In his blog Hermes has been showing us the lovely, idealized English garden paintings of the Victorian era. I adore those paintings too. But what do they tell us about English society at the time? Until halfway through the twentieth century, childrens literature was used for imparting moral values.
I think this poem "Come and Play in the Garden" by Jane and Ann Taylor, illustrated by Kate Greenaway and published in 1883, shows us how the garden was used to educate children to respect private property and obey their elders.
COME AND PLAY IN THE GARDEN
Little sister, come away,
And let us in the garden play,
For it is a pleasant day.
On the grass-plat let us sit,
Or, if you please, we'll play a bit,
And run about all over it.
But the fruit we will not pick,
For that would be a naughty trick,
And very likely make us sick.
Nor will we pluck the pretty flowers
That grow about the beds and bowers,
Because you know they are not ours.
We'll take the daisies white and red.
Because mamma has often said
That we may gather them instead.
And much I hope we always may
Our very dear mamma obey,
And mind whatever she may say.
about this blog
I started this blog in 2008. It started mainly as a way of tracking the evolution of my dry garden, and that led to an interest in photography and in the creatures that live in the garden. It's still about the garden and wildlife, but now my passion is thinking about how we humans can learn to co-exist with wild animals and plants, especially in urban areas.
I have decided to make a list of the plants in my garden. For too long I haven’t really respected them as individuals, vaguely seeing them ...
This is the photo of my garden in the current guide to Australia's open gardens. It was taken last October. The foreground f...
Part of the point of planting indigenous plants in the garden is to attract native birds. I used to think it was good to attract as many ...
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Australian National Botanic Gardens has an enormous collection of Australian indigenous plants, and it plays a leading role in research...
There is a whole industry devoted to killing insects. I don't understand this widespread hatred of insects. Some insects are ...
Here are some ideas about garden design based on my experiences over decades of continual and ongoing planting, unplanting and replant...