This section is from the book "Flower Gardening", by H. S. Adams. Also available from Amazon: Flower gardening.
Bacon, in the famous essay that is an eternal joy to the flower lover, maintains that a garden is "the Purest of Humane pleasures." Certainly all will agree that it is among the purest.
In the nature of things it can be such only by so close an association with the home as to be "part and parcel" of it, as they say in New England. And the more intimate this association the more nearly does the garden approximate the Baconian estimate that it is "the Greatest Refreshment to the Spirits of Man".
There must be gardenless homes in these days, more's the pity. But wherever the garden, meaning more particularly the garden of flowers, comes into human life the first thought of all should be its affinity with the home. Unfortunately, this is only too often the very last thought; worse yet, many go on to the end of their existence without realizing the supreme experience.
What is a flower garden ? Doubtless some would say, if one may judge them by their works, that it is a highly decorative frame for the house, or a showy adjunct thereto; or again that it is a colorful possession the joy of which would be materially lessened were the effect not boldly planned for the eyes of the passerby, or. a mere place for the growing of the flowers that one must have.
Now the true garden of flowers is a great deal more. It may be—sometimes it must needs be-merely a clump of lilies by the doorstep, a rose on Ithe porch or a row of chrysanthemums hugging the house. If this means the establishment of a real relationship between the inside of the portal and the outside, there is a garden, and one worthy to be numbered among "the Purest of Humane pleasures." Size matters not, nor design, nor the abundance of flowers.
So began the earliest American flower gardens «—gardens that the Colonists made for themselves 5n New England, in New York and in Virginia. From the home outward they began, at first not straying from the walls of the house. Gradually, as forest and redskin receded, flowers ventured forth into the created yard—but never so far that the garden seemed other than the integral part of the home that it should be.
The old Colonial rule—call it instinct if you will—is the only one worth while. And so simple it is that even a child may read it as he runs. Let the flower garden expand from the heart of the home outward; then you may be sure that you have made a right start.
"The more intimate this association the more nearly does it approximate the Baconian estimate that it is the 'Greatest Refreshment to the spirits of Man".