The Wild Garden


William Robinson

Featured in

Tonight, we’ll read from “The Wild Garden” by William Robinson, published in 1870. This episode first aired in 2021. Robinson was an Irish gardener and journalist whose ideas about wild gardening spurred the movement that led to the popularizing of the English cottage garden. He was a champion of the "wild garden", who vanquished the high Victorian pattern garden of planted-out bedding schemes, which used tropical plants grown in greenhouses.

Modern gardening practices first introduced by Robinson include: using alpine plants in rock gardens; dense plantings of perennials and groundcovers that expose no bare soil; use of hardy perennials and native plants; and large plantings of perennials in natural-looking drifts.