Virginia Woolf

A Botanical Perspective

Presented by the Botanic Garden of Smith College

In 1916 Virginia suggested that her sister Vanessa Bell rent nearby Charleston farmhouse to house Vanessa's growing circle of family and friends. In a letter to Vanessa, Virginia wrote:

"It has a charming garden, with a pond, and fruit trees, and vegetables all now rather run wild, but you could make it lovely. . ."

Over the next 60 years Vanessa Bell, together with painter Duncan Grant, made Charleston into a rural retreat for writers and artists. Regulars included Vanessa's husband, Clive Bell, Maynard Keynes, and Roger Fry. Charleston became Bloomsbury in the country.

Outside garden room.
Photograph courtesy of the Charleston Trust
Photograph Cyd Cross
Photograph by Karen Kukil.
Overview of the garden.
Photograph by Karen Kukil.
© 2003 Botanic Garden of Smith College