Flower gardening extended beyond the rich and fashionable. It became common for travellers to comment on the honeysuckle, roses, carnations and geraniums around many cottages.
By Victorian times flower shows were well established in local towns. The first flower shows had been in Norwich in the seventeenth century. It was here that Dutch immigrants had greatly stimulated flower gardening.
There was huge interest in improving varieties, creating hybrids, freakish colours and out of season flowering. The rose particularly became the object of much experimentation - in 1800 there were less than 100 varieties, by 1850 there were nearly 2000 different kinds.
Flowers followed fashions as much as clothes.
The flowering shrub in the picture suited the Victorian taste for the dark and gothic. What is it?
Click the picture for an answer.
Lots of different new flowers came from far off countries.