"...Flowers are very much worn, and fruit is still
more the thing. Elizabeth has a bunch of strawberries,
and I have seen grapes, cherries, plums, and apricots.
There are likewise almonds and raisins,
French plums, and tamarinds at the grocers’
but I have never seen any of them in hats."
Jane Austen 1799
Jane Austen loved a garden. She took a keen interest
in flower gardening and kitchen gardening alike.
The Austens grew their own food whenever they could
and had flower gardens wherever they lived, at their
parsonage at Steventon in Hampshire, their town
gardens at Bath and Southampton, and when
they returned to Hampshire, at their cottage garden
at Chawton. In Jane’s letters to her sister Cassandra,
we see her planning the details of these family gardens,
discussing the planting of fruit, flowers, and trees
with enthusiasm. In the course of her life, she also
had the opportunity to visit many of the grander
gardens of England: her brother’s two estates
at Chawton and Godmersham, the manor houses
of friends and family, and probably even the
great estate at Chatsworth, assumed by many
to be the inspiration for Pemberley…
So begins the book
“In the Garden with Jane Austen,” by Kim Wilson,
author of Tea with Jane Austen,
published by Jones Books 
- Steventon Rectory. The Rectory was demolished in 1820
but Steventon Church, where the Austens worshipped,
still remains. If you visit the field where the house
stood, you can see a metal pump (that replaced the
wooden pump from Austen's time) and a lime tree
that is thought to have been planted by Jane's eldest
brother James. Note that Jane spent some time away
from home during this time. In the Spring of 1783,
according to her family tradition, she and Cassandra
were sent to reside with tutor Mrs. Ann Crawley,
who lived in Oxford but moved to Southampton in
the Summer of that year. Around this time, Cassandra
and Jane both caught typhus; Jane nearly died.
Soon after, both girls returned to live at Steventon Rectory. Between the Spring of 1785 and December of 1786,
Jane and Cassandra attended Reading Ladies'
Boarding School in Berkshire.
- 1801–1806: Bath, Somerset, U.K.
- Her family moved several times whilst in Bath.
Their addresses were as follows: 4 Sydney Place, at the eastern end of Great Pulteney Street (until 1804);
3 Green Park Buildings East (1804–1805);
25 Gay Street (1805); and Trim Street
(1806, house number unknown).
- 1806–1809: Southampton, Hampshire, U.K.
- Jane, Cassandra, their widowed mother
(Cassandra Leigh Austen), Francis Austen, and
Mary Austen (maiden name Gibson) all moved to
lodgings in Southampton (October 1806).
They then all moved to 3 Castle Square (March 1807).
This was described as a “commodious old-fashioned”
house and was rented from the Marquess of Lansdowne.
The house no longer exists because the whole Castle Square area has been redeveloped.
- Chawton Cottage. This is now open to the public as the Jane Austen's House Museum.
When Winchester races first took their beginning
It is said the good people forgot their old Saint
Not applying at all for the leave of Saint Swithin
And that William of Wykeham’s approval was faint.
The races however were fixed and determined
The company came and the Weather was charming
The Lords and the Ladies were satine’d and ermined
And nobody saw any future alarming.–
But when the old Saint was informed of these doings
He made but one Spring from his Shrine to the Roof
Of the Palace which now lies so sadly in ruins
And then he addressed them all standing aloof.
‘Oh! subjects rebellious! Oh Venta depraved
When once we are buried you think we are gone
But behold me immortal! By vice you’re enslaved
You have sinned and must suffer, ten farther he said
These races and revels and dissolute measures
With which you’re debasing a neighboring Plain
Let them stand–You shall meet with your curse in your pleasures
Set off for your course, I’ll pursue with my rain.