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Driving Miss Worn, and More

Articles: Driving Miss Worn, and More

Miss Isabella Worn (ca 1900). Photographs courtesy Perry family archives
Horticulturist, floral designer, and interior decorator, Miss Isabella Worn was a woman of the Golden Age of American gardens.

Griswold and Weller, The Golden Age of American Gardens
Miss Isabella Worn (1869-1950), known as Bella, rode on public transportation from Marin County to her office in San Francisco, as she did not drive a car. She did, however, become a celebrated flower arranger and combined this artistic talent with an interior decorating business and a career as a horticulturist.

During the Golden Age of American gardens (circa 1890-1940), Americans developed beautiful estates from coast to coast, symbols of great affluence and cultural knowledge: Biltmore in Ashville, North Carolina, The Farms in central Illinois, Filoli in Woodside, California, and La Pietra at Diamond Head in Honolulu, Hawaii.

The Golden Age offered women little opportunity for formal training in horticulture and garden design. Many were mentored by men—architects and landscape architects who had ready access to schooling credentials—some of whom ...

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