Herbaceous borders as they are known today were first popularly used in gardens in the Victorian era. Hybridization and new imported plant species revolutionized the form of British gardens in the 18th and 19th centuries. In addition, the works of Gertrude Jekyll, a British 20th century garden designer and prolific writer, popularized the use of the herbaceous border through a revival of the British cottage garden.
The herbaceous border was work-intensive, as the perennials had to be dug up every 3-4 years and divided to keep the bed clean-looking and prevent overgrowth of the plants. In World War I this type of border became less popular in Britain as there was a shortage of labour to keep the gardens maintained. However, there are still some celebrated examples in British gardens.