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Gardens and gardening in the Chesapeake, 1700-1805

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Johns Hopkins University Press,
Pub. Date:
Varies, see individual formats and editions

The mid-Atlantic region is fortunate to have an abundance of houses and buildings that date to the eighteenth century. Fine examples of the furniture, paintings, and other objects that filled these houses survive in museums and private collections. But what of the gardens that surrounded these early homes? Virtually all of them have been reclaimed by wilderness or altered by later residents.

In Gardens and Gardening in the Chesapeake , Barbara Wells Sarudy recovers this lost world using a remarkable variety of sources--historic maps, travelers' accounts, diaries, paintings (some on the backs of Baltimore painted chairs), account ledgers, catalogues, and newspaper advertisements. She offers an engaging account of the region's earliest gardens, introducing us to the people who designed and tended these often elaborate landscapes and explaining the forces and finances behind their creation.

Many of Sarudy's stories concern the gentry and their great estates. She tells of Charles Carroll of Annapolis, who spent the 1770s fretting about revolutionary politics and designing geometric landscapes for his home--and who died in 1783, the result of a fall in his beloved garden. She describes Charles Ridgely's terraced garden at Hampton, one of more than seventy geometric gardens that dotted the hills around Baltimore in the 1800s. And she recalls Rosalie Stier Calvert's quest for beauty and utility in her garden at Riversdale, where at great expense she ordered the installation of an ornamental lake to improve the view while also providing ice for the kitchen and fish for the table.

Beyond the gentry, Sarudy tells the less familiar stories of the gardeners, laborers, nurserymen, and seed dealers whose skills and efforts transformed the Chesapeake landscape. In Virginia, royal gardeners arrived from England to maintain the grounds of the Governor's Palace and the College of William and Mary. In Maryland, the Jesuits paid independent garden contractors to maintain their kitchen and medicinal-botanical gardens. Most Chesapeake gardeners, of course, relied on indentured servants or slaves to install and maintain their gardens--or did the work themselves--and Sarudy tells their stories, as well.

Throughout, she relates gardens and gardening to the larger forces that lay behind them. During the Revolution, for example, attempts to demonstrate republican simplicity and independence helped to create a distinctly American garden style. William Faris, an Annapolis watchmaker and innkeeper, went so far as to describe his improved varieties of tulips as symbols of the new nation--and took particular pride in naming them to honor national heroes such as President Washington.

From the favorite books of early gardeners to the republican balance between table and ornamental gardens, Sarudy includes details that give us an unprecedented understanding of Chesapeake gardening from settlement through the early national period. Her postscript describes the ultimate fate of the region's eighteenth century gardens--some of which survive (in more or less authentic form) and can still be visited and enjoyed.

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Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID6185a094-bde7-1817-8c37-e8d59fad5959
Grouping Titlegardens and gardening in the chesapeake 1700 1805
Grouping Authorbarbara wells sarudy
Grouping Categorybook
Grouping LanguageEnglish (eng)
Last Grouping Update2020-09-01 22:53:52PM
Last Indexed2020-10-26 04:50:15AM
Novelist Primary ISBN9780801858239

Solr Details

authorSarudy, Barbara Wells.,
author_displaySarudy, Barbara Wells
available_at_aacplBusch Annapolis Library
Maryland City at Russett Library
detailed_location_aacplA A Co. Archaeology Lab in Edgewater - Call 410-222-1318 to verify availability.
Busch Annapolis Library - MD Gold Star/Temporarily located at the Truxal Library AACC
Maryland City at Russett Library - Nonfiction
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ils:a20857131997052256872Busch Annapolis Library - MD Gold Star/Temporarily located at the Truxal Library AACC* MD 712.0975 S1falsefalseOn ShelfANN
ils:a56819531997064071970A A Co. Archaeology Lab in Edgewater - Call 410-222-1318 to verify availability.R 712.0975 S1falsefalseOn ShelfMay 07, 2015Z-LOND
ils:a13715731997061050969Maryland City at Russett Library - NonfictionMD 712.0975 S1falsefalseOn ShelfJul 28, 2019MDC
itype_aacplAdult Nonfiction
Available at the A A Co. Archaeology Lab in Edgewater
Maryland Gold Star / Temporarily located at Truxal Library AACC
literary_formNon Fiction
literary_form_fullNon Fiction
local_callnumber_aacpl* MD 712.0975 S
MD 712.0975 S
R 712.0975 S
owning_library_aacplAnne Arundel County Public Library
owning_location_aacplBusch Annapolis Library
Maryland City at Russett Library
Bib IdFormatFormat CategoryEditionLanguagePublisherPublication DatePhysical Description
ils:a208571BookBooksEnglishJohns Hopkins University Press, c1998.206 p. : ill. (some col. ill.) ; 26 cm.
ils:a568195BookBooksEnglishJohns Hopkins University Press, 1998.206 p. : ill. (some col. ill.) ; 26 cm.
ils:a137157BookBooksEnglishJohns Hopkins University Press, 1998.206 pages : ill. (some color illustrations) ; 26 cm.
Bib IdItem IdGrouped StatusStatusLocally OwnedAvailableHoldableBookableIn Library Use OnlyLibrary OwnedHoldable PTypesBookable PTypesLocal Url
ils:a20857131997052256872On ShelfOn Shelffalsetruefalsefalsefalsetrue
ils:a56819531997064071970On ShelfOn Shelffalsetruefalsefalsefalsetrue
ils:a13715731997061050969On ShelfOn Shelffalsetruetruefalsefalsetrue
subject_facetAnne Arundel County Archaeology Lab -- call 410-222-1318 to schedule an appointment
Anne Arundel County Archaeology Research Library
Gardening -- Chesapeake Bay Region (Md. and Va.) -- History -- 18th century
Gardens -- Chesapeake Bay Region (Md. and Va.) -- History -- 18th century
Maryland Gold Star Collection
title_displayGardens and gardening in the Chesapeake, 1700-1805
title_fullGardens and gardening in the Chesapeake, 1700-1805 / Barbara Wells Sarudy
Gardens and gardening in the Chesapeake, 1700-1805 [Gold Star] / Barbara Wells Sarudy
title_shortGardens and gardening in the Chesapeake, 1700-1805