Answer: It seems that, based on the number of pages devoted to it, nostalgia for a Victorian garden seems stronger than any for any other, doesn't it? I have found a couple of books in the NGA library that cover the 20th century, and both of them focus on the trend toward plant conservation and a more "natural" look in gardens. One book in particular, "American Garden Design: An Anthology of Ideas that Shaped Our Landscape" Diane Kostial McGuire, ed., contains an essay by Marian Cruger Coffin that lists many plants, but she writes about the NY-New England area. Still, it might give you some ideas. Another thought: contact the University of Tennessee Botanical Gardens (in Martin, TN, ph# 901-587-7650), and see if they can help you with some historical research. There are other botanical gardens in Tennessee that might offer help: Cheekwood Botanical Garden, Nashville: ph# 615-353-2148
Dixon Gallery and Gardens, Memphis: ph# 901-761-5250
Memphis Botanic Garden, ph# 901-685-1566
Reflection Riding Arboretum and Botanical Garden, Chattanooga: ph# 423-821-9582
Also, have you seen the book, "The Tennessee Gardener's Guide : The What, Where, When, How & Why of Gardening in Tennessee," by Lark Foster, Walter Glenn? It should be a big help for gardening in general. Hope you can find what you're looking for!
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