Mosaic Beds Decorated the Lawn during the Victorian Period in America

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:

 

An illustration of a mosaic bed from Gardener's Monthly of 1886.

 

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.

 

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