Cultivating America’s Gardens

A Smithsonian Libraries & Smithsonian Gardens Exhibition
Opening May 4, 2017
Smithsonian Libraries Gallery
National Museum of American History

Trade card from a seed company depicting a carrot with a top hat and cane

Americans have been making gardens forever, constantly innovating and experimenting as they work the soil.

Amateurs and professionals, young and old, schoolchildren and scientists—Americans of every sort have put their backs into gardening. And for a variety of motives: beauty, food, science, prestige.

American garden-making has evolved over time, shaped by history, social attitudes, the environment, and new ideas. Illustrating this history with books and other materials from their vast holdings, the Smithsonian Libraries and Smithsonian Gardens will take you on a special kind of garden tour.

Cultivating America's Gardens is made possible through the generous support of The Burpee Foundation, Inc.

Trade catalog from 1909 featuring lawn seed and fertilizer