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Cultivating America’s Gardens

Detail of postcard depicting the Sunken Gardens in Philadelphia's Fairmount Park

Amateurs and professionals, young and old, schoolchildren and scientists—Americans of every sort have put their backs into gardening. And for a variety of motives: beauty, food, science, prestige. Using books and objects from Smithsonian Libraries and Smithsonian Gardens collections, Cultivating America’s Gardens highlights plant exploration and the establishment of botanical gardens, the rise of the lawn, gardens of the Gilded Age (1870-1900), gardens of World’s Fairs, Victory and school gardens, preservation and documentation of historic gardens, the seed industry, and plant breeding and sustainable gardens of today.