Fragrant Flowers for Victorian Gardens - notes


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Fragrant Flowers for Victorian Gardens - notes

  1. 1. Out of the Wilds and Into Your Garden Fragrant Flowers for Victorian Gardens C.M. Vadheim and T. Drake CSUDH & Madrona Marsh Preserve Madrona Marsh Preserve Gardening with Western L.A. County Native Plants April 3rd & 6th, 2010 Project SOUND - 2010 © Project SOUND © Project SOUNDWhat is it about a grandmother’s garden? What was the Victorian Era? news-victoria-dead/  Period of Queen Victoria’s reign in England - 1837-1901  Time of great change in both Europe & N. America Victorian Style Garden © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 1
  2. 2. What was different about the Victorian What was different about the Victorian period? period?  The Industrial Revolution  Increased communication  Period of intense innovation – lots of inventions  Books (including  More people live in/near urban novels) & magazines areas – 6% to > 50% by 1900 in U.S.  Fairs, shows & exhibitions  Growing Middle Class  More leisure time, particularly  Public parks – for middle class women demonstrate the latest styles in  Mass production – of many landscape things; cheap, available reproductions of many styles architecture © Project SOUND © Project SOUND Victorian books and magazines served as What was different about the Victorian sources of inspiration period?  Commerce with ‘foreign lands’  Styles from other lands influenced culture (Oriental influence)  Increased interest in the scientific and natural worlds  Plants & seeds – including those from 1840 print – Jane CA, tropics Webb Loudon London © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 2
  3. 3. There were actually many different architectural styles in the Victorian era  Many harked back to earlier, grander times (Georgian; Greek)  Most were quite ornate – ornamentation was a big thing!  The Queen Anne/Eastlake Style was most popular in S. CA –The Victorian Era saw an enormous change in the lifestyles of Americans. With new ‘Gingerbread Houses’, ‘Painted Ladies’opportunities, wealth began to accumulate and the era of exaggeration began. © Project SOUND © Project SOUND Examples from Victorian Los San Pedro Angeles  Even more modest homes had lots of quirky details  Note also the large porches – outdoor living © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 3
  4. 4. Gardening became wildly popular in the Places to see Victorian houses in S. CA Victorian era  Gardening became  Angelino Heights widely popular due in (Echo Park) – part to: Carroll Ave.  new technologies (lawn  ‘Heritage Square’ mower & other garden tools)  San Pedro/ Wilmington  more diverse plant stock  the rise of the middle  Heritage Court / class Redondo Beach Historical Museum  the invention of suburban living.  Hollywood  Redlands and But the number one reason gardening became popular was Riverside the increase in the amount of leisure time the middle class could devote to it. © Project SOUND © Project SOUND Victorians viewed their gardens differently than we do…  for the Victorian gardener, the goal was to create unified ‘home grounds’ where house, garden and nature all worked together as one;  to furnish a beautiful setting for relaxation and social entertainment; Perhaps the most distinguishing element of S. CA Victorian  and to provide a productive, gardens, especially when compared to today, is the way in yet esthetically pleasing source which the house and the garden acted as a single unit. of fresh fruits and vegetables In a Victorian garden, you sense immediately that the for the home. landscape embraces the architecture, linking it to the land, like a rose gently twinning up a delicate arbor. GARDEN0805-de.jpg © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 4
  5. 5. To Victorians, gardens had individual rooms The Victorian garden was an (much like a house) extension of the house…  Victorian gardens were  Views were framed and expanded, used daily, intensively, paths deliberately curved to hide and their design their ends, beds of scented flowers located at unexpected reflected that use turns, all to delight and distract the passerby.  Gardens were laid out to hold something in  In the way we might value our TV reserve, to encourage a or stereo, gardens were sources sense of exploration and or relaxation and entertainment mystery. in a much quieter age. © Project SOUND © Project SOUND The garden and house reflected the As is often the case, Victorian gardens exuberance of the era !!!!! reflected a rebellion against the ‘old style’  The landscape designs of Victorian homes reflected the new ornamental lifestyle found inside as well as out.  Colors were bold and vibrant and at times mixed with little heed or restraint.  At the end of the Victorian era, people were ready for a change back to simpler, more naturalistic landscapes © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 5
  6. 6. Gardenesque movement (1832 to 1880s) Early Victorian gardens were very formal  John Claudius Loudon  Style of planting design that moved away from the picturesque English Landscape movements and the obsession with natural form and movement.  It relied on non-native plants and exotics, displaying them individually in beds so they were able to develop their true shape and could be admired from all angles.  Parterres (gardens divided into rectangular sections) satisfied the  The garden designs were based on abstract shapes with specimen plants that Victorian need for traditional rectangular geometric forms and were intended to be admired for their unique attributes strong axial designs. © Project SOUND © Project SOUND I know what you’re thinking: my garden is small too  The Victorian gardeners motto might have been something like "mans conquest over elements of the natural world." This control might be most apparent in the propagation of lawns. © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 6
  7. 7. Victorian gardens came in all sizes… Eight elements of the Victorian Garden  Though it was a time of excess (and not all 1. Lawn homeowners possessed such self-restraint), the landscape designs were 2. Trees usually in keeping with 3. Shrubs the size and architectural design of the house. 4. Fencing  A smaller home would not 5. Ornaments have a yard filled with gardens, instead choosing 6. Seating one modestly grand grouping of shrubbery 7. Flowers and flowers and a row of modest shrubbery along 8. Vines The key elements of Victorian gardens the fence border. can be used in any size garden © Project SOUND © Project SOUND  If you accept the Victorian metaphor of But the lawns the landscape as a series of distinct outdoor rooms - with the hardscaping forming the “walls”, “floors”, and were more… “doorways,” - it’s easy to visualize ornamenting the room with “furniture” (trees and shrubs) and “carpets” (lawns).  For Victorians, a good lawn was required to provide a verdant canvas upon which to show off the principal decorations of the garden — the trees, shrubs and flowers that were the true heart of the garden. The fact that the lawn also made a perfect surface for entertainment was a happy bonus.  Placement of the lawn was a fairly easy: like a fine rug, it was simply laid down to adorn the empty spaces between major structural  Most houses had at least one large expanse of lawn uninterrupted by elements of the landscape. Placement of garden beds or tree groupings to give a good view of the house from the “furniture” however – the trees, shrubs the road or vice-versa. and flowers of the garden - was a much more complicated proposition, and Victorian  The large expanses of lawn on estates were trimmed by gang mowers, gardening books go to great lengths in drawn by horses. The push mower, for more modest lawns, was describing the proper ways to “ornament patented during Victorias reign. the lawn.” © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 7
  8. 8. Trees in Victorian gardens were practical & ornamental (like furniture) Larger shrubs/trees for Victorian Gardens: interesting foliage, habit, etc,  Trees were used to shade important parts of the house where direct sun was unwelcome (dining room; veranda).  Ceanothus species  Trees were also used to frame the  Western Redbud - * Cercis occidentalis approach to the house or important  Desert Willow - * Chilopsis linearis views. In the city, trees were planted  Summer Holly - Comarostaphylis diversifolia along the street to aid in privacy.  CA Flannelbush - * Fremontodendron californicum  Weeping trees and those with  Silk Tassels - * Garrya species interestingly colored or shaped leaves were popular and placed strategically  Toyon - Heteromeles arbutifolia to draw the eye -.often could walk  Island Mallow - Lavatera assurgentiflora around them to fully appreciate them  Catalina Ironwood - Lyonothamnus floribundus  Depending upon climate, one might  Torrey Pine - * Pinus torreyana collect exotic trees and "display" them  Blue Elderberry - Sambucus nigra ssp. cerulea as part of the lawn decor.Exotic plants might even belabeled, like in a botanic garden © Project SOUND © Project SOUND * California Buckeye – Aesculus californica * California Buckeye – Aesculus californica  Foothills from L.A. county north to OR  Locally in San Gabriel & Liebre mtns  On dry slopes, canyons and the borders of streams in many plant communities including chaparral, oak woodland, pine woodland © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 8
  9. 9. Hippocastanaceae (Horse-chestnut Family) CA Buckeye is a deciduous shrub/tree  ?? Should it be a separate family –  Size: some lump into Sapindaceae  12-20+ ft tall (40 ft. max. in favorable sites)  Small family (3 genera/15 species) of deciduous trees and shrubs  15-30 ft wide  Temperate to tropical: Asia  Growth form: (Himalayas to Japan, China), SE  Tree-like or shrub-like – has multiple Europe, North America, also Central and South America (Billia) main trunks  Very sculptural – elegant even without  Includes Horse-chestnuts, Red & leaves Yellow Buckeyes  Shape - mounded  All have palmate leaves, showy flowers and large, heavy seeds  Foliage:  Bright to medium green leaves; fall-  Some cultivated ornamentals, deciduous notable horse-chestnut (Aesculus  Palmate leaves typical for family hippocastanum) which is widely planted in temperate regions.  All parts toxic if ingested © Project SOUND  Roots: re-sprouts from stem SOUND © Project Flowers are fabulous!! Fruits & seeds are  Blooms: spring to summer - very large!! usually May-July in our area  Fruits are leathery/ tough,  Flowers: pear-shaped  Pale pink (sometimes white)  Splits open in winter to release  Densely packed on flowering the seed stems – extremely showy  Sweetly scented  Seeds are very large (1-2  Very old-fashioned look – inches in diameter) excellent for Victorian Style  Seeds will readily germinate – gardens not difficult to grow from seed  Beneficial insects (including native bees), butterflies and  Ground squirrels may bury the their larvae, Hummingbirds are seeds, which they can eat attracted to nectar  Seeds high in saponins – can be used for soap – toxic to eat © 2006 Christopher L. Christie © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 9
  10. 10.  Soils: CA Buckeye is perfectly atPlant Requirements  Texture: any from sandy to home in a Victorian Garden heavy clay  pH: any local, including acidic  As an accent plant with its showy  Light: flowers and attractive branch  Full sun best in most gardens structure (light it a night for  Will take light shade or some night accent) afternoon shade  As a small shade tree  Water:  Winter: needs adequate water  In the scented garden – sweet  Summer: needs to be summer dry scent once established – Zone 1 or 1-2;  Thrives on dry slopes & hillsides – susceptible to S.O.D. great for binding soil  Fertilizer: none needed; likes poor soils, but can tolerate light fertilizer  Good hummingbird plant and organic mulch  Don’t plant near apiaries – will kill  Other: prune to shape when the European honey bees and dormant (winter) or leave alone honey made from nectar is toxic © Project SOUND © Project SOUND Victorians loved their ‘specimen plants’ – Toxic plants and Victorian Gardens usually used as accents  Probably due to several factors:  Inclusion of medicinal plants in home gardens – many toxic  Love for exotics – including those from distant lands © Project SOUND © Project SOUNDR.A. Howard @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database 10
  11. 11. The ‘Plant Hunters’ Victorians were collectors of curiosities…  The interest in ferns began in  The Victorian period was the late 1830s when the the golden era of plant British countryside attracted collecting. increasing numbers of amateur and professional botanists  There was a desire for (male and female). exploration and  People of many different discovery and Victorian social backgrounds sought out plant hunters were the species and varieties botanical adventurers described in the fern who risked life and limb identification books to press the fronds in albums or to to bring back exotic  The English Victorians had a great collect fern plants to grow in plants from around the passion for ferns and this passion was expressed by collecting them, their gardens or homes. world. growing them and making a wide range of ferny decorative objects  Some ferns were, in pottery, glass, metals, textiles, unfortunately, collected out of wood, printed paper, stone and other materials. existence Sir Joseph Banks © Project SOUND © Project SOUND The Stumpery * Lewis’ Mock Orange – Philadelphus lewisii  Originating in the English romantic period in the 19th century, a stumpery is a garden whose structure is based on tree stumps.  Quite characteristic of its era, its a perfect example of the Victorians romanticized and exaggerated sense of nature © Br. Alfred Brousseau, Saint Marys College © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 11
  12. 12. Lewis’ Mock Orange – Philadelphus lewisii Mock Orange: a large deciduous shrub  Western N. America from British Columbia to CA  Winter deciduous  Northwestern California,  Size: Cascade Range, Sierra Nevada  usually 4-8 ft tall; can be taller, particularly in shady sites  Previously split into several  8-10 ft wide variants (lots of floral and foliage variability) – now just  Growth form: considered all one species  Naturally a loose, informal shrub with down-curving, ‘fountain-like’  Named for : branches  Can be pruned to be much more  the Egyptian king Ptolemy dense: hedge Philadelphus  Foliage: simple; lovely woodsy green  the scientist-explorer (reminds you of OR woods) Meriwether Lewis, who first discovered and collected it  Roots: will spread, particularly with,5609,5610 during his exploration of the regular water – may want to contain Louisiana Purchase  Quick-growing © Project SOUND © Project SOUND Mock Orange has always been grown for Mock Orange is very easy to grow - it’s wonderful flowers  Soils: literally any soil, even clay and alkali soils  Blooms: usually May to July; long  Light: bloom period with hundreds of  best flowering and form in full sun; blooms  bright/dappled shade is ok (particularly  Flowers: in very hot gardens)  Showy, white in clusters  Very intense fragrance like that of  Water: orange blossoms  Fragrance will perfume entire yard;  Winter: anything goes; even takes may want to plant back in garden some winter flooding  Summer:  Bee pollinated: a great plant for © 2003 Christopher L. Christie  Does best with moderate to regular native bee pollinators water; every other week as needed Mock Orange is the Idaho state  Seeds: relatively large; can in summer flower propagate from seed (needs a cold  Fairly drought tolerate – but will treatment – stratification – for best lose leaves germination)  Fertilizer: none needed; organic mulches probably a good idea © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 12
  13. 13. Some interesting facts about Mock Orange Mock Orange in the garden  Was a favorite shrub in Victorian  Widely used as a medicinal: gardens  Dried powdered leaves & bark used  Excellent habitat plant: to rub on sores & swollen joints hummingbirds, small birds,  Decoction use for soaking skin butterflies, bees conditions  In a woodland garden  Leaves and flowers contain saponins – make a natural soap  Along streams, ponds  Stems used in basket-making  As a large shrub; nice specimen  Hard wood used for combs, knitting plant in fragrance garden needles, digging sticks and tool handles  For informal hedges, screens  Deer, rabbits and squirrels eat this plant, particularly young plants/  Cultivars for CA: Goose Creek & foliage Leave it natural, prune to shape Marjorie Schmidt’Gladys Lucille Smith © California Academy of Sciences or cut back 1/3 of branches when dormant to rejuvenate © Project SOUND © Project SOUND Functional spaces  Clotheslines, work sheds or any other functional spaces were kept hidden from the view from the road and front drive.  These spaces were set off by groups of shrubbery, trees,  Fell Foot Park and Garden - a typical late Victorian garden of vines & trellises. rhododendrons, oaks and pines. Closer to Edwardian in feel. © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 13
  14. 14. Vines & climbers Native Honeysuckles, were used by Clematis, Morning- Victorians glories  Vines of all types were used as decoration and to hide "unsightly" features, such as fences and tree stumps.  Vines could also be trained up the side of a porch to ward off the sun. Lonicera hispidula © Project SOUND © Project SOUND  Shrubs were often planted so Shrubs often played that each one would stand on ….but not always utilitarian roles… its own rather than blending together.  A variety of plants were  Shrubs were used mainly chosen for uniqueness in for delineating property blossom, shape or variety – like lines or marking paths. objects of art.  The point was the showiness  They might also be used to and uniqueness of individual hide an "unsightly" wooden plants. The goal seemed to be fence or house foundation, to find that special specimen that no other could find. or used to frame doorways or bay windows.  Popular shrubs for Victorian gardens included: Azalea,  It was popular to mix the Ceanothus, Holly, Hydrangea, Rose, Lilac, Forsythia, species of shrubs. Andromeda, Barberry, Peony, & Nightshades. © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 14
  15. 15. Purple Nightshade – Solanum xanti Purple Nightshade – Solanum xanti  Southwestern U.S. to Baja  In CA, foothills west of Sierras and desert foothills  In coastal sage scrub or chaparral usually  ITIS recognizes several subspecies – Jepson does not,7682,7701  Also called Chaparral Nightshade, Blue Witch © Project SOUND © Project SOUNDPurple Nightshade – adaptable to conditions Purple Nightshade – old-fashioned perennial or sub-shrub  Size:  2-4 ft tall  2-4 ft wide  Growth form:  Perennial or sub-shrub – base becomes woody  Mounded to sprawling – depends a bit on light  Branchs thin, herbaceous  Foliage: all parts toxic if eaten  Bright to medium green  Leaves simple  Roots: taproot but also spreads some via rhizomes (not invasive – more likely to spread via seed) © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 15