9 Victorian Back garden Style Ideas

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Cassidy Moody/ Missouri Botanical Back garden

With the advancement of industrialization, developments in science and technologies, and the fascination with innovation and unique destinations, the Victorian Age turned a time of immense creativeness and experimentation in the yard. “As community gardens grew to become more common each in England and the U.S., a lot more men and women fell in appreciate with gardening,” suggests Dana Rizzo, senior horticulturalist and designer, South Back garden beds in the Victorian district at the Missouri Botanical Back garden. “The expanding middle class now experienced the leisure time and disposable money to fill their gardens.”

Elements of Victorian style and design nevertheless add class and whimsy to modern day gardens. “You don’t require to recreate an total Victorian back garden to get the come to feel,” says Leslie Harris, certified horticulturalist and host of the podcast, Into the Garden. “You can incorporate one aspects or style a corner of your garden with these attributes devoid of too much to handle your house.”

In this article are the most enduring Victorian backyard design traditions additionally ideas for how to make them element of your have backyard.

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Topiary and Clipped Greens

Neatly clipped hedges and greens in elaborate styles were a standard in Victorian gardens. Typically, topiary was a official aspect in huge estate gardens and was regarded as a symbol of standing. “You had to present off,” claims Rizzo. “Your backyard garden was in competition with other people, and garden designers vied with each and every other for commissions from rich clients.”

Plant this seem: If you are not ready to seek the services of a whole-time gardener or offer with the common servicing of topiary, think about adding crops that keep their symmetrical sorts with out trimming, these kinds of as spherical shrubs.

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Tropical and Exotic Vegetation

Pushed by enhanced exploration and vacation, gardeners experienced much more entry to a variety of new and one of a kind plants from close to the earth. “Plant explorers brought again unique new seeds and specimens to exhibit at home below glass or in a glass conservatory on the estate, while plant breeders experimented with new crops,” says Harris. Tropicals, and in particular ferns, had been immensely well-liked and gave an unique flair to gardens. Pteridomania, or “fern fever” was at its peak in the mid-1800s, with collectors scouring the world to assist this new pastime.

Plant this seem: Show potted tropicals, these types of as parlor palm, a Victorian favourite, in containers close to your patio or indoors. Or, plant ferns outdoor in shady regions of the backyard.


For the Victorians, more was also additional! “It was seriously about an explosion of hues,” claims Harris. “Big, blowsy gardens overflowing with bold, vibrant colors showcased new vegetation.” There was not just just one form of plant utilised, but well known bouquets incorporated dahlias, roses, petunias, and especially geraniums. Cottage gardens, which blended flowers and edibles in an informal fashion, also developed towards the end of the Victorian age.

Plant this glimpse: Rather of focusing on a unique, restrained shade plan, plant loads of diverse colors of flowers in containers and beds to bring a feeling of unrestrained joy to your backyard.


“Tightly-planted backyard beds were laid out with tons of coloration and pattern,” suggests Rizzo. “There was a limited ‘pin-cushion’ planting with no bare floor obvious. Generally, there were 2 to 3 species of flowers in the bed to type a geometric sample. Generally, you’d cram in as quite a few vegetation as achievable to achieve a mosaic impact.” The procedure also occasionally is referred to as carpet bedding simply because the style and design resembles a patterned rug.

Plant this seem: Tightly plant a container for an right away lush really feel, or develop modest geometrically-formed beds.

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Statuary, Sundials, Urns and Other Garden Buildings

While statues have been aspect of before backyard types from Italy and France, the Victorian backyard also featured statuary, sundials, obelisks, gazing balls, urns and ironwork of all sorts, states Harris. An ornate trellis, arbor or orangery, wherever citrus trees were being shielded from chilly weather conditions, also were component of lots of Victorian gardens.

Plant this glance: Incorporate a couple of decorative items to punctuate your yard, this sort of as a pair of urns, which do not always have to have planted to insert type.

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Wrought iron grew to become specifically preferred and was generally applied in fencing or attractive benches. On large estates, benches gave you a spot to relaxation and admire the backyard, claims Rizzo.

Plant this glimpse: A back garden bench is often a fantastic way to prevent and admire the views. Also, you can use items of salvaged iron fencing as accents or backdrops in planting beds if you really do not want to fence an complete location.

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Estate households would function a significant outdoor fountain, but a cottage yard might involve a chook bathtub or two, states Harris.

Plant this look: Smaller wrought iron or concrete birdbaths give a touch of Victoriana without the need of necessitating a backyard garden overhaul.

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Victorian cottage garden design and style includes quite a few distinctive types of bouquets and edibles, and the Victorians experienced a special enjoy for aromatic plants these as lavender, rosemary, thyme and scented geraniums, claims Elizabeth Fogel, senior horticulturalist at Lewis Ginter Botanical Yard in Richmond, Virginia.

Increase this look: Scented crops are in no way out of model because fragrance adds another layer of pleasure to your back garden. Plant them in containers, along the edges of hardscape to soften edges, and in beds in substantial swaths.

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Victorians established mini-habitats to showcase their recently uncovered plants, these kinds of as alpine vegetation and ferns, states Harris. The plan was to mimic what you’d uncover in a purely natural setting on a stony cliff or mountainside.

Incorporate this glance: While you may not be able to remodel your back garden into a mini-mountainside, you can develop a small rock backyard with vegetation tucked amid strategically and artistically positioned rocks.

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