The garden at Rydal Mount was created by the poet William Wordsworth and his family. They lived there from 1813 until his death in 1850. There is no doubt that the beautiful setting in the heart of the Lake District influenced the design and planting of the garden and the poetry that William Wordsworth is famous for.
As you enter the garden it is clear that this was a family home. There are climbers around the garden gate and mixed hedging. Elsewhere dry stone walls are used for divisions and boundaries. Mosses, ferns and wild flowers grow in crevices and on top of the old walls. In spring there are drifts of daffodils. The entire garden feels sheltered by the craggy fells surrounding Rydal. It’s likely that all the plants and materials used in the garden were found locally in the Lake District.
The atmosphere is informal and relaxed, almost wild in places. Planting is naturalistic and there are raised beds, sloping lawns and gravel paths winding their way around the garden. It’s said that Wordsworth wrote poetry here and paced around the garden paths speaking the verse he had just written out loud to himself. In that way he checked the rhythm of the poems and made improvements as he went along.
Rydal Mount Garden is well worth a visit if you have an interest in the life of William Wordsworth. The house is also open to the public.
Could you write poetry like this if you had this view for inspiration?
I WANDERED lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed–and gazed–but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.