The Q&A Archives: Victorian Gardens

Question: What characterizes a Victorian garden?

Answer: Victorian gardens were characterized by an abundance of plant material from around the world, as the period coincided with the expansion of the British empire. Glass greenhouses became common (at least for the wealthy), so hybridizing took a jump forward, allowing for yet more variety. Victorian gardens were generally composed of beds, which contained usually just one type of plant, and borders, a mix of many. The placement of plants within a border for maximum effect of color and texture was of paramount importance. Gertrude Jekyll is one of the best known landscape designers/gardeners from this period, and many of her books are still available.

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