This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
AVERY striking example of the effectiveness of ribbon gardening was seen last year on the grounds of Peter Henderson, at Bergen, N. J. A circle of nine feet in diameter was laid out, upon the outer line of which was planted Centaurea gymnocarpa, a plant with whitish gray, fern-like foliage, growing about one foot in height. The next line was planted with Zonule Geranium, with scarlet flowers, growing about eighteen inches in height. The third line contained golden-leaved Coleus (C. Cociniatus), and the centre the well-known crimson-leaved Coleus (C. Versohaffeltii). The diameter of the outer two circles is about two and a-half feet each; the third, one foot at the centre, six feet across.
Several other effective styles were successfully carried out; for instance, a crescent, arranged as follows: The outer lines, all around the edge, were planted with the golden tri-color Geranium, "Mrs. Pollock"; leaves yellow, crimson and green. Immediately inside this was the AchyranthusGilsonii, with carmine or purple leaves, and in the very centre was put the Coleus Verschaffeltii ; leaves deep crimson, yet velvet-like texture.
A border, six feet wide, parallel to a walk, was planted first with a row of Lobelia Erinus, having flowers of the richest shade of azure blue; next, the zonale geranium "Bronte Queen", leaves of golden bronze, with scarlet flowers; then a line of Mountain of Snow Geranium, leaves white and green. The fourth line is Achyran-thus Gilsonii, and the fifth, or last marginal line is variegated Sweet Alyseum ; leaves white and green, with white flowers.
The Turk's Turban is a circular flower bed, ten feet in diameter, the centre of which is a crimson Coleus; next to this is a strip of white ribbon grass, and the outer strip is of the crimson Aehyranthus. The two last each occupy strips about one and a-half feet, and the crimson Colens the rest.
The effect is most gorgeous, presenting a blaze of brilliant beauty to the eyes of all visitors. The same arrangements can be made use of indefinitely throughout the country; and as the materials for bedding plants are so cheap, we expect to see ribbon gardening become more and more fashionable.