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The Domestic Herbal: Plants for the Home in the Seventeenth Century, with Author Margaret Willes

February 8 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Location: Zoom Videoconference

Please join us for this live webinar on Tuesday, February 8th at 11:00 AM EST.

Recent times have seen a robust, renewed interest in gardening – from urban rooftops and plots to backyard orchards. These gardens are not solely for the beauty of them, but for the more practical and rewarding process of growing one’s own food and herbs. We welcome author and former publisher at The National Trust, Margaret Willes, to speak about the history of the home garden and her latest book, The Domestic Herbal: Plants for the Home in the Seventeenth Century.


In seventeenth century England, household gardens were commonplace and existed across the societal divides. These gardens were not merely ornamental; even the most elaborate and fashionable gardens had areas set aside for growing herbs, fruit, vegetables, and flowers for domestic use. Working class households considered a functional garden to be a vital tool for the survival of the house and family. Ms. Willes will speak about these topics and how this time period saw introductions of plants and herbs from overseas, which could be used for medicinal purposes and in more exotic recipes.

Margaret WillesMargaret Willes is the former Publisher at The National Trust. Educated at Oxford University, she spent her career in book publishing before taking up writing full time. Her previous books include Reading Matters: Five Centuries of Discovering Books (Yale, 2008), The Making of the English Gardener and The Gardens of the British Working Class, as well as Pick of the Bunch: The Story of Twelve Treasured Flowers (Bodleian Library, 2009). She cultivates her own garden in East London.





February 8
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
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