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Victorian Garden at Abergavenny Castle


By kasy


Recently I went to see an Abergavenny Castle.
There is a tiny little garden – looking good at this time of the year – so I thought – why not do a blog?
so here it is.
First thing you see as you approach it is the information panel

What is it telling us? let’s have a closer look

Can’t read a single world from that picture so l am assuming neither can you. Hmmm…
ok – I know! I will write it down for you, ok?

Here is what it says:

The Victorian Garden
During the Victorian era there were big advances in horticulture and botanical knowledge. The flow of new plant introduced by plant hunters from overseas together with technological advances for growing and propagating them led to an interest in plants for their own sake. The emerging middle classes were building villas on the edge of towns and used their gardens to display their newfound wealth.

Typical features included a lawn (a mechanical lawn mower was introduced in the 1830’s), terraces often in an Italianate style with balustrades, urns, parterres, shrubberies, gravel paths, specimen in island beds. Formality was a keynote.

The newly available tender annuals and perennials were displayed in beds and rows of regimental patterns in gaudy colours to give maximum impact.

Shrubberies included evergreens with thick shiny leaves such as Laurels, Skimmias and Aucubas as they tolerated atmospheric pollution. Clipping evergreen shrubs into shapes (topiary) was popular. Rhododendrons and Azaleas has been introduced from China.

The ultimate ‘must have’ in the Victorian suburban garden was a Monkey Puzzle tree placed prominently in the front garden.

Rockeries were a great favourite and usually grown in separate formal beds. They underwent a rapid evolution in the 1840s, due to hybridization techniques, as did Chrysanthemums and Dahlias. Pansies and Violas were also especially popular.

Some of these features are included in this garden, which was instigated by the Abergavenny local History Society in recognition of the extensive flower and pleasure gardens that were in the Castle grounds in the Victorian Age.

Ok – that’s the theory of the Victorian Garden.
Now is the challenging part – how many of described features can you see in the pictures below?

Iris sibirica and valerian

Oriental Lily


Welsh poppy – Meconopsis cambria and pink Aquillegias

Love the benches in the sitting area

Oriental poppies and and even more Aquillegias ;-)

Roses still in buds

wall flowers – meaning flowers growing on the wall ;-)

Choisya ternata

Helleborus foetidus

Another bench

can’t get enough of that bench – you have to excuse me, lol

Ok – this is not a picture of bench detail – there is a geranium behind it, lol

Another geranium

And last picture – on the other side of the wall.

To summarize – a theory doesn’t always much a practise.

But hope you like the pictures anyway:)

More blog posts by kasy

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True - I was getting worried because there didn't seem to be any!
Thank you for going to the trouble of copying out the information board for us. Did they have a monkey puzzle tree somewhere else? Its the only tree I would gladly chop down every one I saw - they look much too out of place in a British landscape - does anybody else feel that way?
That aquilegia is a fabulous colour.
The bench is unusual isn't it? I wonder if it was made to order, it just asks to be sat on. Thank you for letting us come on your outing, it was interesting - I've only been to Abergevenny once and didn't see a castle.

10 Jun, 2014


Great article and lovely photo's - one day I might get to go to Abergevenny always seem to be passing round it.

11 Jun, 2014


Glad you liked the blog:) The Castle is rather small - will try to post some pictures in another blog.
Didn't see a Monkey puzzle tree anywhere - that Victorian garden is on a small size as well. I think I'll feel and behave like a tourist for bit longer, lol. I quite like that tree - but in small front gardens it definitely doesn't look natural.
As for the benches - they might be made to size as they fit the small patio perfectly.
As for Abergavenny itself - it's got some character - it is worth seeing it :)

11 Jun, 2014


Love the flowers growing on the wall Kasy - and I can see why you liked the benches so much - very unusual design. :o)

14 Jun, 2014



15 Jun, 2014

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