The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, November 15, 2002


Historical society hears views on Colonial Gardens

"How did the colonists garden?" asked historical landscape consultant Elizabeth Hope Cushing rhetorically at a November 6 lecture before members and guests of the Carlisle Historical Society. An expert on Arthur A. Shurcliff, the designer of the gardens at Colonial Williamsburg, Cushing noted that such historical recreations that date back 150 years were "done as authentically as they knew how, at least; this was an interpretation of the evidence." In her hour-long presentation, Cushing showed slides that revealed how simple a true representation of the gardens at Colonial Williamsburg might have been. Instead, nostalgia colored the preservation efforts and resulted in imaginative depictions of early American gardens. As a result, some modern historians are suggesting that the gardens should be replaced, as they are "inaccurate and inappropriate," according to Cushing. She disagreed, suggesting that gardens done in the Colonial Revival style deserve their own niche in the nation's history.

2002 The Carlisle Mosquito