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The Zinnia

Victorian gardeners knew of at least nine or ten varieties of zinnia, but the one preferred above all others was the 'coccinea', or scarlet-rayed zinnia. The species was introduced into Britain from Mexico in 1796, the scarlet-rayed variety being introduced…

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Yellow Jasmine

While 'somewhat common' in Victorian gardens, the Yellow Jasmine (Jasminum revolutum) was a reasonably new import, having flowered for the first time in Britain in the garden of the Right Hon. Charles Long, at Bromley, in Kent, in 1814. Yellow…

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Wisteria

The Glycine Sinensis (the correct name for the wisteria in Victorian times), a glorious, hardy climber, was first introduced into Britain from China by Captain Welbank in 1816 and was first grown in the garden of Charles Hampden Turner, Esq.,…

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The Winter Jasmine

Winter jasmine was a popular flower for the dark cold days of winter, particularly grown near or over doorways and windows where it would be 'all alive and full of golden light' with its generous display of yellow flowers. For…

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The Verbena

The Victorian Verbena hybrida had been obtained by crossing the V. melindres, V. Tweediana, V. incisa and well various other species of South African origin. During to its varied origins, the Victorian garden verbena produced flowers of every colour save…

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Sweet William

Narrow-leaved versions of the Dianthus barbatus were called Sweet Johns and the broad-leaved Sweet Williams. The Sweet William was also historically known as Jove's flower, London pride, tolmeiners and London tufts. Sweet Williams were particularly suited to town gardens -…

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The Sunflower

Gardeners often made the mistake of planting sunflowers in groups, but Hibberd argued strongly that the Victorian garden should have them only as individual specimens, and liberally cultivated so that it obtained a huge size. In America they were cultivated…

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Single Stock (Gillyflower)

The single stock was a member of the gillyflower class of flowers, which also included wallflowers, cloves and carnations. They were grown in the garden in clumps or drifts where their spicy scent was considered to be very refreshing. Stocks…

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Rudbeckia

The Rudbeckia was a 'hardy herbaceous, handsome weedy' thing ... and no garden needed 'more than two or three'. The rudbeckias date back in England to John Tradescant times (early seventeenth century), being an import from the Americas. R. hirta,…

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