Elizabeth Kryder-Reid examines the origins of California's mission gardens and explores their reception and their contribution to cultural memory. The evidence presented in "Perennially New": Santa Barbara and the Origins of the California Mission Garden shows that the iconic image of the mission garden was created a century after the founding of the missions in the late eighteenth century, and two decades before the start of the Mission Revival architectural style. The locus of their origin was Mission Santa Barbara, where in 1872 a Franciscan named Father Romo, newly arrived from a posting in Jerusalem, planted a courtyard garden reminiscent of the landscapes that he had seen during his travels around the Mediterranean. This invented garden fostered a robust visual culture and rich ideological narratives, and it played a formative role in the broader cultural reception of Mission Revival garden design and of California history in general. These discoveries have significance for the preservation and interpretation of these heritage sites.

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