Edwardian (Horti)culture 1: How to Begin

'Down the Garden' by Spencer Gore, 1912 (Museum of London)

‘Down the Garden’ by Spencer Gore, 1912 (Museum of London)

‘Many people who love flowers and wish to do some practical gardening are at their wit’s end to know what to do and how to begin. Like a person who is on skates for the first time, they feel that, what with the bright steel runners, and the slippery surface, and the sense of helplessness, there are more ways of tumbling about than of progressing safely in any one direction. And in gardening the beginner must feel this kind of perplexity and helplessness, and indeed there is a great deal to learn, only it is pleasant instead of perilous, and the many tumbles on the way only teach and do not hurt.’ (Gertrude Jekyll, Wood and Garden, 1899).

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