Victorians loved their gardens. Even if your home is not in the typical Victorian style, you can still incorporate Victoriana in your gardens, such as decorative garden furniture, a wrought iron bench, a statue, or ornate stone balustrades.
Whatever your budget, there are plenty of ways to reflect this romantic era in your garden, whether you live in a cottage, a period Victorian home, or a large country house – you can still create a Victorian garden. Many of the essential elements to design your planting around can be found at Holloways.
The Victorians liked to ornament their gardens with urns, statues, armillary spheres, birdbaths, sundials and cast- or wrought-iron benches. Gazebos and Pavilions were often grand focal points for more formal gardens, and adding plenty of Victorian elegance to the landscape. Formal gardens would also feature ornate stone planters, steps and balustrades. We often have old structural stone items for sale to help you re-create this style of garden. hollowaysgardenantiques.co.uk
A nice touch might be to find an old Victorian chimney pot and plant it with tumbling flowers, or edge your flowerbed with Victorian tiles. True antique tiles can be found, but even simple terracotta tiles could be employed to great effect.
Back to Nature
Towards the end of the 19th century, an appreciation of a more natural garden was expressed, most famously by William Robinson, who preferred native plants. This resulted in fashion for woodland gardens and a return to informality. Here a reconstituted stone statue of a Victorian lady peeps out from the trees.
The Sound of Water
Create a place of peace in your woodland garden. In this garden an ornate metal tea-for-two set has been placed amongst the trees, beside a stone fountain, making a lovely place to enjoy an afternoon cup of tea on a summer’s day.
Genuine Victorian Garden Furniture
Benches in a Victorian garden were quite ornate, to show off the maker’s skill, and usually made of stone or cast iron. They were placed at the end of a garden walk, or where there was a grand view.
Victorian-style benches are available in a range of colours
We have genuine Victorian benches and excellent reproduction cast aluminium benches, cast in Victorian moulds. A garden would not be in the Victorian style without one of these.
This Victoria cast aluminium table and four chairs makes a lovely set for a smaller garden and looks equally at home on grass or paving. It comes in a selection of charming architectural colours.
The Popularity of the Conservatory
The range of plants beloved by the Victorians is extensive. The craze for plant collecting that took hold in the 19th century resulted in exotics, and unusual plants from the flora of other continents, becoming very popular during this era of colonisation.
Many private and public conservatories came into being to cultivate exotic plants from foreign climes. Still, today, adding a conservatory to your house gives you the opportunity to grow many unusual plants and to create your own Victorian-style garden room.
Plants from Around the World
Victorians loved flowers and each flower had its own special meaning in the Victorian era - the ‘language of flowers’. A bouquet of pansies indicated thoughtfulness; lilies meant purity, and roses, love. So plant plenty of varieties that can be cut for bouquets to bring into the house, or to give as gifts.
Read more about the language of Flowers in our review of Shane Connolly's recent book, Discovering the Meaning of Flowers
Victorian Garden Style at a Glance
- Wild woodland gardens increase in popularity as a backlash against the industrial world
- Plant collections gathered from all corners of the world
- Ornate cast and wrought iron furniture to show off makers’ skills
- Reconstituted stone statuary, structures and planters.
- Flower beds in ever brighter colours
- Advances in glasshouse technology enabling the most tender of plants to be cultivated at home, in a conservatory.
So, whatever type of home and garden you have there are many Victorian touches you can add. We are happy to help and advise you.