The lawn is a gift of the English garden tradition from the eighteenth century. Early…
English garden style dominated the American garden in the nineteenth century because the seed and nursery catalogs used that style in marketing the garden.
Following the style of England and Scotland, ribbon gardens also became popular in America.
Philadelphia nurseryman Thomas Meehan wrote in his magazine Gardener’s Monthly in May of 1862: “The Ribbon system, so general in Scotland, may be described thus: The flowers are all planted in rows in square beds and rings in ovals and circles; and one species or variety makes a whole row or ring.”
Henry Bowen (1813-1896) laid out his garden at Roseland Cottage in Woodstock, Connecticut in the mid-nineteenth century. Historic New England today maintains the property for visitors.
What you notice in the landscape around Bowen’s Gothic revival house is the predominance of ribbon style gardening.
Rows and rows of one kind of flower illustrate the ribbon style, so popular in nineteenth English gardening.
That style also influenced American gardeners like Bowen.