Self-sufficient Victorians

‘I led the way into the Kitchen-Garden. It was in the first promise of a summer profuse in vegetables and fruits’ Elizabeth Gaskell, Cousin Phillis, 1864

The Victorians, who could afford to have a garden, grew lots of different fruit and vegetables to provide their family with food.

The Gaskell garden probably had all sorts of vegetables but we know from her letters that she definitely grew peas, cauliflowers, Jerusalem artichokes, plums and apples. It sounds like Elizabeth was getting her five-a-day.

#Game Can you name a fruit or vegetable for every letter of the alphabet?
For example A for apple, B for banana, C for carrots….

What does Lavender mean?


For the Victorians, lavender represented purity, calmness, luxury and silence.

The strong scent of lavender was perfect for perfumes, whilst its healing properties added value to medicine. Victorian cooks also used lavender to flavour fruit jelly and vinegar.

#jokebreak What did the alien say to the garden?… Take me to your weeder!

Why not try and grow some lettuce at home?

I'm afraid we must do some shopping

Elizabeth Gaskell 1863