9 Victorian Backyard garden Style and design Suggestions

Cassidy Moody/ Missouri Botanical Backyard garden

With the progress of industrialization, developments in science and engineering, and the fascination with innovation and unique places, the Victorian Age grew to become a time of immense creativeness and experimentation in the garden. “As community gardens became extra widespread both in England and the U.S., a lot more persons fell in love with gardening,” states Dana Rizzo, senior horticulturalist and designer, South Backyard beds in the Victorian district at the Missouri Botanical Garden. “The rising center class now experienced the leisure time and disposable profits to fill their gardens.”

Things of Victorian design even now add magnificence and whimsy to modern-day gardens. “You never want to recreate an overall Victorian back garden to get the come to feel,” claims Leslie Harris, certified horticulturalist and host of the podcast, Into the Backyard. “You can include solitary components or layout a corner of your backyard with these features without mind-boggling your house.”

In this article are the most enduring Victorian back garden style traditions in addition ideas for how to make them portion of your own backyard garden.

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Topiary and Clipped Greens

Neatly clipped hedges and greens in elaborate shapes had been a typical in Victorian gardens. Traditionally, topiary was a official element in massive estate gardens and was deemed a symbol of position. “You had to present off,” claims Rizzo. “Your backyard garden was in competitors with other people, and back garden designers vied with each other for commissions from rich shoppers.”

Plant this look: If you’re not completely ready to seek the services of a full-time gardener or offer with the regular maintenance of topiary, consider introducing vegetation that keep their symmetrical types with out trimming, such as spherical shrubs.

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Tropical and Unique Plants

Pushed by improved exploration and travel, gardeners experienced a lot more accessibility to a range of new and exceptional plants from all over the earth. “Plant explorers brought back again unique new seeds and specimens to display screen at property less than glass or in a glass conservatory on the estate, whilst plant breeders experimented with new plants,” says Harris. Tropicals, and in particular ferns, were being immensely well-known and gave an exotic flair to gardens. Pteridomania, or “fern fever” was at its peak in the mid-1800s, with collectors scouring the globe to help this new pastime.

Plant this appear: Display potted tropicals, these as parlor palm, a Victorian preferred, in containers all-around your patio or indoors. Or, plant ferns outdoor in shady parts of the garden.


For the Victorians, additional was also additional! “It was definitely about an explosion of hues,” states Harris. “Big, blowsy gardens overflowing with bold, shiny colors showcased new plants.” There was not just a single form of plant used, but well-known bouquets integrated dahlias, roses, petunias, and particularly geraniums. Cottage gardens, which mixed flowers and edibles in an informal manner, also developed towards the close of the Victorian age.

Plant this glance: As a substitute of concentrating on a particular, restrained coloration plan, plant a lot of distinct colors of flowers in containers and beds to deliver a perception of unrestrained pleasure to your backyard garden.


“Tightly-planted backyard beds had been laid out with tons of shade and sample,” states Rizzo. “There was a tight ‘pin-cushion’ planting with no bare floor visible. Normally, there had been 2 to 3 species of bouquets in the bed to kind a geometric pattern. Generally, you’d cram in as several vegetation as attainable to obtain a mosaic outcome.” The system also in some cases is referred to as carpet bedding mainly because the design and style resembles a patterned rug.

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

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Statuary, Sundials, Urns and Other Back garden Constructions

Whilst statues were being aspect of before yard variations from Italy and France, the Victorian back garden also featured statuary, sundials, obelisks, gazing balls, urns and ironwork of all types, claims Harris. An ornate trellis, arbor or orangery, in which citrus trees have been shielded from cold weather, also had been section of numerous Victorian gardens.

Plant this look: Integrate a few decorative pieces to punctuate your garden, this sort of as a pair of urns, which do not necessarily have to have planted to increase type.

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Wrought iron became specifically well-liked and was often utilized in fencing or decorative benches. On huge estates, benches gave you a position to relaxation and admire the back garden, states Rizzo.

Plant this glimpse: A back garden bench is normally a excellent way to halt and admire the sights. Also, you can use items of salvaged iron fencing as accents or backdrops in planting beds if you never want to fence an whole region.

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Estate residences would feature a substantial out of doors fountain, but a cottage garden may well involve a hen bathtub or two, suggests Harris.

Plant this appear: Modest wrought iron or concrete birdbaths provide a contact of Victoriana with no requiring a backyard overhaul.

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Victorian cottage backyard garden model features quite a few various varieties of bouquets and edibles, and the Victorians had a unique like for fragrant plants these as lavender, rosemary, thyme and scented geraniums, suggests Elizabeth Fogel, senior horticulturalist at Lewis Ginter Botanical Backyard garden in Richmond, Virginia.

Increase this look: Scented crops are never ever out of fashion due to the fact fragrance adds one more layer of pleasure to your backyard. Plant them in containers, along the edges of hardscape to soften edges, and in beds in big swaths.

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Victorians made mini-habitats to showcase their recently uncovered plants, this sort of as alpine crops and ferns, claims Harris. The plan was to mimic what you’d uncover in a normal setting on a stony cliff or mountainside.

Increase this seem: While you may well not be able to change your backyard into a mini-mountainside, you can create a tiny rock backyard garden with plants tucked among the strategically and artistically put rocks.

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