Table of Contents

Greek Revival, (National Style)
   - Romantic, Picturesque Garden, 1820-1860

Fig.15, Greek Revival
Fig. 15
The adaptable Hellenic styling produces roofs with a low pitch, symmetric Doric, or occasionally Ionic columns andporticos. These key elements are often simply added to older homes to evoke the look of a Greek temple. Houses are painted white with white trim, to imitate the look of these temples, although it known by 1820 that they were originally brightly painted. If color is used on the body of the house, the trim color is lighter.

Romantic garden design
1840 sees the beginning of Romantic garden design. This style creates idealized, natural scenery, inspired by the paintings of the Hudson River school, and depictions of the American west. By the latter half of the eighteenth century, nature is viewed as a source of goodness and of a sublime, spiritual beauty. Formal geometry may be maintained in a terraced front yard, but Romantic era gardeners take great pains to disguise the man-made nature of their private back yard creations (Fitch, 1956).

In 1841, Andrew Jackson Downing, the most influential American designer at the time, codifies the principles of the Romantic Landscape in his book Cottage Gardens. He also resolves the apparently conflicting design ideas of the 'beautiful' and the 'picturesque' styles.
Fig. 16
The 'beautiful' is flowing and gradual, with luxuriant and symmetric foliage, while the 'picturesque' has irregular surfaces, more abrupt wild, and bold growth, rocky outcrops or broken banks. Downing suggests that the 'beautiful' is more appropriate near the house while the 'picturesque' serves as a transition to the natural landscape. In 1844, he publishes Cottage Residences, showing houses in the Gothic Revival, Italianate, and Tudor Revival styles and a house pattern book for do-it-yourself homebuilders, including a suggested garden plan (Fig. 16). Garden advice by other authors, in manuals, journals and calendars, is abundant but often conflicting and not always practical.

Garden plan
The Romantic Landscape garden plan, for all style homes, uses curvilinear forms, is asymmetric, includes massed trees and shrubs, has a picturesque focal point (urns, or a gazebo) and relates to the landform. Downing suggests utilizing distant views, and to increase the impact of the house, to obscure the approach with a winding drive and plantings. Brick is now made locally and brick paths are common. Grass is still scythed, awaiting the invention of the lawnmower in 1860.

Fig.17, Lupines
Fig. 17
Although the passion for exotic plants crosses the Atlantic, for the American garden border, Downing recommends flowers long out of style in England, including the nostalgic violet, hepatica, lily-of-the-valley, iris, daylily, larkspur, phlox, peony, pink, and lungwort, as well as native species such as wild columbine, penstemon, delphinium, and lupine (Fig. 17).

Garden structures, elements
The latest trends include conservatories, rustic pavilions, moss houses, bridges, trellises, and covered seats (Stuart, 1988). Other popular elements are rockwork, rock rills, and urns.