"The Garden" essay
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The whole compound was four and a quarter acres which were at the time considered a small piece of land. The design that Downing had used was very effective and allowed the interaction among many components on the same piece of land. This can be described as an agrarian revolution that refers to the change in the farming tactics to increase the production. The farm included many food producing trees in the form of fruits; this was the form of the agricultural technique to increase food. Downing had the rural mind where food was grown where the farmer had been obliged to produce his food. This was unlike other urban dwellers who believed in buying food (fruits, in this case) despite having the large compounds. This was further cemented by the greenhouse that indicated an all year food production including the winter season when other farms would be producing nothing.
Downing also proved that one could conduct business effectively in his area of residence, no matter how small it could be. This would, however, be possible if there was the proper planning of farm since the family privacy had to be restored. He lived a good life in his small four and a quarter acres villa and had enough fruits for his family, on the top of nursery that was profitable to him and his household.
Trees were well planted in the yard to conceal only a quarter of the villa. This was unlike the traditional way where villas had been built in a way that gave the viewer only a front view to the main house. This increased the vision of the house that was important in that there had been a new change of building techniques. People now had the dynamism to move for the better. If the villa had to be exposed so much, it had to be all round well-built and finished which was not the case prior to Downing’s villa. It meant that there was a new development in developing new homes.
The impeccability and uniqueness of the villa and farm was so high that it stayed for the very long periods to adopt a concrete name. This is a clear indication that the design and the final look of the garden and villa were unprecedented and indicated the new beginning. It was the style that most Americans would later copy for their houses.
Downing used rustic baskets instead of the normal porcelain vases. He insisted on these vases and even further ensured that his gate had a picturesque shape, other than the normal and formal kind of gates. This made Downing get referred to as an arbiter of the American taste, since he had been alone in the things he preferred. The rustic furniture was made of roots and branches of trees and could be traced back to the 18th century in Europe. The rustic baskets were an important representation of the rural areas as their initial representation in Europe was clear in this. In this case, Downing showed his adoration to rural settings as opposed to most of his friends and fellow rich men. He believed in the usage of trees to iron in order to show the natural elegance that iron or porcelain could have. Maybe, he had foreseen the problems we are facing today where we use a lot of money to help in clearing the already polluted environment through the disposal of such non-biodegradable material as plastic. His case was different since he used a lot of wood but as well planted it on his farm.
Downing used verdant and lush fences in his garden and described stone and wooden fences as the ‘most unsightly and offensive in America’s seats’. This prompted him to use lovely and attractive live fence around his garden and home. One side was fenced with arbor vitae, while the rest of the area was fenced using thorny bushes, while the gateway had a gothic gate[. He considered his personal life and the garden as the personal property that was supposed to be well secluded from the rest of the population. This tells us about his personality as a naturalist man who would never go for stones. He loved trees, and this is evident from the fact that he used his farm and made it elegant using trees and very little of stones and timber. He was a lover of life which was displayed by a green, well-trimmed and live-fenced compound. Further, Downing used grass in his compound to ensure that there was a green natural turf in his compound. It was never in his plans that he would use stones. After his death, the interested people were not pleased with all when Downing’s successor C.C. Alger placed a stile cut stone at the gate. They described it as ‘not speaking of Downing’.
The thorns and trees that were planted in the garden were hardy and well adapted to the American soil. The fact that Downing was an architect did not deny him the knowledge of different trees and their survival on the American soil. It goes to emphasize his rural knowledge of trees and the agrarian knowledge which only a few experts would know. This, coupled with his architectural knowledge, was an important facet that really opened up the United States to see that rural settings would be more appealing than the usual urban settings. He also introduced many other trees in his garden that he had trained to produce the best trees. He shows us that trained and well taken care of trees may give the sweetest and biggest fruits
Finally, Downing had a section where he reared bees on his farm. He is seen as a widely known person since he even realized the best trees that would be used by a bee-hive keeper. He seemed to understand the value of honey, and we can view him as a great nutritionist with the fruits and honey that he had produced for his family and for sale.