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Discussion: Perceptions of a garden being 'dated'

Back when I was a college freshman, there was a show that I really enjoyed called "Crockett's Victory Garden". I was a landless wannabe gardener and I got my fix through watching this show, listening to the affable Jim Crockett. It was through some of his authored works that I really got the bug to try different types of plants. I read that after his death and succession by a number of new hosts, the Victory Garden show was majorly revamped since it was percieved as "old fashioned and dowdy".

This got me to thinking about garden design and the arbitors of taste. Who determines that something is *too* dated and sets the parameters of style? It seems like there is such a plethora of approaches to choose from these days from the formal French kitchen gardens to the informality of specialized grass/prairie meadows that it would be difficult to make a pronouncement on a major style.

What do you consider to be a "dowdy garden"? Which shout out as the garden "shag rugs" of past planting styles? What do you think is being touted right now that will become the embarrassing do-overs of the future?

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