18th century period garden - photography Jayne Lloyd
The Geffrye is closed until spring 2020 for a transformational two-year development. Throughout closure we are running events in our front gardens and tours of the restored almshouse.
Town gardens were increasingly seen as an extension of the house, a place for recreation and entertainment. The evidence indicates that the prevailing taste was for simplicity and tidiness, with ornamental gardens featuring paved and/or rolled gravel paths, geometric beds with box edging and the use of evergreen shrubs, often clipped and kept distinct from one another. Plants were spaced regularly, with expanses of exposed earth between them. Bulbs and annuals, planted in neat groups between the perennials, were prized for their colourful, delicate or scented flowers. Potted plants, which could be moved around as desired, were also popular.
Key plants include:
Popular evergreen shrubs, often clipped in shapes
Box, common (Buxus sempervirens ‘Suffruticosa’)
Holly, common (Ilex aquilfolium)
Laurel (Prunus laurocerasus)
Privet (Ligustrum vulgare sempervirens)
Yew (Taxus baccata)
Shrubs and climbers
Fig, common (Ficus carica)
Hibiscus syriacus double
Honeysuckle (Lonicera x americana)
Lilac (Syringa vulgaris)
Lilac, Persian (Syringa persica)
Passion flower, blue (Passiflora caerulea)
Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia)
Apothecary’s Rose (Rosa gallica var.officanalis)
Common Moss Rose (Rosa x centifolia ‘Muscosa’)
Rosa ‘De Meux’ (Rosa centifolia var.pomponia)
Rosa Mundi (Rosa gallica var.officinalis ‘Versicolor’)
Herbs, flowers and bulbs
Bergamot (Monarda didyma)
Hellebore (Helleborus foetidus and niger)
Madonna lily (Lilium candidum)
Peony (Paeonia officinalis)
Sage (Salvia officinalis)
Southernwood (Artemis abrotanum)
Tulip (Tulipa gesneriana)
View the ornamental feature in the 18th century period garden.
See our 360 view of the 18th Century Garden or take the Virtual Tour of the Period Rooms and Gardens.