September 27, 2022

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9 Victorian Backyard Style Concepts

5 min read

Cassidy Moody/ Missouri Botanical Yard

With the development of industrialization, developments in science and technological know-how, and the fascination with innovation and unique locations, the Victorian Age became a time of enormous creativity and experimentation in the backyard. “As public gardens grew to become more commonplace both equally in England and the U.S., far more persons fell in enjoy with gardening,” suggests Dana Rizzo, senior horticulturalist and designer, South Backyard garden beds in the Victorian district at the Missouri Botanical Yard. “The growing middle course now had the leisure time and disposable income to fill their gardens.”

Things of Victorian style nonetheless increase elegance and whimsy to present day gardens. “You really do not want to recreate an total Victorian yard to get the sense,” claims Leslie Harris, qualified horticulturalist and host of the podcast, Into the Backyard. “You can include solitary features or design and style a corner of your yard with these functions with no too much to handle your place.”

Listed here are the most enduring Victorian backyard garden structure traditions furthermore recommendations for how to make them aspect of your personal garden.

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Topiary and Clipped Greens

Neatly clipped hedges and greens in elaborate styles were a regular in Victorian gardens. Typically, topiary was a official element in substantial estate gardens and was thought of a symbol of standing. “You experienced to clearly show off,” states Rizzo. “Your back garden was in opposition with others, and backyard garden designers vied with each and every other for commissions from rich purchasers.”

Plant this appear: If you are not ready to employ the service of a full-time gardener or offer with the regular upkeep of topiary, think about incorporating crops that keep their symmetrical varieties with no trimming, these kinds of as round shrubs.

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Tropical and Unique Crops

Pushed by greater exploration and travel, gardeners had far more access to a amount of new and distinctive crops from all around the earth. “Plant explorers brought back again exotic new seeds and specimens to exhibit at house less than glass or in a glass conservatory on the estate, even though plant breeders experimented with new crops,” suggests Harris. Tropicals, and primarily ferns, ended up immensely popular and gave an exotic flair to gardens. Pteridomania, or “fern fever” was at its peak in the mid-1800s, with collectors scouring the world to support this new pastime.

Plant this glimpse: Exhibit potted tropicals, such as parlor palm, a Victorian preferred, in containers close to your patio or indoors. Or, plant ferns outdoors in shady parts of the garden.


For the Victorians, far more was also additional! “It was definitely about an explosion of colours,” says Harris. “Big, blowsy gardens overflowing with bold, vibrant hues showcased new plants.” There was not just one form of plant applied, but preferred bouquets provided dahlias, roses, petunias, and specifically geraniums. Cottage gardens, which mixed bouquets and edibles in an informal fashion, also evolved toward the finish of the Victorian age.

Plant this appear: Alternatively of focusing on a unique, restrained colour scheme, plant loads of distinct colors of flowers in containers and beds to convey a feeling of unrestrained pleasure to your back garden.


“Tightly-planted garden beds were being laid out with plenty of color and pattern,” suggests Rizzo. “There was a limited ‘pin-cushion’ planting with no bare floor noticeable. Typically, there ended up 2 to 3 species of flowers in the mattress to sort a geometric sample. Essentially, you’d cram in as many vegetation as doable to accomplish a mosaic outcome.” The approach also occasionally is referred to as carpet bedding because the structure resembles a patterned rug.

Plant this appear: Tightly plant a container for an immediately lush really feel, or develop little geometrically-shaped beds.

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Statuary, Sundials, Urns and Other Yard Buildings

Though statues have been part of before yard kinds from Italy and France, the Victorian garden also highlighted statuary, sundials, obelisks, gazing balls, urns and ironwork of all types, states Harris. An ornate trellis, arbor or orangery, where by citrus trees had been protected from cold weather conditions, also were being portion of a lot of Victorian gardens.

Plant this glimpse: Include a couple of decorative items to punctuate your back garden, this sort of as a pair of urns, which do not essentially need to have planted to incorporate design and style.

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Wrought iron grew to become especially well known and was usually employed in fencing or attractive benches. On massive estates, benches gave you a location to rest and admire the backyard, suggests Rizzo.

Plant this appear: A garden bench is always a amazing way to stop and admire the views. Also, you can use items of salvaged iron fencing as accents or backdrops in planting beds if you really don’t want to fence an complete spot.

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Estate households would aspect a large out of doors fountain, but a cottage yard may possibly include a bird tub or two, says Harris.

Plant this seem: Compact wrought iron or concrete birdbaths offer a contact of Victoriana with out requiring a yard overhaul.

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Victorian cottage back garden model features many diverse sorts of flowers and edibles, and the Victorians experienced a special really like for fragrant plants these kinds of as lavender, rosemary, thyme and scented geraniums, claims Elizabeth Fogel, senior horticulturalist at Lewis Ginter Botanical Yard in Richmond, Virginia.

Add this appear: Scented plants are never ever out of type simply because fragrance provides an additional layer of satisfaction to your back garden. Plant them in containers, along the edges of hardscape to soften edges, and in beds in big swaths.

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Victorians developed mini-habitats to showcase their newly uncovered crops, these types of as alpine vegetation and ferns, says Harris. The notion was to mimic what you’d come across in a natural location on a stony cliff or mountainside.

Incorporate this seem: Whilst you could not be ready to transform your backyard garden into a mini-mountainside, you can produce a little rock back garden with plants tucked amongst strategically and artistically placed rocks.

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