I would very much have liked to have met Frances Jane Hope and for her to show me her garden at Wardie Lodge, Granton, Edinburgh.In the mid-19th century, Frances Jane Hope (1822-1880) was advocating naturalistic plantings and complementary colour schemes long before the English gardener, Gertrude Jekyll, made them famous, and yet her work is all but forgotten.
From her home at Wardie Lodge in the Trinity area of Edinburgh, Frances Jane Hope wrote about her garden with such skill and enthusiasm that more than 50 of her articles were published in two of the leading gardening periodicals and widely read by amateur and professional gardening men.
A collection of her work entitled Notes and Thoughts on Gardens and Woodlands was published posthumously in 1881.
Frances Jane Hope’s use of ornamental coloured kale in the winter garden influenced garden fashions of the day, whilst she spent hours making posies from her Notes and Thoughts on Gardens and Woodlands and herbs for distribution to the city’s sick and poor.
Frances Jane Hope was a granddaughter of Craighall, Fife: the ancient seat of a family that reached out. Craighall castle was demolished in 1956 but was once a favourite picnic spot for my family: