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Ornamental feature

Pelargonium Pyramid

Pelargonium pyramid in the Victorian garden photographed by Jayne Lloyd

Pelargonium Pyramid - photography Jayne Lloyd

This wonderful, and slightly mad, floral ornament was recommended by the prolific journalist and horticulturalist, Shirley Hibberd (1825-1890). Hibberd, a resident of Hackney and an acknowledged authority on town gardening, published this creation in 1866 in Floral World, one of the magazines which he edited. He also included it as an illustration in his book, The Amateur’s Flower Garden, in 1892.

Hibberd suggested using Pelargonium zonale and Pelargonium inguinans, the latter of which is difficult to source in quantity today. Here we have used Pelargonium PAC antik scarlet, which is similar in size and appearance to P inguinans.

Victorian Greenhouse

Victorian greenhouse (detail) at the Geffrye Museum photographed by Jayne Lloyd

Interior of the Victorian greenhouse - photography Jayne Lloyd

This greenhouse contains a range of popular plants for cultivation and display in greenhouses and conservatories in the second half of the nineteenth century. Some of the plants nurtured in a greenhouse such as this might have been transferred to the conservatory or other rooms in house.

Plants for the greenhouse and conservatory included:

  • Banana, such as musa cavendishii
  • Auriculas, such as Booth’s Freedom, Reid’s Miss Giddings. Taylor’s Glory, Spalding’s Blackbird and Black Prince.
  • Begonia rex
  • Bouganvilla
  • Calceolaria
  • Chrysanthemums
  • Citrus plants
  • Coleus
  • Cymbidium
  • Ferns of many types
  • Fuschia
  • Gardenia
  • Lilies, such as Lilium speciosum albiflorum, Lilium speciosum roseum, Lilium auratum and Lilium lancifolium
  • Myrtle
  • Orchids of various types
  • Passion flower
  • Pelargoniums, such Perlagonium zonale, Pelargonium inguinans, Pelargonium ‘Mrs Pollock’ and various scented types
  • Plumbago
  • Schizanthus
  • Verbena

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