One of the treasures of Dove Cottage is the steep garden that overlooks the back of the house. William and Dorothy Wordsworth were enthusiastic gardeners. They devoted many hours to growing flowers, and to tending the orchard and the kitchen garden. An escape from the cramped walls of the cottage, the garden became one of their favourite places to read, write, socialise, and rest. How has the garden been transformed since the Wordsworths left it—and should we try to recreate the way it was in their own day?
Dr Jeremy Davies and Dr Jane Roberts join Principal Curator Jeff Cowton to discuss their work, including a project to return the orchard garden at Dove Cottage to the character and spirit in which the Wordsworths knew it. They will also share some of William and Dorothy’s writing on plants, as well as look at manuscripts and books from the Wordsworth Trust’s collection including the Wordsworths’ copy of William Withering’s An arrangement of British plants.
This event accompanies ‘Experiments in Land and Society, 1793–1833,’ an Arts and Humanities Research Council project that is supporting new research into the garden and historically informed enhancements to the outdoor spaces at Dove Cottage.