Speaker Francis Burroughes with Jane Morrison
Speaker Francis Burroughes with Jane Morrison

The talk by Francis Burroughes about the work of a head gardener at a big country house with a large formal garden and staff in the early 1900s was amusing and informative. His father filled that role at Slate Hall in Norfolk, and we realised as Francis talked, with dry humour, just how much physical labour on the part of many poorly paid workers was demanded, in order to provide a very high standard of living for a few non-workers. It required 15 men plus a horse wearing boots so as not to damage the lawn to mow the 15 acres of grass.

Members of the u3a are now able to grow their own pineapples and grapes to impress their dinner guests and to manage the garden staff effectively.

No shoddy lawns in Shepton Mallet now!

You can read a good description here.

July Speaker Meeting: The Victorian Kitchen Garden