Wednesday, March 11, 2015
What do carpet beds, moon gardens, cottage gardens, specimen trees, snowball bushes, and fragrant peonies have in common? They're all part of the tapestry that made up the American Victorian-era garden.
For years, I've scoured used book stores, antique shops, flea markets and garage sales for garden photographs, catalogs, books and other ephemera. One of my favorites are the old photo postcards created around 1900, especially those in which a proud homeowner shows off his house and garden, whether it's a small farmhouse or a spacious Victorian-era frame house with an elegant double porch. Rather than a foundation planting of yews or juniper, here is a lovely combination of annuals, perennials and vines. This card made its way to Reddick, Illinois, home to the Reddick mansion and many other fine turn-of-the-century houses.
Learn more about the Victorians and their home gardens in a special class, The Victorian Garden on Saturday, March 21 from 1-3 p.m. at the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe.