Saturday, April 6, 2019

A Tudor Vegetable Garden and A Pause

I have been captivated by this illustration of a Tudor vegetable garden ever since I saw it in my 1935 Woman's Home Companion. 

I'm familiar with Tudor Knot Gardens but I've never seen a picture of vegetables planted in this style except for those dreamy but luxurious vegetable gardens in Monty Hall's French Gardens. 

One thing I love about my vintage women's magazines is that they are full of the most beautiful paintings done by the great illustrators of those days, many who went on to have their work in museums and art galleries. 

This illustration is by Harrie Wood and the article it illustrated was written by Marni Davis Wood. Related? I couldn't find out but the illustration is of her actual Tudor vegetable garden. 

She describes each and every planting in it but admitted that the one drawback was how to keep the garden symmetrical when they pulled a head of lettuce. Key to the garden was "intensive cultivation and succession planting of crops."

I love it for its artistic beauty but I also love it because it is so beautifully tidy. Which is strange because I prefer gardens that are English cottage garden blowsy.

But don't you think that if Marie Kondo had a vegetable garden it would look much like this?

I guess I love tidy gardens and blowsy gardens. I even love wild gardens. In this 2 1/2 acres surrounding our house, there is a big patch I asked RH not to mow and so many unusual wild things (weeds?) have grown there. But I would not want our whole yard and garden to be wild. 

 A certain amount of weeding must be done, both in our gardens and in our lives so that the terribly paralyzing feeling of being overwhelmed is addressed.

And so, I'm giving myself permission to pause posting here at Dewena's Window for a while to pull some weeds in my life and tidy up a bit.

This is only a pause, God willing. And I'll still be visiting a couple of blog friends each day.

A woman must find time for a little inspiration. A whole day cannot be devoted to weeding, can it?

Of course not! 

[RH would never forgive me if I didn't make it clear that I'm speaking of weeding figuratively as he is the one who does the actual weeding in the yard!] 



  1. It is very pretty. And I hope you'll have fun and get a sense of accomplishment from your pause! I really do like the English way of filling every space instead of a plant standing alone and then a foot to the left is another one.

  2. That garden is so interesting and pretty. I just have never done well with veggies. I love a flower gardens. Good luck with the weed pulling.

  3. That is a lovely, orderly garden, sorry to say, I'll never have that kind of garden as it just isn't me. Orderly gardens do tend to cause a sense of peace in the orderliness. I'm a cottage/tropical jungle garden style. Of course, if I were growing veggies I think I'd be much more orderly.

    Have a nice break working in your gardens.

    Love & hugs ~ FlowerLady

  4. very odd that both the French (and Tudor style) is regimental almost.
    and Italian! the English are very reserved in personality (well most anyway) and their gardens are blousy and overblown and delightful.
    the French are known for their laid back and over the top romantic ways and their gardens are very particular. and the Italians! they just love life and are noisy and cheerful and yet their gardens are like the French! it's all very interesting!!! xo

  5. Enjoy your break my friend.
    I have a tidy garden and an English Garden :-) and you know I love to garden.

  6. I like neat vegetable gardens but more relaxed and "wild" flower gardens. I will miss you during your break, but looking forward to hearing what you have to share with us afterwards.

  7. Oh my gosh...I laughed at your last sentence. Good for RH. I love a flower garden but am not a gardener. I would love to have a blousy garden like a wild English garden. I can’t wait for spring to get here to get out there and get rid of all those oak leaves all over. We really can’t put out annuals or flower baskets until late May or June which makes our season very short. But our summers are phenomenal.

  8. I dream of having a vegetable garden that is so tidy and perfect. Mine starts out in a neat row, but seems to have a mind of its own. I understand the need to pause now and then. Enjoy your break, and look forward to your return.

  9. The Tudor garden certainly looks appealing due to its symmetry, simplicity and tidiness, but I can see how it might suddenly look 'off' when a planting is pulled, and for folks like me who tend to be a tiny bit obsessive about things looking 'just right' that could pose a problem.

    Our veggie garden at home, on the island, is a combination of both the tidy and messy, since produce like collard greens kind of grow all over the place, while lettuce and broccoli line up pretty nicely, and tomatoes are tied to their support beams.

    Will miss your absence here at the Window, as I depend on it for my mini escapes into growing gardens, delicious fare and occasional short stories of simpler times. Enjoy the spring, dear Dewena, and see you soon. I'm sure you'll have harvested a crop of adventures for us to share.


  10. I've tried so many times to have that perfect and tidy garden with the winding path and it never looks natural. I'm just taking it for what it is right now!

    I think you have the right idea about taking a break. I, too, have many weeds to pull, and while blogging was a great passion and stress reliever, it's become another thing I'ver fallen behind on. I'm just taking it one day at a time. I'll miss you but have a wonderful break! :)

    Jane x

  11. The garden almost looks like a maze, doesn't it? Very groomed. My garden at our old house was full of roses, but I also had garden statues and pink blossom trees to the side. It was weeded, but also grew wild, as you know how roses grow, and that's what I loved about it. I was wondering what you are going to grow in the big patch near your house?

    I hope you have a nice and restful pause from blogging, and I will be here when you return. And I'll think of you along the way. : )

    love, ~Sheri

  12. I can't imagine looking after a garden that huge, Dewena - and yes, once you pull a head of lettuce the whole illusion would be destroyed, I'd have a hard time with that!

  13. I liked the way my mom planted flowers and that's stuffing as many as she could in a space and it was so beautiful. Dad liked planting our vegetable garden in neat rows and would use a stick at each end with a string to keep the rows straight.
    Always looked so neat and orderly.
    Enjoy your time away and look forward to your return postings.

  14. I’m with Debbie on this one, and somehow I doubt you’re surprised ;).


  15. Enjoy your "weeding". That's a good thing to do - much reflection and contemplation comes from that. I like that beautiful garden illustration. Luckily, though I don't garden anymore my neighbor over the fence does and I can enjoy hers. It's mostly a flower garden.

  16. I hope you enjoy your break and "weeding". Sometimes it just becomes a necessary thing in our and hugs sweet friend!

  17. Weeding is good for the soul. Enjoy your break! We used to live on a big lot when I was a girl. About 2/3 of it was flowers, vegetables and lawn but the part us kids loved best was the "field" with high grass, blackberries and buttercups. We played all summer in the wild area.

  18. I found the painting interesting because the Lady is wearing a white dress, while working in the garden.
    Pausing is a good thing. I looked up the meaning of pause, "to interrupt action or speech briefly".
    See you soon!

  19. I love this post and it's so true....I guess "balance" is the key. I do love wild wild gardens!! Ones with many varieties of blossoms exploding in all colors, in crazy patterns, LOL Wild, and full of butterflies and bees and little singing birds and creatures.

  20. I love reading this. I too love looking at vintage magazines. Oh I dream of a potted tomato now as a garden. :) Blessings to you and yours, xoxo, Susie

  21. I've been wanting to comment since I read this post two weeks ago - that illustration is so appealing and inspiring! I did once have a vegetable garden that was planted in lovely 20-ft rows, double-dug and 4-ft wide slightly raised beds. Oh, that was wonderful. They weren't nearly as tidy as in the picture, and of course something was always coming out and something going in...

    I agree with one of your commenters, that she would like a tidy vegetable garden and an informal, mixed-up kind of English cottage garden for the flowers.

    Happy weeding, Dewena! ;-)

  22. Thinking of you and hoping you are enjoying your break.
    My good wishes.

    All the best Jan

  23. I love tidy gardens and blowsy gardens and every other kind as well. And I like thinking of you, digging the earth, planting flowers, getting your hands dirty. Hope you're having a lovely break, dear Dewena, and that you will come back to us soon.

  24. Blowsy! I just discovered how that word came about, possibly. I copied this from the blog "First Known When Lost"
    The Cherry Trees

    Under pure skies of April blue I stood,
    Where, in wild beauty, cherries were in blow;
    And, as sweet fancy willed, see there I could
    Boughs thick with blossom, or inch-deep in snow.

    Walter de la Mare, Memory and Other Poems (Constable 1938). De la Mare uses the word "blow" (line 2) in a sense that is now, alas, considered archaic: "to blossom; to bloom."

    Dear Dewena, you will LOVE that blog!! (As I do yours!)

  25. Dearest Dewena, just stopping by to say hello.
    Hope all is well.

    All the best Jan

  26. Just in case anyone reads this, my computer has been down for 3 weeks now. I hope to get it repaired soon or buy another one and will try to catch up with everyone then. I hope you're having a wonderful spring! Love you all!

  27. We love you too! Can’t believe it’s been three weeks Dewena. Hope it’s fixed or better yet, you get a new one.


  28. Mentoring, you listening to your heart. Hoping for epiphanies filling you with joy and love and energy.

    XO T


RH and I love your comments! They are sent to my email for moderation first but I do hit publish as soon as I read them. A few commenters' comments are not sent to my email for some reason but I try to visit that section on my design page twice a day to see if they're hiding there so I can publish them. I went the first 3 years of blogging not knowing that was there and when I discovered it there were many pages of old comments that never got published. I was so embarrassed and contacted recent ones but hid in shame from those who had given up long ago.

In these busy days I appreciate so much when you take time to comment. Thank you so much!