Historic Gardens to Visit, Landscape Designs – Garden Products
Historic Gardens Tourism
Monticello Historic Gardens – Charlottesville, VA
Calhoun Mansion Garden – Charleston’s Gilded Age Mansion
Missouri Botanical Garden – St. Louis
Missouri Botanical Garden mission; “To discover and share knowledge about plants and their environment in order to preserve and enrich life.” Founded in 1859, the Missouri Botanical Garden is the nation’s oldest botanical garden in continuous operation and a National Historic Landmark.
Since its founding in 1798 (as an arboretum on a working farm then known as Peirce’s Park), Longwood Gardens has been enchanting visitors. On the expansive 1,077-acre grounds, you’ll find over 11,000 plants and trees across 20 outdoor and 20 indoor gardens. In other words, it’s heaven for horticulture fans.
Italian Fountain Garden
The Mount, Lennox Mssachusetts
Located in the Berkshires, Edith Wharton’s home (known as The Mount) was designed by the famed author, who believed that a garden should possess “a charm independent of the seasons.” From the formal Italianate walled garden to the outdoor rooms, you’ll see why Wharton was regarded as a leading expert in European landscape and garden design. The Mount also offers carefully manicured and curated trails which feature rock outcroppings and glacial moraines.
Scenic views abound at Hildene, which was the home of Robert Todd Lincoln (the first son of the president). The formal gardens, located behind the home, still count original plantings dating back to 1907.
Bartram’s Garden, Philadelphia, PA
Bartram’s Garden is a 45-acre National Historic Landmark operated by the John Bartram Association in cooperation with Philadelphia Parks and Recreation. It is a destination and an outdoor classroom, living laboratory, and membership organization for ever-expanding audiences nearly 40,000 each year and counting.
This lush 46-acre park is the oldest surviving botanic garden in North America. It was originally founded by the botanist, explorer, and plant collector John Bartram (who was also appointed Royal Botanist by King George III in 1765). You’ll tour the stone house Bartram originally built, along with a spectacular array of native plants, trees, and flowers.
Middleton Place, Charleston, South Carolina
Situated around an exquisite 18th-century estate is America’s oldest landscaped garden. With its contained walkways, gorgeous sculptures, bowling greens, and small galleries, the grounds of Middleton Place reflect the era’s fascination with classical French and European landscape design.
The Victorian era blended ornate embellishments with the classic refinement of an English garden. While the manicured hedges and clean lines of the landscape might lead you to believe the Victorians were stuffy, in fact, says landscape designer Donna Lynn, “they had a marvelous sense of experimentation and loved to incorporate exotic plants and whimsical décor touches into the landscape.” Lynn has been designing landscapes for over 20 years, and here she shares her professional tips for creating a Victorian-inspired garden.”
Plants and ornamental garden props will go a long way in reshaping your space into one reminiscent of Victorian times.
The Victorian gardener’s motto might have been something like, “man’s conquest over elements of the natural world.” This control might be most apparent in the propagation of lawns. Formal gardens demanded both front and backyard lawns, although more country-style gardens and informal gardens could rely on other types of ground cover that required less maintenance. However, the ideology of the late Victorian era favored more natural growth with less manicured features–so today’s gardeners may choose either path for their garden.
The range of plants beloved by the Victorians is too large to sum up in one article, but they did have their favorites. Exotics were wildly popular during this era of colonization, and gardeners took great pains with them–many private and public conservatories came into being in order to cultivate these “hot house” plants. So, when considering popular shrubs for your own Victorian garden, consider: Azalea, Holly, Hydrangea, Rose, Lilac, Forsythia, Andromeda, Barberry, Peony and Quince. Prized vines might include: Clematis, Ivy, Wisteria, Morning Glory and Honeysuckle.
Commonly planted perennials and annuals include: Delphinium, Aster, Alyssum, Chrysanthemum, Tulip, Pansy, Violet, Lavender, Daylily, Hosta and Yarrow.
Fern-collecting was a popular pastime for botanical enthusiasts in the Victorian era, and flowers were known to have their own special meanings. A bouquet of pansies indicated thoughtfulness. Lilies meant purity, which is why many a Victorian bride walked down the aisle with them. Likewise, myrtle signified love and marriage; morning glories given meant affection. Victorians loved flowers so plant plenty of varieties that may be cut for bouquets to bring inside for the vase or to give as gifts.
The Victorians liked to ornament their gardens with many types of garden props that might include urns, statues, sculptures, gazing balls, birdbaths, sundials and seating. Benches were quite ornate–usually made of stone or cast iron. Gazebos and pavilions were often found as grand focal points for more formal gardens, and they add plenty of Victorian elegance to the landscape. Seats were generally placed at the end of a garden walk or wherever a grand view was to be had. Formal gardens might also employ stone planters. Less formal homes would sport window boxes brimming with pansies, perhaps.
Chinese art and objects were wildly popular during the Victorian era, so you may consider adding a touch of the Orient into your Victorian garden. Red-glazed planters with painted scenes from the far east or black lacquer garden stools would suffice. Or, consider a Chinese screen for the porch. On that note, Victorians often incorporated garden pools filled with goldfish–also from the Orient–and water gardens are wildly popular today. Whatever type of home and garden you have, as you can see, there are many Victorian touches you can add.
French Garden Design
Symmetry and order are the heart of French landscape design. The gardens are also meant to be viewed from a distance, so form and design play a major role. They’re meant to highlight the centerpiece of the entire space, which would be the house (or, in most cases, the chateau). They’re known for their cool color palette, with an emphasis on whites, greens, blues and purples. Think boxwood hedges, intricately clipped shrubs, neatly planted garden beds and planters, and fields of lavender. You’ll also find a great use of stone, whether for pavings, edgings, a terrace or decorative elements, and places where you can enjoy the view.
English Knot Garden
Tip from Expert gardening advisor, Susan Patterson suggests, “Before you plant a knot garden create a pattern on a piece of paper so that you have a plan to follow.”
If you live in a two-story home (or higher) an English knot garden provides all the visual appeal your garden will need. When seen from above, the garden forms an intricate arrangement that is maze-like. However, rather than a random maze or labyrinthine pattern, these designs resemble knotted geometric designs. Paths intersect beds, and raised mounds appear to tunnel in and around an area to form a typical knot design–as an example. Such formal gardens were termed open or closed knot gardens. Open gardens might allow for strolling, while tightly planted closed gardens did not. If your English knot garden has a middle focal point, you might install a statue–a stone lion on a raise of bricks, a small pond, or a fountain. For a simple design plan, consider a square with its four corners ornamented with circular beds, a middle circle, and a low-growing ornamental grass filling in the rest of the square.
Typically, the beds would not be edged by anything like stone or wood, but to make your garden easier to maintain, consider edging each bed with decorative stone or railroad ties. Otherwise, you may have to work much harder to attain that manicured look.
Box evergreen, rosemary, lavender and phlox are some traditional choices, but any plants might be tried. The use of herbs and common plants gives the English knot garden its requisite charm.
For reference visit Historic Garden Review. They offer a global perspective on Garden Heritage. They work to bring together lovers of historic parks and gardens across the world. It provides a portal for the views of enthusiasts, campaigners and professionals alike and is a leading voice in championing the cause of garden heritage.
Through feature articles and frank commentary on the experiences of garden visitors, they promote high standards of conservation, celebrate successful restorations and campaign on behalf of sites that are threatened by development or neglect. They cover historic parks, gardens and designed landscapes worldwide.
During the past few decades, the concept of historic preservation has grown beyond protecting a single building or urban district to include the historic landscape that provides the setting and context for a property as well as much larger landscapes that have regional and national significance. In response to this growing interest in the historic preservation and documentation of landscapes, the American Society of Landscape Architects worked with the National Park Service to create a national program, and in October 2000, the National Park Service established the Historic American Landscapes Survey (HALS) to document historic landscapes in the United States and its territories to serve as tangible evidence of our nation’s heritage and development.
Seed Savers Exchange – Since 1975, they have been growing, saving, and sharing heirloom seeds.
Here are some I chose.
Giant Spotted Foxglove
Heirloom Black Velvet Nasturtians
Products for Your Garden
Wayfair Garden Composite Urn Planter – $116.99
Wayfair Fiberstone Urn Planter $67.99
Horchow – Roman Garden Table – 40″ Diameter x 40″ Tall – $895 30% off $626.50
Sphere Fountains – Allison Armour
Allison’s most popular water feature was designed in 1999, as the centrepiece of a show garden at the 2000 Chelsea Flower Show , where she won a silver medal on her debut for “Garden of Reflections” (also incorporating more of her garden artwork). The fountain is based on a 2 foot (60cm) diameter acrylic sphere, filled and overflowing with water from a concealed pump. AquaLens sets this on a circular stainless steel platform, which in turn is set in a 5 foot (1.5m) diameter stainless steel contact-lens dish pool. The pool can be dug into a lawn, or set on a terrace or other firm level surface (the pool has a fitted collar so it sits level). We can create the Aqualens dish and sphere in any size.
Operation and maintenance are simple: The Aqualens comes fully assembled, just fill with water and plug in the lead for the electric pump. Options available include a fitted internal light, and a different size of dish. Click here to view the installation and maintenance information.
Knot Garden Design by Robert Couturier