9 Victorian Yard Style and design Suggestions

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Cassidy Moody/ Missouri Botanical Backyard garden

With the advancement of industrialization, developments in science and technologies, and the fascination with innovation and unique destinations, the Victorian Age grew to become a time of enormous creativity and experimentation in the back garden. “As public gardens became additional widespread the two in England and the U.S., far more persons fell in really like with gardening,” states Dana Rizzo, senior horticulturalist and designer, South Backyard beds in the Victorian district at the Missouri Botanical Back garden. “The rising middle course now had the leisure time and disposable profits to fill their gardens.”

Aspects of Victorian design still insert elegance and whimsy to modern gardens. “You do not want to recreate an full Victorian yard to get the sense,” suggests Leslie Harris, accredited horticulturalist and host of the podcast, Into the Yard. “You can integrate solitary components or style and design a corner of your backyard garden with these features with no too much to handle your room.”

In this article are the most enduring Victorian backyard garden style traditions as well as strategies for how to make them aspect of your own back garden.

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Topiary and Clipped Greens

Neatly clipped hedges and greens in elaborate designs were being a regular in Victorian gardens. Ordinarily, topiary was a formal element in massive estate gardens and was deemed a symbol of position. “You experienced to show off,” suggests Rizzo. “Your garden was in opposition with some others, and garden designers vied with each individual other for commissions from rich purchasers.”

Plant this search: If you are not completely ready to seek the services of a comprehensive-time gardener or offer with the normal maintenance of topiary, think about adding plants that retain their symmetrical types with no trimming, these types of as spherical shrubs.

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Tropical and Exotic Vegetation

Pushed by increased exploration and journey, gardeners had more accessibility to a number of new and exclusive plants from about the globe. “Plant explorers introduced again exotic new seeds and specimens to display screen at property below glass or in a glass conservatory on the estate, though plant breeders experimented with new crops,” claims Harris. Tropicals, and specifically ferns, ended up immensely well known and gave an exotic flair to gardens. Pteridomania, or “fern fever” was at its height in the mid-1800s, with collectors scouring the globe to aid this new hobby.

Plant this appear: Screen potted tropicals, this sort of as parlor palm, a Victorian preferred, in containers close to your patio or indoors. Or, plant ferns outdoors in shady areas of the backyard.


For the Victorians, far more was also additional! “It was really about an explosion of hues,” suggests Harris. “Big, blowsy gardens overflowing with daring, vibrant hues showcased new crops.” There was not just just one type of plant utilized, but preferred bouquets incorporated dahlias, roses, petunias, and in particular geraniums. Cottage gardens, which put together flowers and edibles in an casual manner, also developed towards the finish of the Victorian age.

Plant this seem: In its place of concentrating on a specific, restrained colour scheme, plant heaps of various colors of flowers in containers and beds to bring a feeling of unrestrained pleasure to your backyard garden.


“Tightly-planted backyard garden beds ended up laid out with heaps of shade and sample,” claims Rizzo. “There was a tight ‘pin-cushion’ planting with no bare ground visible. Normally, there have been 2 to 3 species of flowers in the bed to variety a geometric sample. Generally, you’d cram in as lots of vegetation as feasible to realize a mosaic result.” The strategy also at times is referred to as carpet bedding since the structure resembles a patterned rug.

Plant this look: Tightly plant a container for an instantly lush truly feel, or build tiny geometrically-shaped beds.

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Statuary, Sundials, Urns and Other Yard Buildings

Whilst statues have been portion of earlier back garden kinds from Italy and France, the Victorian back garden also showcased statuary, sundials, obelisks, gazing balls, urns and ironwork of all sorts, states Harris. An ornate trellis, arbor or orangery, the place citrus trees ended up safeguarded from cold climate, also were component of quite a few Victorian gardens.

Plant this glimpse: Integrate a several decorative items to punctuate your backyard garden, such as a pair of urns, which do not essentially have to have planted to add design and style.

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Wrought iron turned specifically well-liked and was often utilized in fencing or ornamental benches. On significant estates, benches gave you a location to rest and admire the backyard, says Rizzo.

Plant this glance: A back garden bench is always a amazing way to prevent and admire the views. Also, you can use pieces of salvaged iron fencing as accents or backdrops in planting beds if you do not want to fence an entire spot.


Estate homes would aspect a significant outdoor fountain, but a cottage backyard could incorporate a chook tub or two, suggests Harris.

Plant this look: Compact wrought iron or concrete birdbaths supply a contact of Victoriana with no requiring a yard overhaul.

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Victorian cottage back garden model incorporates many different forms of bouquets and edibles, and the Victorians had a specific adore for aromatic crops this sort of as lavender, rosemary, thyme and scented geraniums, suggests Elizabeth Fogel, senior horticulturalist at Lewis Ginter Botanical Back garden in Richmond, Virginia.

Include this seem: Scented vegetation are never out of style for the reason that fragrance adds one more layer of satisfaction to your back garden. Plant them in containers, together the edges of hardscape to soften edges, and in beds in significant swaths.

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Victorians made mini-habitats to showcase their recently found plants, this sort of as alpine crops and ferns, suggests Harris. The thought was to mimic what you’d come across in a pure environment on a stony cliff or mountainside.

Add this glimpse: While you may perhaps not be capable to remodel your back garden into a mini-mountainside, you can generate a smaller rock garden with plants tucked between strategically and artistically put rocks.

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