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Glass house at Chatsworth

Victorian

The Victorian period was celebrated for its progress, invention, new ideas and discoveries from giant glasshouses to garden tools.

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Timeline

1840
The most popular plants for displays were chrysanthemums, dahlias and roses.

1840s
James Pulham invents a cement that can be poured to form rockeries.

1841
Victorian gardener Joseph Paxton creates the glasshouse at Chatsworth. William Hooker starts his role as the new director at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Alexander Shanks of Arbroath registered a pony-pulled mower that cleared the clippings in 1841.

1844 to 1848
Architect Decimus Burton builds the Palm house at Kew.

1844
The monkey puzzle Araucaria araucana is reintroduced (after its first introduction in 1795).

1845
Glass tax is abolished, making greenhouses and conservatories cheaper and more popular. Conservatories, which made an attractive addition to the side of the house, were used for entertaining more than cultivating plants.

1847
James Hartley produces good quality sheet glass that's used for greenhouses.

1848 to 1851
Joseph Hooker brings back 28 species of rhododendrons from his expeditions to the Himalayas.

1849
Joseph Paxton is credited with bringing the first the giant water lily into flower at Chatsworth House.

1851
The Great Exhibition of London takes place in Crystal Palace, designed by Joseph Paxton.

1854
Veitch Nurseries starts to sell seeds of Wellingtonia.

1859
Charles Darwin publishes the controversial On the Origin of Species by Natural Selection. Darwin also wrote regular articles for Gardeners' Chronicles and devoted his later years to detailed studies of plants and the action of earthworms in the soil.

1860s
Gnomes were introduced from Germany. Sir Charles Isham built a rockery in 1847 at Lamport Hall in Northamptonshire, which he filled with gnomes 20 years later. One still survives - who's insured for 1m.

1861
The Horticultural Society becomes the Royal Horticultural Society.

1865
Joseph Hooker takes over from his father William Hooker as director of Kew.

1870
The Wild Garden by William Robinson promotes the idea of natural-looking planting schemes.

1874
The pesticide DDT is synthesised by Othmar Zeider. DDT is banned in 1972.

1887
The council introduces the Allotment Act. The council makes land available at a reasonable rent for the public to grow plants on.

1895
The National Trust is founded by Miss Octavia Hill, Sir Robert Hunter and Canon Hardwicke Rawnsley. The Trust was set up 'to act as a guardian for the nation in the acquisition and protection of threatened coastline, countryside and buildings'. The first women gardeners are employed at The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

1897
The Victoria Medal of Honour in Horticulture, is established by the RHS. The medal is awarded to people who've made an important contribution to gardening, such as Alan Titchmarsh and Christopher Lloyd.

1830s Edwin Budding invents the lawnmower
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