18th and 19th Century Botanicals
A garden can be a "private space," a plot of ground, commonly adjacent to a home planted with delightful flowers, bushes, and ornamental plants (there is of course also the garden which is largely planted in vegetables, fruits, and herbs destined for the family dinner table). A "public space" within a town or city, frequently referred to as a garden or park, will include most of these, but also a wide variety of pleasing grasses, shrubs, and trees, designed for all to enjoy.
Our modern word garden seems to have originated in Germany between 1300 and 1500. At first spelled "gartin," we are all familiar with the word Kindergarten, which was borrowed from the German. But before the word entered the our modern lexicon it first journeyed through Old French "jardin" and Old North French "gardin" coming finally into English as "garden."
Hard to imagine distant cobwebbed centuries,
to comprehend a world absent technology.
Before the appearance of the Phylum, "Camera,"
the human desire to record, preserve, existed.
What today we photograph in an instant, was once
painstakingly drawn, colored, and painted by hand.
In the eighteenth, nineteenth centuries, enthralled
botanists captured the verdant natural world.
Books and magazines were liberally sprinkled
with the reverential phrase, "the Glories of Nature."
Botanical gardens signified the taste, wealth,
the cultural sophistication of a great city.
Ferns, fronds, pine cones, seeds, herbs, exotic grasses,
flowering plants, and trees of every description.
Daffodils, iris, tiger lilies, and violets -
others, whose beauty I know, if not their names.
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Botanical Illustrations and Gardening
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