The Friends of the Dover Public Library will host author Thomas J. Mickey on Tuesday evening,
The book tells the story of tastemakers and savvy businessmen, and the beginnings of the modern garden industry, which fixated the proper English garden in the mind of the American consumer. During the 1890s, cheaper paper, faster printing, and improved mail delivery paved the way for mass-produced seed and nursery catalogs with beautiful pictures of sprawling lawns, exotic plants, and the latest garden accessories—in other words, the quintessential English-style garden. These catalogs delivered aspirational images to front doorsteps from California to Maine, and a growing American middle class was eager to buy. The English garden became the look of America.
Publishers Weekly called “America’s Romance with the English Garden” a “thoughtfully woven American landscape design history, with a critical examination of how commercial interests and mass media shape our preferences, even in our humble backyards.” The book is based on Thomas Mickey’s year-long research at the Smithsonian, where he received the Enid A. Haupt Fellowship from the Horticultural Division. He is Professor Emeritus of Communication Studies at Bridgewater State University in Massachusetts. He is also a graduate of Harvard University's Landscape Institute, a former garden columnist for Foster’s Daily Democrat, and author of “Best Garden Plants for New England”.
This program is free and open to the public. For more information, please contact the Dover Public Library at 603-516-6050.