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1 July 2015 Strolling Through Madame Mandeville's Garden: The Real and Imagined Landscape of Eighteenth Century New Orleans, Louisiana
Clarissa Cagnato, Gayle J. Fritz, Shannon L. Dawdy
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Abstract

Gardens can be seen as an avenue of inquiry for understanding the creation and negotiation of social identity. New Orleans is well known for its beautiful gardens, which date as far back as the French colonial period. Excavations at the Rising Sun Hotel site in New Orleans have revealed unique garden contexts from the French and Spanish colonial periods (1722–1796). In this paper, we present the results of the paleoethnobotanical study of samples collected from this unique context, comparing the French and Spanish colonial gardens to each other, and to other known colonial gardens. The results provide a general reflection of the types of plants present or near the gardens, and indicate broader ecological conditions of the natural environment surrounding the city of New Orleans during the early to late eighteenth century. The early colonists lived in a fertile and disturbed landscape, one that likely encroached upon the formal gardens and spaces created by the colonists. Thus, although gardening was an important ambition in the French colonial period, the maintenance of gardens was a significant challenge and their aesthetics were not as orderly as depicted on maps of the time.

© 2015 Society of Ethnobiology
Clarissa Cagnato, Gayle J. Fritz, and Shannon L. Dawdy "Strolling Through Madame Mandeville's Garden: The Real and Imagined Landscape of Eighteenth Century New Orleans, Louisiana," Journal of Ethnobiology 35(2), 235-261, (1 July 2015). https://doi.org/10.2993/etbi-35-02-235-261.1
Published: 1 July 2015
JOURNAL ARTICLE
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