The Garden Guide

Downing, Andrew Jackson

Born - Died : 1815 - 1852

Andrew Jackson Downing, the leading American garden writer and garden designer of his day, was born in Newburgh, New York. His admiration for John Claudius Loudon is apparent from his books and their illustrations. Downing edited The Horticulturalist and wrote a Treatise on the theory and practice of landscape gardening, adapted to North America (1841). This book has a chapter on 'Landscape or rural architecture' which must be the source from which Olmsted took the term 'landscape architecture'. It was Andrew Jackson Downing who persuaded Frederick Law Olmsted's future partner, Calvert Vaux, to move from England to America. Andrew Jackson Downing was a protagonist for public parks and had he not drowned at the age of 36 it is likely that Downing, rather than Olmsted, would have received the commission to design Central Park in New York. American comentators have admired Andrew Jackson Downing's celebrity but criticised the quality of landscape and garden designs. Selections from Downing's Treatise are on the CD.ï¾