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October 17, 2009

Tool Time: John Evelyn

For today's Tool Time post, Garden Variety is going back in time.

Way back in time.

Through the courtesy of Barbara Wells Sarudy's blog, Early American Gardens: A museum in a blog , we learn about John Evelyn, a wealthy English aristocrat and his 40 years long project to catalog the horticultural information which was changing so fast in front of him.

Much of what he wrote was, of course, about garden tools, and he included a long list of what he thought were the essentials. Read his list on this blog post by Sarudy.

She was the executive director of the Maryland Humanities Council for nearly 10 years, retiring in 2001. She wrote extensively about early Chesapeake gardens and her work was published as a book, "Gardens and Gardening in the Chesapeake, 1700-1805."

Sarudy told me in an e-mail that she finds her investigation of the history of gardens "endlessly fascinating."

"Historically when people have been able to raise enough crops and food to sustain a comfortable life, they have challenged nature even further by turning their outdoor environment into a living art form, a pleasure garden.  These are the gardens which dominate my blog. My blog is about the people of early America and the ideas they designed into their gardens," she writes.
The illustration is from John Evelyn's masterwork, Elysium Britannicum, or The Royal Gardens in Three Books
Posted by Susan Reimer at 7:00 AM | | Comments (0)
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About Susan Reimer
Susan Reimer has spent 16 years writing about raising kids - among other topics - in her column for The Baltimore Sun. And every time son Joseph or daughter Jessie passed another milestone - driver's license, college, wedding or a move to a new military duty station - she has planted another garden. Now she will be writing about those gardens - and yours - here on Garden Variety.

Susan isn't an expert gardener, but she wasn't an expert mother, either. Both - the kids and the gardens - seem to be doing well in spite of her.

She lives in Annapolis with her husband, Gary Mihoces, who loves to cut his grass but has noticed that there seems to be less of it every time the kids pass another milestone.

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