The Garden Guide

Olmsted, Frederick Law

Born - Died : 1822 - 1903

Frederick Law Olmsted is famous as the designer of Central Park, New York, and as The Father of Landscape Architecture. He was born in Hartford, Connecticut and before taking up landscape architecture as a profession he worked as a farmer, a seaman, a journalist and a social reformer. Frederick Law Olmsted's winning design for the Central Park competition was done with Calvert Vaux, an English architect who had also been A J Downing's partner. Olmsted set up a prosperous firm which designed some 50 public parks and 550 other commissions, many of them gardens and residential projects. F L Olmsted's style drew from Downing, from natural scenery, from visits to European parks, and from reading landscape and garden theorists, including Gilpin, Price, Loudon and Repton. Uvedale Price and Humphry Repton were the most significant influences and Olmsted favoured the landscape style, with a transition from a regular terrace to a natural landscape. This is clearly seen at Biltmore. The firm, Olmsted Brothers, continued operation after Frederick's retirement and had a significant influence on American garden design and landscape architecture. F L Olmsted's entry for the Central Park competition is on the CD.ï¾ 

Gardens designed by Olmsted, Frederick Law