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Victorian front garden ideas wanted

We have recently bought a lovely Victorian terraced house. Our front garden is 100cm x 400cm with a wall to the front. I am looking for some ideas of plants that are going to be easy to look after, watering them involves carying a can through 4 rooms from the back to the front. Evergreen plants that also offer lovely bright flowers Would be great and I love lavender. imageimageSomething with good height would be good. I'm also after some advice on the layout and design of the plants, where to place what, especially with a wall to the front. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I have attached some photos, I am happy to take out all that is currently there and start again. Thanks! 



  • We have a big Victorian house and the garden is laid out almost exactly as it was when the house was built in 1882.  The garden layout is very formal, with evergreen plants and a few trees. There are four different camellia bushes - one in each corner. They are evergreen, flowering from late November until the following May. There were four palm type trees but only two are left now.  We have under planted the shrubs and trees with bulbs to give added colour in the Spring. I don't have any actual pictures of the front garden but we have two of these urns just outside the front gate and you may get a glimpse of the garden through the imagewrought iron railings. The lawn in the front is circular. I hope this helps jenna - if you want to see more I can try to post some pictures of the garden in the next few days.

    Last edited: 27 September 2016 23:06:32

  • Thank you very much, I'd love to see more photos. Thank you for the advice on the camellia, I'll have a look in to this. 

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,130

    Way back on the Beeb they did a series on Front Gardens with Gay Search helping the owners of a row of Victorian terraced houses renovate their front gardens.   All sorts of ideas for designs and plants in keeping with the traditional tiled paths with those "rope" edgers.   

    She has a book available from Amazon (or the library) on front garden design which includes a chapter in Victorian gardens -  If you don't want to buy, this will give you the ISBN number you need for a library to hunt it down for you.

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • We also have a few heathers, lavender, a rhododendron and a Monkey Puzzle tree and recently our son-in-law has added a few more smaller shrubs (some aren't strictly Victoria though).

  • Jenna image  your house looks like our last one image  except that we had a shared side-alley so we could get to the back without going through the house.  We found there was room for a slim rainwater butt next to the bay window and that made watering the front garden much easier.  

    In the narrow bed alongside the front path we had loads of different types of sempervivums - they looked fantastic.

    The other side of the path we had a low lavender hedge.  In the middle of the bed we had a Victoria plum tree surrounded by a mixture of perennials plus in the spring, tulips and wallflowers.

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • Dove from above that sounds fantastic!  I was also wondering about a fruit tree! No concerns about roots under the house? 

    A waterbutt out the front sounds like a great solution,  I'll have a look in to that. How did you manage with the wall? Plants tall enough to pop their head over? 

    Thanks so much. 

  • We took a risk with the roots but if I were doing it again I would use a root control bag 

    As for the wall, some of the plants were shorter than the wall some (like the Verbena bonariensis) waved merrily above it - passers by always complimented me when I was out there weeding image

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • I think I'll order a cherry tree from that website too - thanks! What perennials did you have?

  • Trying to remember  ... Verbena bonariensis, aquilegia, penstemons, lychnis flos-cuculi 'Jenny', foxgloves and Siberian iris ... 

    Ours was shaded from the south 'cos neighbour had a large hedge of pyracantha which was loved by the birds.  If it had got more sun there would have been other plants I could have tried ...

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • imageimageimageThe photos aren't that greatjenna, but you can see how formal a Victorian garden is - this was laid out by my great, great grandfather and we have tried to keep the original format adding a few extra plants - mainly ever green. As you can see we aren't too good at keeping the lawn in tip top condition but we have a huge garden at the side which takes most of our time and effort. You can probably make out the 4 camellia bushes/trees which give so much colour when most other plants are dormant (apart from the bulbs).

    Last edited: 28 September 2016 20:13:47

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