In the mid to late 1800s, the Victorian era brought a new passion for ornamental gardening to England. Those of the middle and upper classes, with an abundance of free time, created elaborate formal and informal gardens which brought the detailed decor found inside the home out into the garden. A Victorian-style garden is as much an outdoor parlor as it is a space for planting and growing flowers. This style of garden design makes for a stunning landscape that will beckon friends and family to relax out in the fresh air and sunshine.
Surrounding your garden or yard with decorative fencing not only sets your Victorian garden apart from other areas of your landscape, but provides an artistic element in and of itself. Wrought iron fencing was the most popular option in the Victorian era. If this isn't in your budget, you can opt for decorative wood or a standard picket fence. These options will need to be brightened up a bit before they will fit into the overall Victorian theme, however. Plant shrubbery along the fence or train flowering vines to grow profusely along the fence line. In lieu of fencing, you could also use thick shrubbery by itself or a well-groomed line of trees.
Your Victorian garden should create an outdoor space that is ideal for relaxing with a good book or sharing a cup of tea with visitors. For this, you'll need to create a comfortable seating area. A pavilion, gazebo or large patio area will work best. Surround the space with decorative vases, fragrant flowers and a few trees for shade. Wrought iron furniture is most in keeping with a Victorian style garden. Add plush outdoor cushions and pillows to make these pieces more comfortable. If you don't have a patio or other outdoor area suitable for furniture, build a paved walk through your garden space and set a few wrought iron benches beneath arbors along the path.
The Victorian era gave birth to the concept of a vast lawn of flowers groomed to the same height. This style, known as carpet bedding, was perfect for creating patterns and even pictures within the flower beds. The various colors and textures of the flowers are used to set apart the various designs. If painting an image into your garden with flowers seems daunting, opt for a simple geometric design. Select flowers of the same height and use blocks of different colors to create a series of triangles or diamonds throughout the flower bed.