9 Victorian Backyard Design Concepts


Cassidy Moody/ Missouri Botanical Backyard

With the expansion of industrialization, advances in science and know-how, and the fascination with innovation and unique locations, the Victorian Age turned a time of immense creativity and experimentation within the backyard. “As public gardens turned extra prevalent each in England and the U.S., extra individuals fell in love with gardening,” says Dana Rizzo, senior horticulturalist and designer, South Backyard beds within the Victorian district on the Missouri Botanical Backyard. “The rising center class now had the leisure time and disposable revenue to fill their gardens.”

Components of Victorian design nonetheless add magnificence and whimsy to trendy gardens. “You don’t must recreate a complete Victorian backyard to get the texture,” says Leslie Harris, licensed horticulturalist and host of the podcast, Into the Backyard. “You’ll be able to incorporate single parts or design a nook of your backyard with these options with out overwhelming your house.”

Listed here are probably the most enduring Victorian backyard design traditions plus ideas for find out how to make them a part of your personal backyard.

Commercial – Proceed Studying Beneath


Topiary and Clipped Greens

Neatly clipped hedges and greens in elaborate shapes had been a normal in Victorian gardens. Historically, topiary was a proper aspect in giant property gardens and was thought of a logo of standing. “You needed to showcase,” says Rizzo. “Your backyard was in competitors with others, and backyard designers vied with one another for commissions from rich shoppers.”

Plant this look: When you’re not prepared to rent a full-time gardener or cope with the common upkeep of topiary, contemplate including crops that retain their symmetrical types with out trimming, similar to spherical shrubs.



Tropical and Unique Vegetation

Pushed by elevated exploration and journey, gardeners had extra entry to plenty of new and distinctive crops from world wide. “Plant explorers introduced again unique new seeds and specimens to show at residence beneath glass or in a glass conservatory on the property, whereas plant breeders experimented with new crops,” says Harris. Tropicals, and particularly ferns, had been immensely widespread and gave an unique aptitude to gardens. Pteridomania, or “fern fever” was at its top within the mid-1800s, with collectors scouring the globe to help this new interest.

Plant this look: Show potted tropicals, similar to parlor palm, a Victorian favourite, in containers round your patio or indoors. Or, plant ferns open air in shady areas of the backyard.


For the Victorians, extra was additionally extra! “It was actually about an explosion of colours,” says Harris. “Massive, blowsy gardens overflowing with daring, brilliant colours showcased new crops.” There wasn’t only one kind of plant used, however widespread flowers included dahlias, roses, petunias, and particularly geraniums. Cottage gardens, which mixed flowers and edibles in a casual method, additionally developed towards the tip of the Victorian age.

Plant this look: As an alternative of specializing in a particular, restrained shade scheme, plant a lot of completely different colours of flowers in containers and beds to deliver a way of unrestrained pleasure to your backyard.


“Tightly-planted backyard beds had been laid out with a lot of shade and sample,” says Rizzo. “There was a good ‘pin-cushion’ planting with no naked floor seen. Usually, there have been 2 to three species of flowers within the mattress to kind a geometrical sample. Principally, you’d cram in as many crops as doable to realize a mosaic impact.” The approach additionally generally is known as carpet bedding as a result of the design resembles a patterned rug.

Plant this look: Tightly plant a container for an immediately lush really feel, or create small geometrically-shaped beds.



Statuary, Sundials, Urns and Different Backyard Buildings

Whereas statues had been a part of earlier backyard kinds from Italy and France, the Victorian backyard additionally featured statuary, sundials, obelisks, gazing balls, urns and ironwork of all kinds, says Harris. An ornate trellis, arbor or orangery, the place citrus bushes had been protected against chilly climate, additionally had been a part of many Victorian gardens.

Plant this look: Incorporate just a few ornamental items to punctuate your backyard, similar to a pair of urns, which don’t essentially want planted so as to add fashion.


Wrought iron turned particularly widespread and was typically utilized in fencing or ornamental benches. On giant estates, benches gave you a spot to relaxation and admire the backyard, says Rizzo.

Plant this look: A backyard bench is all the time a beautiful option to cease and admire the views. Additionally, you should use items of salvaged iron fencing as accents or backdrops in planting beds should you don’t need to fence a complete space.


Property houses would characteristic a big out of doors fountain, however a cottage backyard may embrace a chook bathtub or two, says Harris.

Plant this look: Small wrought iron or concrete birdbaths provide a contact of Victoriana with out requiring a backyard overhaul.


Victorian cottage backyard fashion contains many various sorts of flowers and edibles, and the Victorians had a particular love for fragrant crops similar to lavender, rosemary, thyme and scented geraniums, says Elizabeth Fogel, senior horticulturalist at Lewis Ginter Botanical Backyard in Richmond, Virginia.

Add this look: Scented crops are by no means out of fashion as a result of perfume provides one other layer of enjoyment to your backyard. Plant them in containers, alongside the sides of hardscape to melt edges, and in beds in giant swaths.


Victorians created mini-habitats to showcase their newly found crops, similar to alpine crops and ferns, says Harris. The concept was to imitate what you’d discover in a pure setting on a stony cliff or mountainside.

Add this look: When you might not be capable of rework your backyard right into a mini-mountainside, you possibly can create a small rock backyard with crops tucked amongst strategically and artistically positioned rocks.


Commercial – Proceed Studying Beneath


Supply hyperlink