Flower Power Displays at Vander Veer Park

As we approach the official start of summer better known as the summer solstice, we see the verdant plants of the City of Davenport’s Parks growing and blooming. As part of the Vander Veer Follow Your Roots program at our centrally located city park, the Richardson-Sloane Special Collections Center’s staff offered a history walk of this nearly 139-year-old greenspace.

We highlighted some of Vander Veer Park’s landscapes and plants. We featured this set of plans for this very colorful and kaleidoscopic flower display. These items may be found in our accession #2003-09: Davenport Leisure Services & Facilities Parks Collection. They are part of a set of 34 plans for carpet beds designed by Frank Wulf during the 1960s and 1970s that were installed in various beds throughout Vander Veer Botanical Park. The designs are created on kraft paper with colored pencils.

Frank Wulf describes these delightful “carpet bed” gardens as European Style designs in the article below featured in Focus of the Times-Democrat. They feature more than “a dozen varieties of plants” to create the swirling designs. They have to be painstakingly measured to conform to the geometric shapes. The plants had a set trimming schedule to bring out their particular designs.

These beautifully intricate designs added a visual feast to one of Davenport’s favorite parks over the years.


#2003-09: Davenport Leisure Services & Facilities Parks Collection

Times-Democrat (Davenport, Iowa) Aug 26, 1973, page 64.

(posted by Kathryn)

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