Consider recycling this low maintenance and attractive old idea to make an interesting design for a roof top garden, expand a patio space or make a decorative cut out in a patio. These patterns allow for a walking path through the garden while making a platform for stepables and succulents. Using stepables would allow you to expand this treatment past a full sun space. Let your imagination run wild with this idea to create a stunning space
Excerpt from Gardening for Pleasure, Algrove Publishing, 2000. (Originally published in 1883.)
The Carpet Style of Flower-Beds.
Planting, as practiced at Battersea and other parks in London, is as yet but little seen with us; our public parks here have shown a lamentable want of taste in this matter, especially those of New York and Brooklyn; Philadelphia and Boston have done better, but all of these are weak attempts when compared with the grounds of some of our private gentlemen, notable among whom are H. W. Sargent, of Peekskill, N. Y., and H. H. Hunnewell, of Boston. The grounds of Mr. H. are thrown open to the public, who have the opportunity of seeing effects in this style of planting, nearly equal to anything in Europe, entirely at the expense of the munificent owner.
The carpet style, so called, consists in using plants that can be kept down to a few inches above the level of the lawn. A great variety of succulent plants are used, such as Echeverias, Sedums, Mesembryanthemums, etc., together with numerous low-growing Alpine plants, such as Ajugas, Cerastiums, Lysimachias, Lobelias, Ivies, Alternantheras, etc., etc. This style of bedding requires an immense number of plants. One bed in the carpet style at Battersea Park, containing less than 1,000 square feet, required 4,000 plants to produce the desired effect in the design, and not a leaf of these was more than six inches above the lawn.
Planting in this style admits of unlimited variety in the form of the beds, and contrasts of colors; so great is the care exercised abroad in arranging the designs that colored papers, giving the exact tints of the leading flowers and colored foliage, are supplied by the dealers, in order that colored designs may be made and studied before putting them into execution; a single misplaced color may spoil the effect of the whole. In works of this kind the parts of the design should be separated by well defined portions of turf, as the color of each member of it is brought out more clearly and distinctly, and the whole has a much better effect if a liberal amount of green is introduced.