Countryside in the City

“Tommy is very well and took papa to the station today. The cow is giving more milk than ever now she goes out into the field. The little chickens are doing very well indeed”. Elizabeth to her daughter Julia, 1854.

The Gaskells had their own field where the animals were kept, and the pony, Tommy, was kept in what is now the Coach House (the brick building attached to the House). It’s difficult to imagine keeping a pony, cows and chickens in the city, but there are still city farms you can visit. The nearest place to see farm animals is at Heaton Park in Manchester.

#jokebreak What kind of garden does a baker have?… A ‘flour’ garden.

What do Cornflowers mean?

In the Victorian language of flowers, the cornflower was a symbol of hope for love, and the flower was worn by single men to show that they were looking for love.

You will also see cornflowers in the pattern on the wallpaper in Elizabeth’s bedroom.

The Cornflower was a symbol of hope for love.

Victorians displayed cornflowers in small vases and containers with other plants such as lilies and irises.

#Game Bees love cornflowers! Imagine you are a bee and buzz to your next stop. You could ask your grown-up to be a wiggly worm!

Try this at Home

Cornflowers like to grow in well-drained soil in full sun. You can sow them from March to May to flower from June to September. Find out more about growing cornflowers on the RHS website.

To begin with the old rigmarole of childhood…

Wives and Daughters