Today is the anniversary of the death of the author and gardener Jane Austen.
Jane loved gardens. She had a heart for ornamentals, herbs, and kitchen gardening. And, her family always had a garden - growing their food and beautifying their homes with flowers.
In every one of her books, Jane included gardens.
We know from Jane's letters to her sister Cassandra that gardens brought her joy, and they were also regulating.
In 1807, Jane wrote about the redesign of her garden which included syringia or mock orange and laburnum - a small tree with beautiful hanging yellow flowers in spring, which is how it got the common golden chain or golden rain:
"I could not do without a syringa... We talk also of a laburnum. The border under the terrace wall is clearing away to receive currants and gooseberry bushes, and a spot is found very proper for raspberries."
In 1814, Jane wrote about the garden outside the rented room where she was staying,
"The garden is quite a love... I live in the room downstairs; it is particularly pleasant...opening upon the garden. I go and refresh myself every now and then, and then come back to solitary coolness."