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....

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...

blog : Reading the Nineteenth Century

Over the last four months, Sherry Ashworth has been running a reading course at the House - Reading the Nineteenth Century. We've read four Victorian novels, not only for the stories - though these have been exciting - or for their literary merit - which has  often, if not always, been evident - but to see what the books can tell us about the preoccupations of the society these novelists were writing for, and the social and psychological...