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Rahmlow, H. J. (ed.) / Wisconsin horticulture
Vol. XXX (September 1939/July-August 1940)

Wisconsin horticulture, vol. 30, no. 10: June, 1940,   pp. [273]-304

Page 298

  Styles Merge In The 
      Modern Garden 
 N small gardens today classi- 
 fications tend to merge. The 
 orthodox types of garden design 
 become strangely mixed. The for- 
 mal and the informal, the natural 
 and architectural, often mingle, 
 and, strange to say, the effect 
 may be delightful. 
   It should be said that the con- 
 trolling purpose of modern orna- 
 mental garden design is to dis- 
 play the beauty of the flowers 
 and plants which grow in the gar- 
 den. There can be no beauty in a 
 garden greater than the beauty 
 of its plants; and the design is 
 good in proportion to its success 
 in displaying at their best the 
 natural grace, form and color of 
 the garden's horticultural treas- 
   This trend toward simplicity of 
 garden design is in harmony with 
 dress design, interior decoration 
 and other branches of the decora- 
 tive arts. And like the others, the 
 garden relies for much of its ef- 
 fect upon the studied use of color. 
   There are still to be found in 
 our formal gardens geometrical 
 beds and bi-syminetrical group- 
 ing of ornaments which might 
 have been copied from mid-Vic- 
 torian models; but seldom nowa- 
 (lays, except in public parks and 
 railway station grounds is the 
 carpet bedding fashion follbwed, 
 in which plants are required to 
 surrender their individual charm, 
 and become merely p i g m e n t s 
 with which a gardener embroid- 
 ers patterns on the lawn. 
   Formal beds now do not call 
 for stiff and formal planting, but 
 in them flowers are grown in 
 their natural grace and beauty, 
.so arranged, as to both form and 
color, that the feeling of balance 
essential to any good design is 
  Such arrangements are depend- 
ent upon skillful color grouping 
for their major charm; and where 
can be found a greater opportun- 
ity for the pleasing use of color 
than in a garden? 
  Flowers are color. They afford 
an infinite range of material 
ready to the hand of the artist 
who would combine them in a 
l)icture. It is not strange that the 
wave of color consciousness 
which has spread over the world 
and so strongly influenced our 
fashions in dress and decoration 
should focus in our gardens. 
  The layout of the small garden 
is tied directly to the plan of the 
house. Direct and inviting com- 
munication between house and 
garden is important, so that the 
maximum use of the outdoor de- 
partment of the home, "the out- 
door living room," may be en- 
  And a vegetable plot, where 
fresh and tender vegetables can 
be picked a few minutes before 
it is time to cook them, completes 
the ideal small garden design. In 
the illustration, it is shown di- 
rectly off the kitchen door, sepa- 
rated from the ornamental gar- 
den by a hedge, but contributing 
an attractive as well as useful fea- 
ture to the small home grounds. 
N the April issue of The Flow- 
   er Grower, Marion P. Thomas, 
editor of the Clubs and Societies 
Page comments on the Merit Sys- 
tem of judging with the follow- 
ing statement: 
  "In exhibiting, one is not run- 
ning a race hoping to down oth- 
ers and win a prize but is striving 
for perfection, either in express- 
ing in plant material a mental 
picture or in developing some 
specimen to the highest stand- 
ards of its kind. Merit System ex- 
presses exactly what it means." 
It's Not a Home Until It's Planted 
June, 1940 

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