clove Gillyflower; then the flowers of the Lime-tree; then the Honeysuckles, so they be somewhat afar off.

Of Bean-flowers I speak not, because they are field-flowers; but those which perfume the air most delightfully, not passed by as the rest, but being trodden upon and crushed, are three; that is, Burnet, Wild Thyme, and Water-Mints; therefore you are to set whole alleys of them, to have the pleasure when you walk or tread.

Layout

For Gardens (speaking of those which are indeed prince-like, as we have done of Buildings), the contents ought not well to be under thirty acres of ground, and to be divided into three parts; a Green in the entrance, a Heath, or Desert, in the going forth, and the main Garden in the midst, besides alleys on both sides; and I like well, that four acres of ground be assigned to the Green, six to the Heath, four and four to either side, and twelve to the main Garden.

The Green hath two pleasures: the one, because nothing is more pleasant to the eye than green grass kept finely shorn; the other, because it will give you a fair alley in the midst, by which you may go in front upon a stately hedge, which is to enclose the garden: but because the alley will be long, and in great heat of the year, or day, you ought not to buy the shade in the Garden by going in the sun through the Green; therefore you are, of either side the Green, to plant a covert alley, upon carpenter's work, about twelve foot in height, by which you may go in shade into the Garden.

Knots

As for the making of knots, or figures, with divers coloured earths, that they may lie under the windows of the house on that side which the Garden stands, they be but toys; you may see as good sights many times in tarts.

Hedges

The Garden is best to be square, encompassed on all the four sides with a stately arched hedge; the arches to be upon pillars of carpenter's work, of some ten foot high, and six foot broad, and the spaces between of the same dimension with the breadth of the arch.

Over the arches let there be an entire hedge of some four foot high, framed also upon carpenter's work; and upon the upper hedge, over every arch, a little turret, with a belly enough to receive a cage of birds: and over every space between the arches some other little figure, with broad plates of round coloured glass gilt, for the sun to play upon: but this hedge I intend to be raised upon a bank, not steep, but gently slope, of some six foot, set all with flowers.

Also I understand, that this square of the Garden should not be the whole breadth of the ground, but to leave on either side ground enough for diversity of side alleys, unto which the two covert alleys of the Green may deliver you; but there must be no alleys with hedges at either end of this great enclosure; not at the hither ends for letting your prospect upon this fair hedge from the Green; nor at the farther end, for letting your prospect from the hedge through the arches upon the Heath.

Topiary

For the ordering of the ground within the great hedge, I leave it to variety of device; advising, nevertheless, that whatsoever form you cast it into first, it be not too bushy, or full of work; wherein I, for my part, do not like images cut out in Juniper or other garden stuff; they be for children.

Little low hedges, round like welts, with some pretty pyramids, I like well; and in some places fair column, upon frames of carpenter's work.

I would also have the alleys spacious and fair. You may have closet alleys upon the side grounds, but none in the main garden.

Mount

I wish also, in the very middle, a fair mount, with three ascents and alleys enough for four to walk abreast; which I would have to be perfect circles, without any bulwarks or embossments; and the whole mount to be thirty foot high; and some fine banqueting house with some chimneys neatly cast, and without too much glass.

Fountains

For Fountains, they are a great beauty and refreshment; but Pools mar all, and make the Garden unwholesome, and full of flies and frogs. Fountains I intend to be of two natures; the one that sprinkleth or spouteth water: the other a fair receipt of water, of some thirty or forty foot square, but without fish, or slime, or mud.

For the first, the ornaments of images, gilt or of marble, which are in use, do well: but the main matter is so to convey the water, as it never stay, either in the bowls or in the cistern: that the water be never by rest discoloured, green, or red, or the like, or gather any mossiness or putrefaction; besides that, it is to be cleansed every day by the hand: also some steps up to it, and some fine pavement about it doth well.

As for the other kind of Fountain, which we may call a bathing-pool, it may admit much curiosity and beauty, wherewith we will not trouble ourselves: as, that the bottom be finely paved, and with images; the sides likewise; and withal embellished with coloured glass, and such things of lustre; encompassed also with fine rails of low statues: but the main point is the same which we mentioned in the former kind of Fountain; which is, that the water be in perpetual motion, fed by a water higher than the pool, and delivered into it by fair spouts, and then discharged away underground, by some equality of bores, that it stay little; and for fine devices, of arching water without spilling, and making it rise in several forms (of feathers, drinking-glasses, canopies, and the like), they be pretty things to look on, but nothing to health and sweetness.

Heath

For the Heath, which was the third part of our plot, I wish it to be framed as much as may be to a natural wildness. Trees I would have none in it, but some thickets made only of Sweet-Briar and Honeysuckle, and some Wild Vine amongst; and the ground set with Violets, Strawberries, and Primroses; for these are sweet and prosper in the shade; and these to be in the Heath here and there, not in any order.

I like also little heaps, in the nature of mole-hills (such as are in wild Heaths), to be set, some with Wild Thyme, some with Pinks, some with Germander, that gives a good flower to the eye; some with Periwinkle, some with Violets; some with Strawberries, some with Cowslips, some with Daisies, some with Red Roses, some with Lilium Convallium, some with Sweet-Williams red, some with Bear's-Foot, and the like low flowers, being withal sweet and sightly; part of which heaps to be with standards of little bushes pricked upon their top, and part without: the standards to be Roses, Juniper, Holly, Barberries (but here and there because of the smell of their blossom), Red Currants, Gooseberries, Rosemary Bays, Sweet-Briar, and such like: but these standards to be kept with cutting, that they grow not out of course.

Alleys

For the side grounds, you are to fill them with variety of alleys, private, to give a full shade; some of them, wheresoever the sun be. You are to frame some of them likewise for shelter, that when the wind blows sharp, you may walk as in a gallery: and those alleys must be likewise hedged at both ends, to keep out the wind; and these closer alleys must be ever finely graveled, and no grass, because of going wet.

In many of these alleys, likewise, you are to set fruit-trees of all sorts, as well upon the walls as in ranges; and this should be generally observed, that the borders wherein you plant your fruit-trees be fair, and large, and low, and not steep; and set with fine flowers, but thin and sparingly, lest they deceive the trees.

At the end of both the side grounds I would have a mount of some pretty height, leaving the wall of the enclosure breast-high, to look abroad into the fields.

Main Garden

For the main Garden I do not deny but there should be some fair alleys ranged on both sides, with fruit-trees, and some pretty tufts of fruit-trees and arbours with seats, set in some decent order; but these to be by no means set too thick, but to leave the main Garden so as it be not close, but the air open and free.

For as for shade, I would have you rest upon the alleys of the side grounds, there to walk, if you be disposed, in the heat of the year or day; but to make account that the main Garden is for the more temperate parts of the year, and in the heat of summer for the morning and the evening or overcast days.

Aviaries

For Aviaries, I like them not, except they be of that largeness as they may be turfed, and have living plants and bushes set in them; that the birds may have more scope and natural nestling, and that no foulness appear in the floor of the aviary.

Conclusion

So I have made a platform of a princely Garden, partly by precept, partly by drawing; not a model, but some general lines of it; and in this I have spared for no cost: but it is nothing for great princes, that for the most part, taking advice with workmen, with no less cost set their things together, and sometimes add statues and such things, for state and magnificence, but nothing to the true pleasure of a Garden.

Text as originally written-

GOD Almighty first planted a garden. And indeed it is the purest of human pleasures. It is the greatest refreshment to the spirits of man; without which, buildings and palaces are but gross handiworks; and a man shall ever see, that when ages grow to civility and elegancy, men come to build stately sooner than to garden finely; as if gardening were the greater perfection. I do hold it, in the royal ordering of gardens, there ought to be gardens, for all the months in the year; in which severally things of beauty may be then in season. For December, and January, and the latter part of November, you must take such things as are green all winter: holly; ivy; bays; juniper; cypress-trees; yew; pine-apple-trees; fir-trees; rosemary; lavender; periwinkle, the white, the purple, and the blue; germander; flags; orangetrees; lemon-trees; and myrtles, if they be stoved; and sweet marjoram, warm set. There followeth, for the latter part of January and February, the mezereon-tree, which then blossoms; crocus vernus, both the yellow and the grey; primroses, anemones; the early tulippa; hyacinthus orientalis; chamairis; fritellaria. For March, there come violets, specially the single blue, which are the earliest; the yellow daffodil; the daisy; the almond-tree in blossom; the peach-tree in blossom; the cornelian-tree in blossom; sweet-briar. In April follow the double white violet; the wallflower; the stock-gilliflower; the cowslip; flowerdelices, and lilies of all natures; rosemary-flowers; the tulippa; the double peony; the pale daffodil; the French honeysuckle; the cherry-tree in blossom; the damson and plum-trees in blossom; the white thorn in leaf; the lilac-tree. In May and June come pinks of all sorts, specially the blushpink; roses of all kinds, except the musk, which comes later; honeysuckles; strawberries; bugloss; columbine; the French marigold, flos Africanus; cherry-tree in fruit; ribes; figs in fruit; rasps; vineflowers; lavender in flowers; the sweet satyrian, with the white flower; herba muscaria; lilium convallium; the apple-tree in blossom. In July come gilliflowers of all varieties; musk-roses; the lime-tree in blossom; early pears and plums in fruit; jennetings, codlins. In August come plums of all sorts in fruit; pears; apricocks; berberries; filberds; musk-melons; monks-hoods, of all colors. In September come grapes; apples; poppies of all colors; peaches; melocotones; nectarines; cornelians; wardens; quinces. In October and the beginning of November come services; medlars; bullaces; roses cut or removed to come late; hollyhocks; and such like. These particulars are for the climate of London; but my meaning is perceived, that you may have ver perpetuum, as the place affords.

And because the breath of flowers is far sweeter in the air (where it comes and goes like the warbling of music) than in the hand, therefore nothing is more fit for that delight, than to know what be the flowers and plants that do best perfume the air. Roses, damask and red, are fast flowers of their smells; so that you may walk by a whole row of them, and find nothing of their sweetness; yea though it be in a morning’s dew. Bays likewise yield no smell as they grow. Rosemary little; nor sweet marjoram. That which above all others yields the sweetest smell in the air is the violet, specially the white double violet, which comes twice a year; about the middle of April, and about Bartholomew-tide. Next to that is the musk-rose. Then the strawberry-leaves dying, which yield a most excellent cordial smell. Then the flower of vines; it is a little dust, like the dust of a bent, which grows upon the cluster in the first coming forth. Then sweet-briar. Then wall-flowers, which are very delightful to be set under a parlor or lower chamber window. Then pinks and gilliflowers, especially the matted pink and clove gilliflower. Then the flowers of the lime-tree. Then the honeysuckles, so they be somewhat afar off. Of beanflowers I speak not, because they are field flowers. But those which perfume the air most delightfully, not passed by as the rest, but being trodden upon and crushed, are three; that is, burnet, wildthyme, and watermints. Therefore you are to set whole alleys of them, to have the pleasure when you walk or tread.

For gardens (speaking of those which are indeed princelike, as we have done of buildings), the contents ought not well to be under thirty acres of ground; and to be divided into three parts; a green in the entrance; a heath or desert in the going forth; and the main garden in the midst; besides alleys on both sides. And I like well that four acres of ground be assigned to the green; six to the heath; four and four to either side; and twelve to the main garden. The green hath two pleasures: the one, because nothing is more pleasant to the eye than green grass kept finely shorn; the other, because it will give you a fair alley in the midst, by which you may go in front upon a stately hedge, which is to enclose the garden. But because the alley will be long, and, in great heat of the year or day, you ought not to buy the shade in the garden, by going in the sun through the green, therefore you are, of either side the green, to plant a covert alley upon carpenter’s work, about twelve foot in height, by which you may go in shade into the garden. As for the making of knots or figures, with divers colored earths, that they may lie under the windows of the house on that side which the garden stands, they be but toys; you may see as good sights, many times, in tarts. The garden is best to be square, encompassed on all the four sides with a stately arched hedge. The arches to be upon pillars of carpenter’s work, of some ten foot high, and six foot broad; and the spaces between of the same dimension with the breadth of the arch. Over the arches let there be an entire hedge of some four foot high, framed also upon carpenter’s work; and upon the upper hedge, over every arch, a little turret, with a belly, enough to receive a cage of birds: and over every space between the arches some other little figure, with broad plates of round colored glass gilt, for the sun to play upon. But this hedge I intend to be raised upon a bank, not steep, but gently slope, of some six foot, set all with flowers. Also I understand, that this square of the garden, should not be the whole breadth of the ground, but to leave on either side, ground enough for diversity of side alleys; unto which the two covert alleys of the green, may deliver you. But there must be no alleys with hedges, at either end of this great enclosure; not at the hither end, for letting your prospect upon this fair hedge from the green; nor at the further end, for letting your prospect from the hedge, through the arches upon the heath.

For the ordering of the ground, within the great hedge, I leave it to variety of device; advising nevertheless, that whatsoever form you cast it into, first, it be not too busy, or full of work. Wherein I, for my part, do not like images cut out in juniper or other garden stuff; they be for children. Little low hedges, round, like welts, with some pretty pyramids, I like well; and in some places, fair columns upon frames of carpenter’s work. I would also have the alleys, spacious and fair. You may have closer alleys, upon the side grounds, but none in the main garden. I wish also, in the very middle, a fair mount, with three ascents, and alleys, enough for four to walk abreast; which I would have to be perfect circles, without any bulwarks or embossments; and the whole mount to be thirty foot high; and some fine banqueting-house, with some chimneys neatly cast, and without too much glass.

For fountains, they are a great beauty and refreshment; but pools mar all, and make the garden unwholesome, and full of flies and frogs. Fountains I intend to be of two natures: the one that sprinkleth or spouteth water; the other a fair receipt of water, of some thirty or forty foot square, but without fish, or slime, or mud. For the first, the ornaments of images gilt, or of marble, which are in use, do well: but the main matter is so to convey the water, as it never stay, either in the bowls or in the cistern; that the water be never by rest discolored, green or red or the like; or gather any mossiness or putrefaction. Besides that, it is to be cleansed every day by the hand. Also some steps up to it, and some fine pavement about it, doth well. As for the other kind of fountain, which we may call a bathing pool, it may admit much curiosity and beauty; wherewith we will not trouble ourselves: as, that the bottom be finely paved, and with images; the sides likewise; and withal embellished with colored glass, and such things of lustre; encompassed also with fine rails of low statuas. But the main point is the same which we mentioned in the former kind of fountain; which is, that the water be in perpetual motion, fed by a water higher than the pool, and delivered into it by fair spouts, and then discharged away under ground, by some equality of bores, that it stay little. And for fine devices, of arching water without spilling, and making it rise in several forms (of feathers, drinking glasses, canopies, and the like), they be pretty things to look on, but nothing to health and sweetness.

For the heath, which was the third part of our plot, I wish it to be framed, as much as may be, to a natural wildness. Trees I would have none in it, but some thickets made only of sweet-briar and honeysuckle, and some wild vine amongst; and the ground set with violets, strawberries, and primroses. For these are sweet, and prosper in the shade. And these to be in the heath, here and there, not in any order. I like also little heaps, in the nature of mole-hills (such as are in wild heaths), to be set, some with wild thyme; some with pinks; some with germander, that gives a good flower to the eye; some with periwinkle; some with violets; some with strawberries; some with cowslips; some with daisies; some with red roses; some with lilium convallium; some with sweet-williams red; some with bear’s-foot: and the like low flowers, being withal sweet and sightly. Part of which heaps, are to be with standards of little bushes pricked upon their top, and part without. The standards to be roses; juniper; holly; berberries (but here and there, because of the smell of their blossoms); red currants; gooseberries; rosemary; bays; sweetbriar; and such like. But these standards to be kept with cutting, that they grow not out of course.

For the side grounds, you are to fill them with variety of alleys, private, to give a full shade, some of them, wheresoever the sun be. You are to frame some of them, likewise, for shelter, that when the wind blows sharp you may walk as in a gallery. And those alleys must be likewise hedged at both ends, to keep out the wind; and these closer alleys must be ever finely gravelled, and no grass, because of going wet. In many of these alleys, likewise, you are to set fruit-trees of all sorts; as well upon the walls, as in ranges. And this would be generally observed, that the borders wherein you plant your fruit-trees, be fair and large, and low, and not steep; and set with fine flowers, but thin and sparingly, lest they deceive the trees. At the end of both the side grounds, I would have a mount of some pretty height, leaving the wall of the enclosure breast high, to look abroad into the fields.

For the main garden, I do not deny, but there should be some fair alleys ranged on both sides, with fruit-trees; and some pretty tufts of fruittrees, and arbors with seats, set in some decent order; but these to be by no means set too thick; but to leave the main garden so as it be not close, but the air open and free. For as for shade, I would have you rest upon the alleys of the side grounds, there to walk, if you be disposed, in the heat of the year or day; but to make account, that the main garden is for the more temperate parts of the year; and in the heat of summer, for the morning and the evening, or overcast days.

For aviaries, I like them not, except they be of that largeness as they may be turfed, and have living plants and bushes set in them; that the birds may have more scope, and natural nesting, and that no foulness appear in the floor of the aviary. So I have made a platform of a princely garden, partly by precept, partly by drawing, not a model, but some general lines of it; and in this I have spared for no cost. But it is nothing for great princes, that for the most part taking advice with workmen, with no less cost set their things together; and sometimes add statuas and such things for state and magnificence, but nothing to the true pleasure of a garden.

Friday, August 23, 2019

Plants in Early American Gardens - Queen's Tears

 Queen's Tears (Billbergia nutans)
Queen's Tears (Billbergia nutans)

This species is native to Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina where it grows both as an epiphyte in low trees and as a terrestrial on the forest floor from 2,300 to 3,000 feet elevation. The genus name honors the Swedish botanist, zoologist, and anatomist Gustaf Johan Billberg (1772-1844) who authored the Flora of Sweden. The specific epithet is Latin for nodding, in reference to the way the flowers are held in pendant clusters. The name Friendship Plant refers to the ability to easily propagate and share with friends.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

A Decade ago Geo Washington’s Mount Vernon Garden Revamped for Authenticity

From The Washington Post by Adrian Higgins, Published: May 29, 2011

"Ellen Epstein has stopped to smell the sweet williams in the Upper Garden at Mount Vernon. The art appraiser from Katonah, N.Y., has been to George Washington’s riverside home several times, but not for at least 10 years, and the place has changed somehow. “I remember this garden wasn’t like this at all,” she said, looking up to take in the walled one-acre landscape.

"As she surveys the fruit orchard, boxwood parterres and flower borders, a couple of gardeners plant clumps of golden-flowered calendulas near the grapevine trellises. They are putting the final touches on a fundamental reworking of Washington’s pleasure garden. Begun last August and now virtually complete, the new garden re-creates what experts believe is a far closer representation of the one Washington knew in the late 18th century.

"Gone is the tall boxwood edging, along with the crescent flower beds at the apex of the garden. The paths are wider, the garden beds fewer but much larger. Bands of decorative plants wrap around what is essentially a vegetable garden — the area devoted to veggies has grown fivefold and occupies a quarter of the space. Even though the “high garden” was the landscape jewel of the estate, Washington “wasn’t about to let something beautiful take away from something that was necessary,” said Dean Norton, Mount Vernon’s director of horticulture.

"Spring visitors such as Epstein are noticing the transformation of the Upper Garden, which is now less mannered but more striking. “One of the biggest shocks is the lack of boxwood, but the openness, they’re overwhelmed by it,” said Norton, standing on one of the new 10-foot-wide gravel paths.

"For a century until the 1980s, George and Martha Washington’s status garden featured old, billowing English boxwood — long assumed to date to the Washingtons’ time — and a pair of formal rose gardens. It became as increasingly untenable as the idea that young George could not tell a lie — hybrid tea roses did not appear until the 1860s, and the boxwood, once the rings were counted, turned out to be not much older. Washington died at Mount Vernon in 1799, his widow in 1802.

"The garden was redesigned 26 years ago in what was thought to be a much more authentic fashion. The rose beds were removed, but the crescent beds retained and more paths added, creating additional, small flower beds. “What was missing from that restoration was physical evidence for what the garden would have looked like,” said Esther White, Mount Vernon’s director of archaeology. “We knew the roses were wrong.” The changes had to accommodate the sacred but ailing and, as it turned out, unoriginal boxwood.

"Six years ago, with the boxwood well on their way out, White got permission to conduct a winter dig of the garden. In a small section near the north entrance, the excavation revealed more than expected in what had been a historically unyielding site and led to a four-month dig the next year in more clement weather.

"The 15-member archaeology team hit pay dirt, discovering what turned out to be Washington’s first known use of this site, as a nursery for holding fruit trees in the 1760s. With an additional 13 months of digs between 2008 and last year, White and her team found a total of six garden iterations on the site and were able to piece together the layout for the walled, bullet-shaped pleasure garden that was first mapped in the 1780s.

"Years ago, Norton thought this plan, by Samuel Vaughan, only depicted the Upper Garden as it looked when it was first built, before Washington embellished it. Now, he realizes, Vaughan was telling us what the garden looked like pretty much fully formed.

"In rebuilding the garden — the construction took place between August and November — crews brought in 350 cubic yards of soil and compost. Bulbs were planted in late 2010, the remaining plantings this spring. Eight mature apple, pear and cherry trees were moved to the orchard bed.

"In late spring, the beds of decorative plants feature a mixture of all sorts of heirloom plants — bulbs, annuals, perennials, biennials, shrubs and roses. The gardeners have planted vegetables in strict rows, including peas, beans, beets, lettuce, potatoes, spinach and lots of cabbage-family plants.

"Washington mentioned very few ornamental plants in his writings, but his gardener’s weekly reports left a trove of information about what was being planted and, often, where.

"Which raises the question: Why weren’t these detailed reports used earlier to fashion the Upper Garden? The answer, of course, is that while the new garden speaks to Washington the man, the previous, embroidered versions told of Washington the myth. (The Upper Garden’s twin, the Lower Garden, remains an idealized Colonial Revival fruit and vegetable garden.)

“The [Upper] Garden became a reflection of everything we in the 19th and 20th century think about Washington, this romanticized view of the 18th-century man, strolling his pleasure garden, taking in the colors, the fragrances,” White said. “It’s our projection. One of the things the project did was to make people wipe clean their idea of what the garden should be. We all started again.”

"The plant varieties and the medley of ornamentals around the vegetables seem alien and constrained to the modern gardener, but in Washington’s day, the Upper Garden was a horticultural spectacle and undoubtedly impressed the many visitors that the Washingtons entertained.

"Among wealthy, important plantation owners in Virginia and Maryland, such gardens were a display of status. “It’s something you did with surplus people and time,” said Barbara Heath, a professor of archaeology at the University of Tennessee and adviser for the project. “Most people couldn’t afford the time or the labor or had the knowledge to create a great garden. It was the elite who used the landscape to say, ‘This is who we are.’

For Epstein and her friend Oudia Felker, the strange old garden — stripped of its romantic flourish — is perfect.

“This is magnificent,” said Felker, of Venice, Fla. “Can you imagine never knowing how many people you’re going to have for dinner and being able to pick enough to accommodate 16, 20 people?” she said.

“If this is what it is, this is what it is,” Epstein said. “I want to see how he actually lived.”

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Plants in Early American Gardens - Bare Root Dutchman's Breeches

Bare Root Dutchman's Breeches (Dicentra cucullaria)

This choice native perennial grows in abundance along the alluvial slopes of Monticello mountain, often in association with Virginia Bluebells. It was likely first brought into cultivation during the early nineteenth century. The plant grows from small bulbs and goes dormant quickly after flowering, often spreading seed to increase the colony in future seasons.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Beans in Virginian John Randolph's 1727-1784 Treatise on Gardening 1764


A Treatise on Gardening Written by a native of this State (Virginia)
Author was John Randolph (1727-1784)
Written in Williamsburg, Virginia about 1765
Published by T. Nicolson, Richmond, Virginia. 1793
The only known copy of this booklet is found in the Special Collections of the Wyndham Robertson Library at Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia.

Beans

Beans...to eat, delight in a fine rich stiff soil, without dung, though that must be supplied where the lands are poor. To have fine beans, especially of the Windsor sort, which are much the best, they ought to be planted six inches asunder, in rows three feet distant from one another, in the, wane of the moon, (as it is vulgarly said) and under a hedge, which serves for a shelter. When the flowers begin to open towards the bottom of the stalk, the tops should be pinched off, though it is as good a season as any to do it in, when the blossoms are well blown and set. If you want an early crop, plant them in October, and hill them up as they grow, and shelter them; if a second crop, cut them down within two or three inches of the ground before they bear fruit. Don't pull the bean, cut it with a knife. The first production is the properest of all seeds for sowing. When the seed is ripe, you must pull up the stalks and sun them, observing to turn them every day or two. Beans, like all other seed, degenerate in the same ground, wherefore it is advisable to change your seed, and the beds they grew in.

Kidney Bean, Phaseotus, a long swift ship, which the husk resembles, may be planted in March; if sooner, they must be well sheltered, for they are easily killed, in a light fertile soil, in trenches about two and a half feet asunder, each grain two inches distant from the next, and one inch deep. They will not bear transplanting. They should be planted in a dry season. The Dutch sort, which is the common kind, should be stuck, otherwise they will lie on the ground and rot. This sort, if stuck, grow to a great height, and afford a constant succession. A second sowing will supply you sufficiently the season. If, when you plant, it should be a dry season, water the furrows or trenches before you drop the seed in. French Beans and snaps are the same. The Dutch sort are not so apt to be stringy, which the dwarf sort are.

Bushel or Sugar Beans, being of a tender nature, should not be planted till April, which is the best season, in hills made light and rich, about three to the hill, so as to admit a stake in the middle of them. They will grow round the stake to a great height, will bear very profusely, and continue till destroyed by frost. They are esteemed very delicate, and are of various colours, as white, marbled, green, etc.

A brief history of Croquet in the Garden & the fashions that followed

 Johann Mongles Culverhouse (Dutch-born American painter, 1825-1895) Croquet

Croquet is, like pall mall, trucco, jeu de mail & kolven, clearly a derivative of ground billiards, which was popular in Western Europe back to at least the 14th century, with roots in classical antiquity.  Researchers claim that both golf & croquet evolved from these ancient sports, and that billiards was a modified inside game of croquet.
1650 'Le Centre de l'Amour, Decouvert Soubs Divers Emblesmes Galans et Facetieux' was first published (by Chez Cupidon) c 1650.

Some researchers believe the game was introduced to Britain from France during the reign of Charles II of England, & was played under the name of paille-maille or pall mall, derived ultimately from Latin words for "ball and mallet."
 1626 Adrian van de Veen Frederick V, Elector Palatine on the Maliebaen in Den Haag

Played during the 17th century by Charles II & his courtiers at St. James's Park in London, the name of the game was anglicized to Pall Mall, which also became the name of a nearby street. "Mall" then evolved into a generic word for any street used for public gathering & strollings.
The Pall Mall at St James, London, from a 17th century map by Faithhorne

In his 1810 book entitled The Sports and Pastimes of the People of England, Joseph Strutt describes the way pall mall was played in England in the early 17th century: "Pale-maille is a game wherein a round box ball is struck with a mallet through a high arch of iron, which he that can do at the fewest blows, or at the number agreed upon, wins. It is to be observed, that there are two of these arches, that is one at either end of the alley."
David Johnson (American artist, 1827-1908) Croquet on the Lawn

In Samuel Johnson's 1828 dictionary, he defines the game, "A play in which the ball is struck with a mallet through an iron ring."
Winslow Homer (American artist, 1836-1910)  Croquet

A similar game was played on the beaches of Brittany.  Some researches believe that the rules of the modern game of croquet arrived from Ireland during the 1850s, perhaps after being brought there from Brittany. Records show the similar game of "crookey" being played at Castlebellingham in 1834, which was introduced to Galway in 1835 & played on the bishop's palace garden, and in the same year to the genteel Dublin suburb of Kingstown (today Dún Laoghaire) where it was first spelled "croquet."
Winslow Homer (American artist, 1836-1910) Croquet Players

The oldest document to bear the word "croquet" with a description of the modern game is the set of rules registered by Isaac Spratt in November 1856 with the Stationers' Company in London.
1866 The Game of Croquet Published by Harper's Weekly. 1866 detail

The tale is that the game traveled from Ireland to England around 1851.  An unidentified Miss MacNaghten observed peasants in France playing a game with hoops made of willow rods & mallets of broomsticks inserted into pieces of wood & introduced it in Ireland.  Sometime around 1850, she passed the idea to a Mr. Spratt and the result was Spratt's rules for croquet published in 1851.  Spratt then passed the game on to John Jacques; who claimed that he made equipment from patterns he bought in Ireland & had published rules, before Spratt introduced the subject to him.  Whatever the case, Jacques was the first to make equipment as a regular business; and in 1864, published his first comprehensive code of laws.
1870 Croquet Published in Every Saturday An Illustrated Journal of choice Reading, Boston


At first, croquet was most popular among women,  It was a new experience for them to be able to play a game outdoors in the company of men.  Early games of croquet were carefully chaperoned.   The game's popularity grew in the 1860's, where garden parties began to be called croquet parties.
1870 Croqueting the Rover.  Published in Every Saturday An Illustrated Journal of Choice Reading. Boston

1868 saw the formation of the All England Croquet Club with the purpose of creating an official body to control the game and unify the laws.  They needed to find a ground, and in 1869 leased four acres in Wimbledon.
1871 Preparing for Croquet published in Harper's Weekly, New York, July 22, 1871.

In 1875, one lawn at the club was set aside for exciting new game of lawn tennis, which was gaining popularity much more quickly than croquet.  In April, 1877 the club name was changed to the All England Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club; and in July, 1877 the first lawn tennis championship was held at Wimbledon.
1872 The Last Croquet Game of the Summer published in Harper's Bazar, New York, Nov. 2, 1872.

Croquet began to decline as tennis grew & proved to be more of a money maker.  In 1882, croquet was deleted from the club title.  However, croquet continued & went through a regrowth.  In 1899, the name was restyled again to to the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club which it remains today.
Croquet

While croquet was on the decline in England, it was beginning to be the latest rage in America. Croquet equipment was advertised in the New York Clipper in 1862.  In a story of an elopment in the November, 1864 issue of Godey's Ladies Book, they described the intended bride, "her petite figure and dove-like eyes caused her at once to become "the rage of the park, the ball-room, the opera, and the croquet lawn." In 1865, the Newport Croquet Club was formed in Rhode Island.  The April 1865, Godey's Ladies Book published a few rules for the game declaring, "As this game is now becoming very fashionable, we give some of the rules that govern it."
1862 John Leech (English artist, 1817-1864) Croquet

When Vassar College opened , an announcement Godey's Lady's Book. August, 1865, stated, "The play-grounds are ample and secluded; and the apparatus required for...such simple feminine sports as archery, croquet (or ladies' cricket), graces, shuttlecocks, etc. will be supplied by the college."  In the same issue, the magazine explained, "A NEW and fashionable amusement for the ladies may be found in the game of croquet , which is fast winning its way into the favor and esteem of all who make its acquaintance. It is a delightful game; it gives grace to the movements of the players; it can be played on any little grass-plot, and the implements of the game are becoming so cheap as to place them within the reach of all. Boys and girls, young men and maidens, and (as we do know), a good many older ones, find in it a most healthful and fascinating out-door recreation."  Two months later, the magazine noted, "Among the late novelties we notice pocket-handkerchiefs having a lady in croquet dress with mallet in hand, embroidered in gay colors in the corner."
1865 John Leech (English artist, 1817-1864)A Nice Game For Two Or More

By April of the next year, Godey's was featuring a croquet dress in one of its fashion plates, "Croquet dress of black alpaca, trimmed round the edge of the skirt, up the front, and up each breadth, with bands of green silk cut out in points. The basque is made quite long, slit up to the waist at the back, and turned over with green silk both back and front. The sleeves are trimmed with points of green silk to match the skirt, and the corsage is turned back, in revers, showing a fine worked chemisette. Hat of black straw, trimmed with a puffing of green silk, and a long white plume."
1867 Philip Hermogenes Calderon (French-born English painter,1833-1898) Resting in the Shade after a game of Croquet

Milton Bradley & Co in 1866, published "Croquet - It's Principles and Rules." In February of 1867, Godey's explaned that croquet, "requires for its full development a level ground of well-mown and well-rolled grass (unless all are equally acquainted with the inequalities, when slight undulations may add to the interest of the game); but it can be played on the sand of the sea-shore where it is hard and level, or upon well-rolled grave, or asphalte covered with a thin layer of fine broken shells."
John Sartain (1808-1897) Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885), the 18th President of the United States (1869–1877) with his family

Later in 1867, a New York newspaper editorialized, "never in the history of outdoor sports in this country had any game achieved so sudden a popularity with both sexes, but especially with the ladies, as Croquet has."
 1870 The All-England Croquet Club at Wimbledon Ladies Sport Croquet Illustrated London News

The Delaware County Republican newspaper of July 10, 1868. carried an announcement of a variety of wooden croquet sets for sale, "BOX WOOD, Rose Wood, Lignum Vitae, Rock Maple, and less expensive sets of Croquet Games." By 1869, churches were offering croquet to their guests. The Delaware County American announced on June 2, 1869, next to the Maple Church, "a strawberry and ice cream FESTIVAL, provided and served by ladies...a Concert, Vocal and Instrumental ...also, a croquet lawn, with the requisite conveniences." When the strawberries ripened the following June, the church ladies once again offered their festival including croquet. The popularity of croquet was growing by leaps and bounds in post Civil War America.
1871 Edouard Manet (French painter, 1832-1883)  Partie de Croquet à Boulogne–sur–Mer

 In 1882, a convention in New York of 25 clubs formed the National American Croquet Association. Croquet was introduced as an Olympic sport in the 1900 Paris games. Early 1900 American croquet leaders disagreed with many of the new English rules which outlawed mallets with heads made of rubber & had introduced the 6-wicket court layout. They kept the 9-wicket version & short handled mallets with heads of metal face on one end and rubber on the other. The Americans introduced their version of 9-wicket croquet at the 1904 Olympics in St. Louis which was won by an American but never played in the Olympics again.
1871 The Illustrated London News  Croquet Under Difficulties.

1872 Louise Abbéma (1853-1927), A Game of Croquet at Trouville

1875 Oneida Community, New York

Winslow Homer (American artist, 1836-1910) Croquet Scene

 1872 Une Partie De Croquet, engraving by Paul Girardet

1873 Edouard Manet (French painter, 1832-1883)  The Croquet Game

 1876 James H Holly Residence, Warwick, NY

1873 John George Brown (American genre artist, 1831-1913) Have a Game

John E Williams Residence, Irvington, NY

1873 Never Too Old To Play Croquet Nor Yet Too Young  August Published for Harper's Weekly, New York

1876 A game of croquet on the front lawn of Perry Guile's house in Milo, New York

 1878  James Tissot (French artist, 1836-1902) Croquet

Prince and Princess of Wales playing croquet The Illustrated London News

1880 Valentine showing a woman playing croquet

 1885 A game of croquet without rules. Harper's young people.

1889 Léon Benett, Fortuné-Louis Méaulle Croquet

1892 Pierre Bonnard (French painter, 1867-1947)  Crespuscule ou La Partie de Croquet

1901 Seaside Games

1904 Anna Whelan Betts (American illustrator, 1875–1952) Croquet

1915 Chatterbox Magazine

Percy W. Gibbs (English Painter, active c 1895-1925)  Ladies playing croquet

Victorian Trading Card Girl Playing Croquet Walkers Wax Soap in Sleeve

William Crawford Arsa (Scottish paintre, 1825-69). Eliza Anne Lochart (Nana), William Frederick (Bill) and John Henry Middleton playing croquet in a garden before a cornfield

William McGregor Paxton (American painter, 1869-1941) The Croquet Players

Croquet Fashions for players and observers
Croquet grew in popularity with women during the 1860s; however, the sport was hampered by their heavy, full skirts & the crinolines worn underneath.  Many women took to looping up their skirts to prevent soiling them or brushing against the croquet balls. Designers began to have the exposed petticoats develop tabs to button up the skirts, & the hems on croquet dresses became increasingly bold & decorative. In 1864, one croquet player advised, “the dress should be looped up, or not only will it spoil many a good stroke, but with its sweeping train will probably disturb the position of some of the balls.” 
1860s Walking and croquet dress, Le Diable Rose

1865 September fashions, 1865 France, Cendrillon

1866 Godey's fashions for [April 1866] Kimmel & Forster N.Y.

1870 Les modes parisiennes  Peterson's magazine, July, 1870.

1881 American Fashion Croquet Dresses

1883 Childrens Country Costumes from The Queen.

Le Monde Elegant

Photo of Croquet Players 1860s