Linda Beutler, author of austenesque fiction and gardening non-fiction, will be presenting Garden Like Austen on Thursday February 8th at the Northwest Flower & Garden Show in Seattle, WA at 5:30 in the afternoon. She has provided us with a little taste of her presentation. If you like Jane Austen, historical gardening, or just love plants, don't miss this opportunity. Linda will also be signing books.
The dried seed head of this weedy plant was used in Jane Austen's day for cleaning and carding sheared wool. It was also used to raise a nappy texture on freshly loomed woolens. Artisan weavers still place the seed heads on a spindle and run wool over it as the wool is spun, to remove debris as they make yarn.
Mock Orange, or in Austen's day, Syringa (sir-ring'-ga [hard g])
Wait a minute! Those of you who know a bit of botanical Latin will see that Jane Austen called her favorite flower by what we know as the genus name of lilacs! (Syringa vulgaris) How did this confusion come about? Both mock orange and lilacs were brought into cultivation from the Ottoman Empire to Vienna in 1552. The common name mock orange for all Philadelphus forms began to gain precedence during Jane Austen's lifetime, but the confusion persisted until the mid-1850s. Jane wrote in her letters that every garden should have Syringas and Lilacs, which leaves modern gardeners shaking their heads at an apparent redundancy.
Which came first, the pink (an ancient scented flower with ragged petals), or the pinking shears (a tool from medieval times used in tailoring)? As it turns out, the cultivation of pinks as garden plants developed hand in hand with the use of pinking shears. And the color pink got its name (in 1669) from-you guessed it!-the flower. As luck would have it, most pinks are pink!
About Linda Beutler
Anyone familiar with our books will know that Linda loves Austen, particularly Pride & Prejudice. Meryton Press has published four novels and one short story by Ms. Beutler, the most recent being My Mr Darcy and Your Mr Bingley.
What some folks may not know is that Linda is also known in the non-fiction world for her gardening books and expertise. At this event, Linda combines her two passions, gardening and Jane Austen which should be a fun occasion for fans of any of her publishing endeavors.
Info on Tickets here: https://www.gardenshow.com/tickets/
Info on the event here: https://www.gardenshow.com/seminars/speaker-info/linda-beutler/