ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Today, Apr. 14, on National Gardening Day, Celebrity Historian Raffi Andonian takes a look into gardens throughout American history. Andonian is the author of three history books and the founder of the Harmonize Your Workforce program, which uses history to bring differences together.
Andonian explains that gardening has been around for a very long time, with its beginnings in food farming. However, gardening really geared up when Queen Elizabeth I helped incorporate the tradition of ornamental gardens into England’s culture. These “pleasure gardens” were carried over into the United States with the founding fathers, along with the continuation of traditional crop farming.
With increased urbanization in the country in the 1800s, the location of gardens throughout towns changed and plain cemeteries were transformed into beautiful gardens. With mass death in the Civil War, cemeteries increased, and, thus, so did gardens.
Andonian says that these gardens even changed the way that death was viewed in society, marking it as a glorious event. People began picnicking in cemeteries and taking in the beauty of the gardens.
In New Mexico, gardening has been a large part of the culture for years, with the Native peoples living in agrarian societies. The dry climate of the state called for diversification in farming, spreading crops throughout multiple areas and elevations. Terracing and waffling techniques, along with the use of pumice stones, have been incorporated into New Mexican gardening to make up for the lack of water.
Andonian says a great place to see some of what he discussed is at Bandelier National Monument. To learn more about Raffi Andonian, click here.