'O happy Garden! whose seclusion deep / Hath been so friendly to industrious hours'

Lines from 'A Farewell' by William Wordsworth

Wordsworth Grasmere

Butterfly in tree at Dove Cottage (2018-09-26) by Wordsworth GrasmereWordsworth Grasmere

The Garden-Orchard at Dove Cottage

A large part of William and Dorothy Wordsworth's daily life at Dove Cottage included working in the Garden-Orchard. They wrote, weeded, planted, mended, washed and more, working in all seasons and in all weathers.

My dear Jane ...', image of Dorothy Wordsworth's Letter to Jane Marshall (19th Century) by Dorothy WordsworthWordsworth Grasmere

A Letter from Dorothy

In this letter, dated 10 September 1800, Dorothy describes the Garden-Orchard for her friend Jane Marshall.

'We are daily more delighted with Grasmere', extract from a letter written by Dorothy Wordsworth
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A Letter from Dorothy

‘We are daily more delighted with Grasmere, and its neighbourhood; our walks are perpetually varied, and we are more fond of the mountains as our acquaintance with them encreases. We have a boat upon the lake and a small orchard and a smaller garden which as it is the work of our own hands we regard with pride and partiality. This garden we enclosed from the road and pulled down a fence which formerly divided it from the orchard. The orchard is very small, but then it is a delightful one from its retirement, and the excessive beauty of the prospect from it. Our cottage is quite large enough for us though very small, and we have made it neat and comfortable within doors and it looks very nice on the outside, for though the roses and honeysuckles which we have planted against it are only of this year's growth yet it is covered all over with green leaves and scarlet flowers, for we have trained scarlet beans upon threads, which are not only exceedingly beautiful, but very useful, as their produce is immense.’  

A beautiful mild morning', extract from Dorothy Wordsworth's Grasmere Journal (19th Century) by Dorothy WordsworthWordsworth Grasmere

Dorothy's Grasmere journal, Wednesday 27 January 1802

'The Bees were humming about the hive. William raked a few stones off the garden, his first garden labour this year. I cut the shrubs.'

Walked in the morning to Ambleside', extract from Dorothy Wordsworth's Grasmere Journal (19th Century) by Dorothy WordsworthWordsworth Grasmere

Dorothy's Grasmere journal, Saturday 24 May 1800

'Walked in the morning to Ambleside. I found a letter from Wm & from Mary Hutchinson & Douglass. Returned on the other side of the lakes - wrote to William after dinner - nailed up the beds worked in the garden - Sate in the evening under the trees.'

Sauntered a good deal in the garden', extract from Dorothy Wordsworth's Grasmere Journal (19th Century) by Dorothy WordsworthWordsworth Grasmere

Dorothy's Grasmere journal, Monday 19 May 1800

'Sauntered a good deal in the garden, bound carpets, mended old clothes. Read Timon of Athens. Dried linen - Molly weeded the turnips, John stuck the peas.'

Very warm', extract from Dorothy Wordsworth's Grasmere Journal (19th Century) by Dorothy WordsworthWordsworth Grasmere

Dorothy's Grasmere journal, Saturday 25 July 1800

'Still hotter. I sate [sic] with W[illiam] in the orchard all the morning & made my shoe.'

A fine sunny but coldish morning', extract from Dorothy Wordsworth's Grasmere Journal (19th Century) by Dorothy WordsworthWordsworth Grasmere

Dorothy's Grasmere journal, Wednesday 28 April 1802

'Wm was in the orchard - I went to him - he worked away at his poem, though he was ill & tired'

William & I sauntered ...', extract from Dorothy Wordsworth's Grasmere Journal (19th Century) by Dorothy WordsworthWordsworth Grasmere

Dorothy's Grasmere journal, 21 April 1802

'The well which we cleaned out last night is still but a little muddy pond'  

A divine morning', extract from Dorothy Wordsworth's Grasmere Journal (19th Century) by Dorothy WordsworthWordsworth Grasmere

Dorothy's Grasmere journal, 27 March 1802

'A divine morning—at Breakfast Wm wrote part of an ode—Mr Olliff sent the Dung & Wm went to work in the garden we sate all day in the Orchard.'  

'O Happy Garden', extract of William Wordsworth's poem 'A Farewell'
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Extract from 'A Farewell' by William Wordsworth

'O happy Garden! whose seclusion deep
Hath been so friendly to industrious hours;
And to soft slumbers, that did gently steep
Our spirits, carrying with them dreams of flowers,
And wild notes warbled among leafy bowers;
Two burning months let summer overleap, 
And, coming back with Her who will be ours, 
Into thy bosom we again shall creep.’

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