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The Coreopsis

Popular among amateur gardeners, seed packs of coreopsis 'was sure to be included in his first purchase of garden seeds, along with the Virginia stock, ten-week stock, sweetpea and mignonette' - all seeds which could be scattered directly where they…

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The Commelina

Grouped among the 'spiderworts', the Commelina was either greatly liked or disliked, depending on the gardener. Coming originally from the Americas, the perennial Commelina could be grown as an annual by sowing the seeds in heat then nursing the plants…

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The Columbine

The columbine in Victorian gardens, as now, was one of the most beloved flowers. Requiring very little care, they could flourish just about anywhere. Hibberd states that a columbine should resemble a likeness in some way to a dove or…

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Sweet Clematis

The 'sweet clematis', also known in Victorian times as 'Traveller's Joy' and 'Virgin's Bower', was a common sight in England's roadside hedgerows (thus the Traveller's Joy) where it was considered something of a weed. Kent and Buckinghamshire were the counties…

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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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