Edna and Enid

25 Aug 2011


 You know when we first bought our home in 1988 I was completely besotted with the garden designs of Edna Walling. 
I so wanted to make our garden just like something she would have designed.
 I made plans but never really carried them out, I had children instead and life moved on, the garden and trees grew and matured and for the past few years really I have left it to itself and it has suffered.

all around the garden , early November

The other day I was watching a film about Enid Blyton's life and her home Green Hedges featured a lot in the film because she wrote from home. 
 It wasn't the real Green Hedges because that was pulled down after her death.
 By the way the film stars Helena Bonham Carter , one of my favourites but I really liked all the other actors too, delicious Matthew Macfadyen who was of course in Little Dorrit, Denis Lawson who was in Bleak House, Claire Rushbrook who was wonderful as the Nurse and Enid's confidante and two gorgeous little girls  Ramona Marquez and Sinead Michael, who played her daughters.
 I have actually watched it four times now, just love the costumes and settings and the story.

You can watch it on youtube

Anyway, Enid Blyton was born around the same time as Edna Walling, Edna was born in Devon and moved to Australia via New Zealand when she was 17.
 Enid's home, that she shared with her children, was in Buckinghamshire so nowhere near Devon, and Enid the film was filmed in Surrey, BUT the road leading to the house reminded me of  the Dandenongs area  and Mt Macedon area of Victoria where Edna did some of her work that it set  my mind to thinking about Edna Walling. 
I just love these turn of the century ( last century) ladies.
 My Granny was one of them but her sphere was her home, not books or other people's gardens, but there are so many wonderful women from that time.

all around the garden , early November

So now you see how my mind works and I have actually googled Edna Walling and found many lovely pictures of her gardens many of which were planted around the time my own house was being built. 
When I was besotted with her so many years ago I didn't have access to the internet.
 I will order some books from the library too and see if her vision still excites me and we'll see what difference that will make to my garden.

ps... and I'll tell you another lady from that time who really interests me is Nan Chauncy, the Tasmanian author.
She had such an interesting life, wonderful!


10 Responses to “Edna and Enid”

  1. I think your garden looks lovely. It reminds me of someone dressed for comfort and to express who they are rather than someone squashed into fashionable but uncomfortable clothes and looking like everyone else. I find neat, manicured gardens uncomfortable and uninteresting.

    cheers Kate

  2. I recently re-read They Found A Cave by Nan Chauncy and quite enjoyed it still. I'd won the book as a prize at school many years ago.

  3. Jenny I love your garden! I love cottage gardens that are a bit wild,they look much more "natural".
    Love the big table too.
    Thank you for the links in your posts. I find it very interesting to find out about famous and interesting people in your part of the world. :0)

  4. I love you garden the way it is. But, it will be interesting to see what inspires you from your reading.

    We went to Enid Blyton's house last year for a sunday open day. It is near my in-laws house in bucks. The current owners open the garden and host tea and cakes. Perhaps, I should post some pictures on my blog. I will let you know if I do.

  5. We are such strong Enid Blyton lovers in this house, we will absolutely watch the film about her! I didn't even know it existed. Thanks for sharing. :) And I agree, your garden is gorgeous.

  6. Two women I have always admired too. And let's not forget Laura Ingalls, though her garden was more for eating.

  7. I have a cottage garden that is featured often on my blog . I love being closed in by trees . I was in another garden in another house but my present garden too small . I do have fruit trees though

  8. I love Nan Chauncey! When I was in Grade 5 in Hobart I won the book prize that year and the prize was 'Lizzie Lights" by her. It was set on a lighthouse in Tasmania. I loved that book. On Gardening Australia, I heard that Edna Walling used to meander around and just toss bulbs here as she walked and there so they would grow in a random pattern. Funny the things you remember.

  9. I live approx a 5 min drive from Edna Walling's Bickleighvale estate. Bickleighvale Rd residents have on several occasions over the years held open gardens. It was lovely to walk around these gardens and see the houses & gardens that Edna Walling designed. The properties have a definite English feel about them.
    When the property 'Sonning'(which was originally Edna's home) was up for sale many years ago, my husband & I attended the open house inspection. I recall small rooms, which seemed dark & a steep staircase to the 2nd level, again very English in appearance.

  10. I think your garden is just lovely, Jenny! It looks all soft and green.

    Everything gets all bleached out by the sun here in Queensland. My garden on it's best day still doesn't looks as nice as yours!


Thanks so much for taking the time to chat. I don't always have time to reply but I do read every message you leave.