The English garden was an important part of life, but at no time was its significance larger than during the Victorian age. Part of this was because the British Empire was vast, which meant thousands of British citizens were living far from England. The idea that the garden, with its familiar plants and scents, would always be there when the wanderers returned home, loomed large. When the world was changing at such a dramatic clip thanks to the Industrial Revolution, the garden was stable, unchanging—home.
The garden is where a gentleman took a stroll with his intended, where a woman could escape the confines of the house and use her intelligence and creativity. It was a haven for both men and women, a familiar, safe place away from the hustle and bustle of the modern world. When those travelers returned home, they often brought back with them exotic plants—and the English went mad for them. They began the practice of what’s called “bedding out,” whereby massive beds of a single type of flower were planted in geometric patterns. Of course, there was a backlash to this rigid form of garden, which launched the “wild” garden craze.
It was during the Victorian age when public gardens became all the rage. They were created in an attempt to bring culture and beauty to the masses, and many that were established during this time still exist today. And, of course, all great estates had gardens that were often open for public viewing.
The Victorian garden came in two distinct styles: rigidly orderly and linear, and “wild.” This wild concept was advocated by William Robinson, who urged the use of native plants, curved paths, and hidden scenic spots to keep visitors’ attention always on their surroundings. For the first time, English gardens incorporated native wildflowers and plants, and the results were simply breathtaking. His book, The Wild Garden, is considered the bible for gardeners throughout the world and is still in print today.
To say those who gardened were passionate about their hobby is a vast understatement. Those who gardened lived and breathed horticulture, always seeking to improve their plantings and create beauty around each corner. Alfred Smee, a well-known amateur horticulturist, thought a garden should be full of surprises and unexpected, hidden alcoves—perfect for a couple who wanted a bit of privacy perfect for falling in love.
About DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH
In the charming seaside town of St. Ives, a buried secret could bring an unlikely pair together for a lifetime.
Clara Anderson’s mother has one mission: to marry off her daughter to a titled gentleman. Unfortunately, though the Andersons have come up in the world, Clara is still the granddaughter of a pig farmer, which means no self-respecting aristocrat will marry her. That’s just fine with Clara, who’s grown to disdain the upper classes. So when she meets an attractive man even more common than she is, she decides it’s time to forge her own path.
. . . Except that handsome, rugged Nathaniel Emory, Baron Alford, is no more a commoner than Clara is a blue-blood. He’s appeared on the scene for one reason only: to save his family’s estate from ruin by finding the exceedingly valuable blue diamond his grandfather buried in the Andersons’ garden fifty years ago. To do that, he must pretend to be a gardener. He didn’t count on the most beautiful girl he’s ever seen getting in his way. But Clara has made no secret of her dislike for aristocrats. Which means that once she uncovers his ruse, he’s certain she’ll never see him again.
About the Author
Jane Goodger lives in Rhode Island with her husband and three children. Jane, a former journalist, has written numerous historical romances. When she isn’t writing, she’s reading, walking, playing with her kids, or anything else completely unrelated to cleaning a house. Learn more about Jane at www.janegoodger.com or on the social media platforms below.