What the poet planted: William Wordsworth’s garden at Dove Cottage

How apt that this year is a milestone for the poet Wordsworth. It is the 250th anniversary of his birth. Since then, he has been hailed as a pioneering ecologist and is a trailblazer for lovers of nature and country life. Jonathan Bate’s new book on him is even called Radical Wordsworth, claiming that he changed the world. I doubt that, especially having read it.

He is, however, a perfect poet for times of social distancing. He lived in a social bubble with his sister, then also with his wife and children. He self-isolated on long walks in wild, remote landscapes. He seldom broke the six-person limit during his early to middle years. In this voluntary lockdown, he produced most of his greatest poetry.

His poetry on natural landscape and his changing relationship to it too are masterpieces, from “Tintern Abbey” to the unsurpassed “Prelude”. Yet he grew to appreciate gardened landscapes too. In 1805 he wrote to his patron, Sir George Beaumont, after a tour in Scotland, that “painters and poets have had the credit of being reckoned the fathers of English gardening”.

By “gardening” he meant landscape gardening. The Lake District and its peaks, the rolling vistas of Devon, the steep Monmouthshire hills round Tintern Abbey are classic Wordsworth territories, but he also became an authority on man-made landscapes. What about gardens as we understand them, plots of flowers and vegetables?

William Wordsworth, ‘a perfect poet for times of social distancing’
William Wordsworth, ‘a perfect poet for times of social distancing’ © Corbis via Getty Images

In 1806 Beaumont invited Wordsworth to make a winter garden at Hall Farm, Coleorton in Leicestershire. The garden is gone but the long letter survives in which he set out his plans. He specified evergreen trees round a small glade with a central pond in which two fish, silver and gold if possible, would be the “mute inhabitants”, contrasting with the blue sky and green grass.

It sounds rather limited, but he had none of the lovely winter-flowering plants that we now grow from China. He wrote of obeying the “control of good sense . . . to assist Nature in moving the affections”. That movement is a theme in his poetry too.

In later life, he planned plantings at Rydal Mount, his home on Lake Windermere. The modern garden there claims to trace back to his taste, but by then he had a steady income and was less dependent on his own labour. In his hard, early years, did he ever work in a productive start-up, a vegetable garden off which he had to live?

The prime site here is little Dove Cottage in Grasmere, overlooking the Lake District’s road to Keswick. In December 1799, Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy moved in. In 1802 Wordsworth married Mary and fathered three of his five children in the house.

He worked in the small garden with his brother John but, in 1805, John died in a shipwreck. Even so, it was at Dove Cottage that Wordsworth finished his first full text of

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Bruna’s Cheese Bread Moves From Food Truck to Cottage Bakery

“It’s a bread meant to be eaten fresh out of the oven,” says Bruna Piauí Graf, founder of Bruna’s Cheese Bread. “It can be good later, but I don’t suggest that.” Brazilian pão de queijo — or cheese bread — are savory puff pastries made with gluten-free tapioca flour and cheese. They’re served everywhere in Brazil, and now, thanks to Graf, here in Denver as well.

Graf says she started Bruna’s Cheese Bread because she couldn’t find good pão de queijo in Denver. In 2019, she used the bread as inspiration for a food truck serving Brazilian sandwiches. But when this year’s pandemic ended plans for owning the food truck, Graf turned to selling the pre-made dough as it’s often found in Brazil: frozen and ready to be baked in the oven.

Pão de queijo originated in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais. The key ingredient, tapioca flour, comes from the yuca plant found there. Yuca, different from yucca, is a starchy tuber long used by Brazilian indigenous peoples to make bread. The process of extracting the flour involves peeling and grating the tuber, soaking it and letting it dry. When colonizers brought enslaved African people to the area, they learned to use the leftover tapioca starch to make their own bread, subsidizing the meager food they were given.

Years later, in the 19th century, Minas Gerais became known for producing a hard, salty Minas cheese. The cheese, plus milk and eggs, were added to the pão de queijo recipe, and it soon became a national delicacy.

Graf started making cheese bread here in Denver in 2019.

Graf started making cheese bread here in Denver in 2019.

Courtesy of Bruna’s Cheese Bread

Graf remembers eating pão de queijo while growing up in Barau, Brazil. “I would always go with my friends and family as a teenager to this [cafe], and it’s still there, and they’re still doing the same thing, same corner,” she says. “It’s always full of people, full of families with kids. [It’s where] a lot of friends come to eat and hang out and talk.”

In Brazil, she continues, pão de queijo is often eaten with coffee, either for breakfast or for afternoon teatime. It’s so popular that it’s on the Brazilian Starbucks and McDonald’s menus, but it’s also found frozen in grocery stores ready to bake. And frozen is the way Graf’s now selling the bread here.

She admits that it was never her intention to start a cheese bread business in the United States. Graf moved to Golden, Colorado in 2014 as an au pair—an exchange program where young people work as live-in nannies in another country in order to improve their second language. But two years later she met her husband and decided to stay. She then began to work at a Brazilian steakhouse and noticed how much customers loved the bread.

“They would get so excited, and they would go there just to eat the bread,” she remembers. But aside from the steakhouse, she didn’t know of anywhere else to find it.


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Garden Cottage ADU Program Begins In City of Danville

August 31, 2020

Beginning Monday, August 31, 2020, the Town of Danville has begun the Garden Cottage Program, which will allow residents access to free, pre-approved, permit-ready, printable, construction plans for the building of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU).

An ADU is a self-contained living unit that is usually smaller than the main home on the same property. It contains a kitchen, bathroom, and sleeping area. ADUs can be attached to an existing home or may be a separate detached building. Under the Garden Cottage Program, residents can select from a range of ADU plans that will include Studio (640 sq ft), 1 bedroom/1 bath (840 sq ft) and 2 bedroom/2 bath (approx. 1000 sq ft). These customizable plans, designed by local architects, will be offered in three architectural styles: Craftsman, Mediterranean, and Contemporary. Applicants will need to consult with appropriate design professionals to prepare a site plan and any necessary grading plans. Each project is unique and may require additional approvals and fees from other agencies. Town staff can provide assistance with the application process and advise if additional approvals are required. For permitting assistance, call (925)-314-3330.More information on the program can be found at: www.danville.ca.gov/gardencottage

For more information, contact Civil Engineering Associate Guillermo Santolaya at (925) 314-3352 or [email protected]

This press release was produced by the City of Danville. The views expressed here are the author’s own.

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Inside Vicky Pattison and Ercan Ramadan’s Lake District holiday cottage with huge kitchen, log fire and cosy sofas

VICKY Pattison gave her social media followers a glimpse of her romantic Lake District holiday with boyfriend Ercan Ramadan.

The reality TV star took to her Instagram Stories to showcase their idyllic countryside cottage with a huge kitchen, log fire and cosy sofas.

Vicky Pattison shared a glimpse of her romantic Lake District holiday with boyfriend Ercan Ramadan


Vicky Pattison shared a glimpse of her romantic Lake District holiday with boyfriend Ercan RamadanCredit: Instagram

The 32-year-old first showed the outside of their impressive rental in Cumbria for the week and explained that she had organised the trip for Ercan.

Giving an impromptu house tour, she began: “So I’ve brought Ercan away for the week to the Lake District to this little cottage. Super cute.

“I thought we could hike, snuggle infront of the log fire.”

Vicky was sure to give her followers an eyeful of the country bolthole’s stylish interiors when she entered the home starting with the kitchen, which featured a wraparound island with stove.

The reality TV star took to Instagram to showcase their idyllic countryside cottage with a huge kitchen


The reality TV star took to Instagram to showcase their idyllic countryside cottage with a huge kitchenCredit: Instagram
The sitting room featured cosy sofas and an eye-catching painting of sheep


The sitting room featured cosy sofas and an eye-catching painting of sheepCredit: Instagram

The white wash on the walls was offset with two bold statement walls in yellow and blue that complemented the farmhouse inspired wooden counter tops.

The space also boasted a Scandinavian-inspired dining area, which was situated infront of the kitchen’s windows.

“How gorgeous is this kitchen?” Vicky said of the space. “And they left a bottle of prosecco for his birthday.”

Moving into the sitting room, she pointed out: “the log fire, cosy sofas”, while giving a quick glimpse of the grey walls and artwork that adorned the space.

Their 'cottage' was in fact an impressive three-story home


Their ‘cottage’ was in fact an impressive three-story homeCredit: Instagram
Vicky got cosy infront of the sitting room's log fire


Vicky got cosy infront of the sitting room’s log fireCredit: Instagram

Finishing off the tour, she showed the house’s carpeted stairs and explained how the home “goes up and up and up”.

Her latest trip comes months after she revealed to OK! online that Ercan, 27, offered to have children with her earlier than he had planned because of their five year age gap.

In January, she explained: “He said to me, ‘If you want to have kids now we can have kids now but, it’s not the right time and you know that yourself if you’re honest’. I was like, ‘I know’.

“I love the stage we’re at, we have weekends away, we spend time with our families, we’re on about moving house, it’s a lovely stage and having a baby would just complicate that and I don’t know if either of us are ready.

The kitchen also boasted a Scandinavian-inspired dining area


The kitchen also boasted a Scandinavian-inspired dining areaCredit: Instagram
Ercan appeared in the video and teased at the kitchen's statement yellow wall


Ercan appeared in the video and teased at the kitchen’s statement yellow wallCredit: Instagram

“I had be really realistic and there’s part of us would love a baby so much but I know it’s not the right time.”

Vicky started dating the former Towie star in January 2019, just three

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Rustic Country Decor – How to Decorate Cottage Style Homes

Rustic country decor and how to decorate cottage style homes are extensions of American country style decorating. In addition, traditions are borrowed from French, English and some Swedish country looks. Rustic country decor can be defined as coarse, charmingly simple, unfussy, unfinished and yet with endearing qualities. Rustic country decorating includes the use of natural woods, aged surfaces, rough finishes and simple lines. Cottage style homes are comfortable, modest, quaint homes that can be made of thick stone or log wood.

Floors in rustic country decor and cottage style homes are made with stone or wood materials. Wooden floors were traditionally constructed with boards that were bare and simply waxed and hand-polished (high-gloss varnishes did not exist). Sometimes the boards were painted with light colors. If you like floor coverings, use oriental rugs and throws for visual warmth and color. Rustic country decor is about handcrafted objects, simplicity, furnishings that you enjoy and connecting back to nature.

Rustic cottage furniture is commonly made with pine and perhaps painted with hand-painted designs such as flowers, birds, animals, country scenery or leaves. Use ladderback chairs, rocking chairs, benches, wicker furniture and Windsor chairs. A large rectangular table made of pine is a good option for your kitchen or dining room table. To give your furniture a rustic look, brush a coat of paint on the furniture piece, then rub most of the paint off. After it dries, apply wood stain unevenly for an older weathered appearance. It will be perfect and rustic looking!

Baskets can be used to store wood, pine cones, flowers, plants and needlework. Brass candle holders, oil or kerosene lamps, sconces, hurricane lamps, tin lanterns, recessed ceiling fixtures or a vintage wrought-iron or metal chandelier provide successful lighting for rustic country decor and cottage style homes. Colors used in rustic country decor or cottage style homes are neutral tones ranging from white to bone, earth tones, red barn, blues and greens.

For rustic country decor in the kitchen, use open shelves, hutches, buffets, plate racks and cupboards for storage. Often, country kitchen storage is crammed with stoneware pots, plain glazed earthenware and glass jars. Kitchen pots should be made of copper, steel or cast iron – cookware tends to be large and plain. Use open shelving in the rustic country kitchen to display plates, dishes and dinnerware collections. Natural woods, light colors and bright fabrics work great for window treatments. Adding a rustic butcher block island creates a wonderful visual effect as well as provides useful functionality.

A rustic country decor bathroom has neutral tones or soft colored walls, antique-looking lighting, and wooden antiques or antique reproduction cabinets and vanity. Knowing how to decorate cottage style homes and bathrooms can result in creating a calm and elegant atmosphere. Clawfoot tubs, pedestal sinks, country style antique brass faucets and old-fashioned country cabinets provide the kind of atmosphere that makes you want to spend time there. Plain white towels are recommended instead of patterned or bright modern patterns. Use wicker or …

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