'This plot of orchard-ground is ours; / My trees they are, my Sister's flowers'

Lines from 'To a Butterfly' by William Wordsworth

View of the garden from the window of Dove Cottage (2011-06-17) by Wordsworth GrasmereWordsworth Grasmere

The Garden-Orchard at Dove Cottage

For William and Dorothy Wordsworth, the Garden-Orchard was not only a place to compose poetry and write, but it was also a source of inspiration. 

Explore the Terrace

With the help of neighbour John Fisher, William built steps leading up to a terrace in the Garden-Orchard. Here, he would pace back and forth, composing poetry to the rhythm of his steps. 

Lesser Celandine (2019-04-11) by Wordsworth GrasmereWordsworth Grasmere

'To the Lesser Celandine'

'To the Lesser Celandine' is one of the many poems William wrote at Dove Cottage. The lesser celandine is a wildflower, and it still grows in the Garden-Orchard today. William once named it as his favourite flower.   

We came into the orchard', extract from Dorothy Wordsworth's Grasmere Journal (19th Century) by Dorothy WordsworthWordsworth Grasmere

Dorothy's Grasmere journal, 30 April 1802

'We came into the orchard directly after Breakfast, & sate there. The lake was calm - the sky cloudy. We saw two fishermen by the lake side. William began to write the poem of the Celandine.'

I wrote to Mary H', extract from Dorothy Wordsworth's Grasmere Journal (19th Century) by Dorothy WordsworthWordsworth Grasmere

30 April 1802 continued...

'Walked backwards & forwards with William - he repeated his poem to me - then he got to work again & would not give over - he had not finished his dinner till 5 o clock.'

William Wordsworth's Notebook of Verse (19th Century) by William WordsworthWordsworth Grasmere

The poem was written in 1802, and published in 1807.

In an accompanying note, William wrote: 'It is remarkable that this flower, coming out so early in the Spring as it does, and so bright and beautiful, and in such profusion, should not have been noticed earlier in English verse.'

Lesser Celandine (2019-04-11) by Wordsworth GrasmereWordsworth Grasmere

Extract from 'The Small Celandine' by William Wordsworth

'Pansies, lilies, kingcups, daisies,
Let them live upon their praises;
Long as there's a sun that sets,
Primroses will have their glory;
Long as there are violets;
They will have a place in story:
There's a flower that shall be mine,
'Tis the little Celandine.'   

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

'To a Butterfly'

In the spring of 1802, William also wrote the poem 'To a Butterfly', as Dorothy records in her journal: 'A beautiful morning the sun shone—William wrote a conclusion to the poem of the Butterfly, "I've watch'd you now a full half-hour."'  

'To a Butterfly' by William Wordsworth

'To a Butterfly'

by William Wordsworth

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