Pen in Hand
1832 On this day in 1832, the author and poet Sir Walter Scott arrived back at his incredible home called Abbottsford on the banks of the River Tweed in the beautiful Scottish borders.
Scott's health was failing him, and he asked that a bed be set up in the dining room so that he could look out and see the river, the trees, and his magnificent gardens. Lying in that room, Scott was surrounded by portraits of his ancestors.
And when he was finally near death in September of that same year - just two short months later - ever the author, Sir Walter Scott, is said to have requested a quill and some paper. And, indeed, he died with a pen in his hand.
Abbotsford is impressive, and it seemed destined to become a public place.
In 1853 his granddaughter Charlotte inherited the estate. Charlotte cleverly decided to add a path in the Morris Garden, which would bring visitors around to the side, keeping part of the estate and gardens private for the family.
During Scott's time at Abbotsford, he added oak and pine trees. He expanded the walled gardens. And today, niches in the south and west walls still hold Scott's collection of Roman panels and other artifacts.
Scott's gardener William Bogie added,
“narrow beds of hollyhocks, and roses along the arcade, and a leafy, honeysuckle-covered pergola.”
With paths and hedging that divide the garden into four quarters, Scott's walled garden is still a sight to see.