Victorian Botany

The Victorians - especially the wealthy with time to invest in new science and discoveries - were obsessed with botany and the natural world. in particular they wanted to study it, collect it and enjoy it both abroad and at home.

The 19th century saw a huge increase in gardening literature offering endless advice and instruction, as well as showcasing the latest gardening craze or ‘must-have’ plants. Thousands of new species flooded into the country as plant hunters and collectors scoured the expanding British Empire.

The SS Great Britain gift shop is taking inspiration this year from ferns and orchids - favourites with the Victorians. Our Victorian Botany collection is overgrown with beautiful stationery and illustrated books, equipment for the home gardener, accessories and homewares featuring Sarah Carpenter's exclusive orchid and fern design.