The lawn is a gift of the English garden tradition from the eighteenth century. Early…
The mosaic bed, or carpet bed, was popular during the Victorian period in America which was after 1850.
A mass planting of flowers or colorful foliage made up the mosaic bed. You planted it on the lawn. The bed’s design featured intricate patterns one might see in a carpet.
Annuals were generally used, sometimes hundreds of them. In the Northeast they had to be cultivated over several weeks in the greenhouse. They were planted only when frost no longer threatened the garden.
Philadelphia nurseryman Thomas Meehan included in the 1886 issue of his magazine Gardener’s Monthly the image below:
Notice the intricate detail of the design. The plants were carefully pruned over the summer months to keep the shape of the design. The name of the game was high maintenance.
The Victorian era in America which lasted into the 1890s loved such a display of colorful flowers.
The fashion in American gardening for the middle class from coast to coast meant mosaic beds on the lawn.