Blogs & News

blog : Busy Bees and the Great Exhibition

The roses on the pergola have started to flower and I think they are worth three photos all to themselves. On the other side of the lawn the open flowers of a dog rose provided a nectar paradise for bees. Elsewhere flowers just keep flowering! And finally, the Great Exhibition. I wrote last week about Sir Joseph Paxton, the designer of the Crystal Palace.  The pots edging the lawn are currently planted with a lobelia called Crystal Palace....

news : Household Commotion – A New Exhibition at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House

A new servants exhibition at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House opens this month, featuring a previously unseen letter discovered during the restoration work. Household Commotion’: Elizabeth Gaskell and the ‘awful treasure’ of her servants, 1832-1865, is a brand-new exhibition at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House, created by volunteers with the support of Heritage Lottery Funding. This new interactive exhibition explores in detail some of the individual servants that worked for the Gaskell family including Hearn, Elizabeth’s faithful housekeeper, and Will Preston, the...

blog : Meeting Sir Joseph Paxton

The roses are looking good at present and there is one in particular I'd like to tell you about. But first some photos Louise Odier (Bourbon rose, 1851). Souvenir du Dr Jarmain (1865). Single paeony. Scotch briar and osmunda regalis-Royal fern. A good many of the plants in the garden were chosen with reference to Mrs Gaskell’s writing or events in her or her family’s life. A rose in flower at present, Sir Joseph Paxton, is one such...

blog : A Visit to Chawton – From One Literary House to Another

“Our Chawton home how much we find        Already in it, to our mind; And how convinced that when complete        It will all other Houses beat, That ever have been made or mended, With rooms concise or rooms distended.” Jane Austen to her brother Frank. 1809, on moving into their new home. The No 64 bus from Winchester to Alton dropped us at a roundabout on the A31, just after a large brown sign has pointed the...

blog : Sunshine in the garden

The roses on the pergola are about to flower but a lot of time was needed this week to tie them into the wires. The lawn has responded to the nurturing it has received and is a very healthy green and now risk of frost has passed, the pelargoniums have been planted in the pots at the back of the house. ************* Top row: Scilla peruviana. Scotch burnet rose. Scilla and hosta. Bottom row: Geranium. Double paeony. Double...