|Oakville's Private Gardens and Estate Parks, 1914-1939|
Pleasance Crawford Residency
This project grows from
one I began nearly 25 years ago. Although that resulted in a 1981 report
entitled “The Ontario Home Landscape: 1890-1914,” the research
has continued and expanded. Now, during the month of November 2004, I
am concentrating on a later period—1914-1939—and a specific
place in Ontario: Oakville.
This project also seeks information about the home
landscapes of ordinary people in the Oakville of 1914 through 1939. Such
landscapes are sometimes called “vernacular gardens.” Virginia
Tuttle Clayton, an American scholar, describes them as “the lost,
homemade gardens of the greater middle class.” By any name, in any
place, these creations have received far too little attention. Yet while
many landscape historians overlook these supposedly commonplace endeavors,
a few search—knowing it may soon be too late—for documents
about them. And they ask questions: Where were these houses and grounds?
Who were their owners? What inspired these owners to garden? How did they
find the time? What plants did they grow? What other features did they
include? How did they use the various spaces? What do people remember
about these places? Do any traces survive?
During November, you can reach me at Oakville Galleries (905-844-4402). After November, this site will remain on-line and will, I hope, serve as a permanent point of reference for further research on “Home Landscapes: Oakville’s Private Gardens and Estate Parks, 1914-1939.”
Thank you for your interest in this project. –Pleasance Crawford
photo credit: Charles Crawford