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Written by JulieW
(Friday, 16 January 2009, at 11:42 a.m.)
Our Garden is putting in order, by a Man who bears a remarkably good Character, has a very fine complexion & asks something less than the first. The Shrubs which border the gravel walk he says are only sweetbriar & roses, & the latter of an indifferent sort;-we mean to get a few of a better kind therefore, & at my own particular desire he procures us some Syringas. I could not do without a Syringa, for the sake of Cowper's Line.-We talk also of a Laburnam. -The Border under the Terrace Wall, is clearing away to receive Currants & Gooseberry Bushes, & a spot is found very proper for Raspberries.- Letter 50
I too have been influenced by literature when I planted my garden:I have a rose garden which only contains varieties of rose JA could have known( nothing which was introduced into England after 1817), and so I love this description of the plans for the garden in Castle Square.
Fo those of you who are not familiar with William Cowper's poem , The Task, these are the lines to which JA refers:
......Laburnum rich In streaming gold; syringa ivory pure;
Sweetbriar is a type of rose. It has insignificant , simple dog rose-type pink or white flowers, but its main attribute is scented leaves: if crushed or smelt after a shower of rain in humid weather, they smell of apples. I know JA dismisses them ,but I love them ;-)
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