Imagine a garden that reflects Jane Austen, and what would it contain? Roses are surely a must, and traditional cottage flowers such as fragrant lavender, hollyhocks, foxgloves, poppies and peonies, colorful wildflowers and aromatic herbs all seem likely candidates.
However, this is very much supposition because, although Jane gives many elegant descriptions of the grounds of the country estates and houses that feature in her novels, ‘it is a truth universally acknowledged’ that she rarely mentions flowers or plants. Much easier to imagine is a garden that reflects Jane’s novels, rather than the author herself.
Therefore, the garden created at her cottage in Chawton, in Hampshire, reflects her urge to ‘indulge your imagination in every possible flight’. Jane moved to the cottage in 1809 and it is where her genius flourished and where she wrote and revised and had published all her major works. It was bought for the nation in 1948. Now known as Jane Austen’s House, it has been brought back to life over the years as the home Jane had once occupied…
Read more about the flowers of Jane Austen’s Garden in the Summer Issue of Flora Magazine!
About the author
Flora Magazine is edited by Judith Blacklock, proprietor of the world-renowned Flower School in Knightsbridge, London.