Photo by Carol Betsch

Books

The Spirit of the Garden

Martha Brookes Hutcheson
Reprint of 1923 edition, with a new introduction by Rebecca Warren Davidson

The Spirit of the Garden  Cover Image

About the Authors


Martha Brookes Hutcheson

Martha Brookes Hutcheson (1871–1959) was one of the first American women landscape architects to receive professional training. Like many of her female colleagues, she specialized in garden design. In her practice and her writings, Hutcheson championed the use of native plants and was among the first to urge conservation of “our vast natural beauty.”

Rebecca Warren Davidson

Rebecca Warren DavidsonPh.D., an independent architectural and landscape historian. Formerly a curator of graphic arts in Rare Books and Special Collections at Princeton University, Davidson is currently a visual collections cataloger at the Cornell Institute for Digital Collections at Cornell University.

The Spirit of the Garden

Martha Brookes Hutcheson
Reprint of 1923 edition, with a new introduction by Rebecca Warren Davidson

Library of American Landscape History

ISBN: 978-1-952620-02-7 Page Count: 272
Price: $35.00 | Cloth Published: 04/23/2001
Order Online

A volume in the ASLA Centennial Reprint Series

Martha Brookes Hutcheson’s The Spirit of the Garden, published in 1923, was both a critical and a commercial success, widely praised for its articulation of the architectural principles of garden design. “Every garden lover,” advised one contemporary reviewer, “should have it on a most convenient table.”

Hutcheson made lavish use of photographs of her own garden designs and those of several important European examples to illustrate the concepts she considered fundamental to successful design. Evocative “before and after” images attest to the remarkable effect of plantings, even while she reminds her readers that fine design depends on comprehensive planning rather than horticultural rarity.

In an insightful new introduction, Rebecca Warren Davidson explores Hutcheson’s motives for becoming a landscape architect. In Davidson’s view, Hutcheson considered fine landscape design an instrument of social change and was inspired to write her book by a Progressive-era zeal. Davidson examines the circumstances of Hutcheson’s entry into MIT in 1900 and her subsequent career until her marriage at age forty, when she retired from active practice and turned to writing and lecturing. Among the many beautiful photographs illustrating Hutcheson’s designs are examples from Maudslay State Park in Newburyport, Massachusetts; the Longfellow National Historic Site in Cambridge; and Bamboo Brook Conservation Center in Gladstone, New Jersey—all of which are now open to the public.

“A book remarkable for its concise and practical suggestions and which is at the same time brilliant and entertainingly written.”

Architectural Record, 1923

About the Authors


Martha Brookes Hutcheson

Martha Brookes Hutcheson (1871–1959) was one of the first American women landscape architects to receive professional training. Like many of her female colleagues, she specialized in garden design. In her practice and her writings, Hutcheson championed the use of native plants and was among the first to urge conservation of “our vast natural beauty.”

Rebecca Warren Davidson

Rebecca Warren DavidsonPh.D., an independent architectural and landscape historian. Formerly a curator of graphic arts in Rare Books and Special Collections at Princeton University, Davidson is currently a visual collections cataloger at the Cornell Institute for Digital Collections at Cornell University.