Victorian House Plants and Vines. 1860s Victorian House: CONSERVATORY.

19th century floral illustration.

1860s: Herbals & Indoor Gardening
"We have been into rooms which, by the simple disposition of articles of [the following] kind, have been made to have an air so poetical and attractive that they seemed more like a nymph's cave than any thing in the real world.
Take an old tin pan condemned to the retired list by reason of holes in the bottom, get twenty-five cents' worth of green paint for this and other purposes, and paint it. The holes in the bottom are a recommendation for its new service. If there are no holes, you must drill two ot three, as drainage is essential. Now put a layer one inch deep of broken charcoal and potshersd over the bottom, and then soil, in the following proportions:
Two fourths wood-soil, such as you find in forests, under trees.
One fourth clean sand.
One fourth meadow-soil, taken from under fresh turf. Mix with this some charcoal dust.
In this soil plant all sorts of ferns, together with some few swamp-grasses; and around the edge put a border of money-plant or periwinkle to hang over. This will need to be watered once or twice a week, and it will grow and thrive all summer long in a corner of your house.

Victorian Garden Terrarium....a fragment of the green woods brought in and silently growing; it will refresh many a weary hour to watch it."
...text and pictures, top left, and left, from The American Woman's Home, Catherine E. Beecher and Harriet Beecher Stowe, 1869.

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