Wade Graham is a garden designer, historian, and writer based in Los Angeles. His the author of American Eden: From Monticello to Central Park to our Back Yards, What Our Gardens Tell Us About Who We Are, Jesus is My Gardener, and Dream Cities.
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Reviews of American Eden:
"Garden designer and historian Graham takes a panoramic perspective in his bold interpretation of the form, function, and meaning of American gardens. Thomas Jefferson is the first, and most complex, of the many pioneering gardeners Graham incisively profiles, and Graham's frank dissection of the profound paradoxes implicit in Jefferson's landscape vision for Monticello in a time of slavery and genocide against Native Americans sets the groundwork for his central insight. . . . This blazingly fresh, critical, and ecologically astute masterwork brilliantly traces the great cycles of American life through a spectrum of gardens that embody our devotion to the art of cultivation for beauty and status, sanctuary and sustenance."
—Booklist (starred review)
“Mr. Graham recounts his tale with considerable verve and a vast erudition. … Among much else, Mr. Graham shows us that the history of how our nation grew can be found in what it has grown.”
—Wall Street Journal
"The American garden has found its destined interpreter in Wade Graham. American Eden moves luminously through landscapes of history, literature, biography, and design theory. Writing in the mode of Lewis Mumford, Van Wyck Brooks, and Alfred Kazin, Graham achieves a foundational study fusing sharp-edged analysis and graceful American prose."
—Kevin Starr, author of Golden Gate: The Life and Times of America's Greatest Bridge
Wade Graham is the author of a social history of gardens in America, American Eden: From Monticello to Central Park to our Back Yards, What Our Gardens Tell Us About Who We Are (HarperCollins, 2011), Jesus Is My Gardener, an essay about making gardens in contemporary California, and the forthcoming book Dream Cities: Seven Urban Ideas That Shape the World (HarperCollins, Jan. 26, 2016). He has written on the environment, landscape, urbanism, and the arts for The New Yorker, Harper’s, The Los Angeles Times, Outside and other publications. He has a Ph.D in American history and teaches urbanism and environmental policy at the School of Public Policy at Pepperdine University.
Graham speaks on topics ranging from the history of gardens, landscape, architecture, urbanism, art, and culture, and their inter-relationships. Speaking from American Eden, he explores what four hundred years of garden making in America reveal about our values, politics, and dreams, and how our evolving relationship with Nature in our gardens forms a unique window onto the continuing process of fashioning a national identity. Some gardens to be discussed: Monticello, Central Park, RM Schindler and Richard Neutra's houses, Thomas Church's Donnell garden, Martha Stewart's Turkey Hill, and The High Line.
He also speaks on gardens in contemporary life, in a changing environmental, political, and social environment.
He enjoys discussing how particular landscapes fit into larger histories, giving garden talks and walks, recently at: Villa Montalvo, Saratoga, CA, and the Curious Arts Festival at Pylewell Park, Hampshire, England.
He has spoken at, among other venues: Harvard University Arnold Arboretum; Cleveland Botanical Garden; Voewood Festival, Norfolk, England; Huntington Library & Botanical Garden; Descanso Gardens; Garden Conservancy San Francisco; Missouri Botanical Garden; St. Louis Garden Club.
Los Angeles, CA.