Emily looked for fairies in the magical cottage garden at the Cowper and Newton Museum in Olney. This little gem is hidden in plain sight on one of Olney’s main streets and can be visited as part of the museum entry fee.
In 1994 the Trustees were awarded a grant from the Carnegie Trust to redesign the flower garden and the decision was taken at that time to have only plants in it which had been introduced to this country before 1800… Of course, this included all the native flowers and herbs introduced by the Romans as well as plants introduced by successive incomers or explorers, often sponsored by the nobility. This gives a very good variety of plants in the flower garden.
We are very fortunate to have the gardens to ourselves for Wings and Whimsy Enchanted Portrait Events as they are scheduled for a Monday, when the museum is closed to the public. They are small, but perfectly formed, perfect for small fairies to feel safe, in plain site of their accompanying grown ups. And, of course, tea and cake are on tap – it wouldn’t be a Wings and Whimsy Event without cake!
By the Summer House, where William Cowper wrote many of his poems, Emily paused to read a book published in 1899, only 19 years after the poet died. Then she took off, running through the archway, back towards the flower gardens, where she danced and cartwheeled until it was time to go home!
You can find out more about the Cowper Newton Museum Gardens here: