It was around 1900 that ‘gardener’ first entered the vocabulary, according to research presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Surgeons.
A decade later, in 1930, it was coined by the late historian Charles Babbage.
And by the 1950s, it had become part of the English language.
Today, a doctor is considered a “gardener” if they take care of their patients’ garden.
The word is also used in a way that implies a certain level of care and responsibility, such as a gardener who cleans up after their patients, says Dr. John Gaskin, president of the association.
“I think the term is more of a descriptor than a synonym, because it’s something you’re supposed to do for your patients,” Gaskins said.
The term was originally coined by a British botanist named Henry Blount who, in 1879, published a book called A Practical Treatise on Gardening, or Gardening the Countryside.
The title of the book was: “A Practical Guide to Gardening a Countryside in which the same will be practised with more particular care than elsewhere in England and Wales.”
Gaski said the word was originally intended for the country, not the home.
“The idea that you should have a garden for your own use is a little bit odd, especially in the English countryside,” Gasking said.
“If you live in a city, or even a small town, that’s fine, but you have to live in your own little garden, and the city garden is the centre of your community.”
Gasking was referring to the idea that gardens were places of social interaction.
In modern-day Britain, it’s more common for people to spend time outdoors with family or friends.
In the United States, there’s a growing movement to include gardens in our urban landscape.
Gaskis research shows that in England, about 10% of people have a backyard.
“So the idea of a garden is really not a new concept, it really was not just a Victorian idea,” Gass said.
But the word “gardening” did not appear in the dictionary until the early 1900s.
The first usage of the word appears in a pamphlet written by Samuel Gollancz in 1901.
The pamphlet called for the improvement of the soil in order to produce more and better crops.
In an editorial, Gollenczy said it was time for “a new science” in agricultural science, which would “allow the growth of new crops and the improvement and improvement of all soil in a vast extent, so that every man might be able to cultivate and enjoy a garden.”
The term became an American trademark in the 1920s, but it didn’t catch on until the 1930s.
In 1935, the first “gardens” were published by The Gardeners Club, which was based in Brooklyn, New York.
The group’s founders included two of the early pioneers of the modern-age gardening movement: the New York landscape architect John M. Guggenheim and the British landscape architect, Frederick Guggin.
Gass says Guggens work helped shape the landscape architecture of the 1920’s.
“It was one of the things that really brought it to life, and it was very popular,” he said.
Today “garden” is used more in the United Kingdom than in other countries.
In 2016, the National Trust for England and its Trustees published a report that said “the use of the term has declined substantially since the early 1970s, although the word remains widely used in England.”
The report found that the number of people who regularly used the word in 2016 had declined from 3.5 million to 1.9 million.
The report also found that “there are no recorded instances of an individual being prosecuted for using the term” or being accused of using the word.
But that doesn’t mean people are still using the phrase.
Gasking believes the word has gone from being an archaic term to becoming part of everyday conversation.
“A lot of the people who use it today, they’re just being honest, and that’s a good thing,” Gaking said.
When the first gardens were created in the early 1800s, the term was used in an affectionate way, Gaskinos research found.
“That’s when people would say, ‘It looks like a garden, but I’m not sure what it is, but let’s call it a garden,'” he said, explaining that this was an attempt to avoid using the same word over and over again.
“Now people have become more sensitive to it and are using it more in a positive way.”