The lawn is a gift of the English garden tradition from the eighteenth century. Early…
I found another amazing photo of a ninteenth century California garden in Maureen Gilmer’s book Redwoods and Roses. It too shows how nineteenth century California landscapes reflected the English garden style.
I have included the illustration here. Notice the two urns at the entrace from the sidewalk. By the end of the century the cast iron garden vase, or urn, on the lawn had become a sign of status for the middle class.
Vick recommended in his seed catalog called Floral Guide of 1873 that on the lawn the owner place two vases, filled usually with annuals: “Of all the adornments of the lawn, nothing is more effective than a well filled and well kept vase. All the ornamental-leaved plants are appropriate for the top or center of the vase, while a few drooping plants should be placed near the edges and allowed to hang or droop at least half way to the ground. For this purpose the verbena or the petunia will answer.
“We often see several small vases scattered over the lawn, but the effect is bad. It is best to have one or two that command attention by their size and beauty.”
So in the nineteenth century the west coast followed the English garden fashion from the east coast, including the number of urns to place on the lawn.