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The Cineraria

Hibberd had no certain idea of the origin of the Cineraria, but considered that they may have been a result of a crossing between C. cruenta and C. populifolia. Whatever its original, by the late Victorian period it was a highly popular plant,…

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Cape Cowslip (Lachenalia)

Cape cowslip, a bulbous plant with spotted leaves and tubular flowers, was a member of the hyacinth and scillia section of the order of Liliaceae (lilies). The cape cowslips were introduced from the Cape of Good Hope about 1774 the first was…

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The Canary Flower

The Canary Flower creeper was known in the gardens as Tropaeolum canariense, but its recognised botanical name was T. aduncum or T. peregrinum. Hibberd believed it had come to Britain, not from the Canary Islands, but from New Granada. Perhaps, he mused, the canary…

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The Browallia

Hibberd called the Browallia the American, or Occidental, forget-me-not. The Browallia elata had two varieties, the blue and the white. To grow this pretty flower it was necessary to sow the seed in March in light rich soil, placing the pan containing…

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Border Pinks

There were a variety of 'pinks' for the Victorian gardener to choose - the Cheddar pink, the wild clove (the 'castle pink' of poetry), the pheasant's-eye pink and the Deptford pink. They were a somewhat old-fashioned flower, but they flowered…

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Bolivian Sage (Salvia)

Victorian gardeners had many varieties of Salvia to choose from. Most could be struck from existing plants and potted on to provide summer colour in the garden. The specimen figured here, Salvia Boliviana, was a native of Bolivia, introduced to Europe…

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The Blue Sage

The Blue Sage, or salvia, was in declining popularity by the late Victorian age. According to Hibberd it needed to be grown in the glasshouse or hotbed, which may have contributed to its decline as gardeners looked for more easily…

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The Begonia

The introduction of the begonia (in the form of Begonia Boliviensis, rosaflora and Pearcei among others) caused a small storm in the Victorian gardening world. They became instantly popular, and more varieties were imported or created. By 1880 some 150…

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Avens

The scarlet avens was to be found generally in the Victorian country cottage garden rather than the town or more formal garden. The avens was a rosaceous plant, and Victorian England had two 'wildings' of the tribe - the common…

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