Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Take a Break: Design a Fantasy Victorian Garden

With periodic snow squalls, Vermont is not exactly enjoying spring like weather, even though the calendar would suggest otherwise. Since I can’t go out and plant, I can still sketch a garden.

This week, it’s all about the era of the Victorian Garden. With their elaborate flowers and lawns, these types of gardens became popular as the English middle class had more leisure time.

There were eight elements of a Victorian garden:
• Lawn: All formal gardens had front and rear gardens
• Trees: Playing an important role in providing shade to key areas of the house, they also framed the approach to the house and helped with privacy.
• Shrubs: Marked paths and property lines and hid unsightly wooden fences
• Fencing: The more elaborate the home, the more elaborate the fencing. Cast iron was the most popular material used.
• Ornaments: From urns and sundials to man made fishponds, ornamentation was key to the Victorian garden.
• Seating: Gazebos, benches and pavilions spread out through the lawns and gardens. Porches favored wicker furniture.
• Flowers:  Carpet bedding, the use of same-height flora, was popular. Roses were extremely popular and climbing varieties were often trained over a trellis, bower or pergola.
• Vines: Used to hide fences, tree stumps and other unsightly features, vines were also used for shade.

With these basics in mind, design your fantasy Victorian garden that you would enjoy. Since it’s a fantasy, you’re not constrained by how much space you actually have. Need some ideas? Check out the following:

Not in the mood for sketching? Try the virtual garden or better yet grow a virtual garden. Just click anywhere on the black space and a flower will appear. 

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