The Flower Garden by C.S. Lewis’s House

A beautiful flower garden next to the home noted author, C.S. Lewis greets visitors traveling through Oxford, England.

Do you have a favorite children’s author?  As a child, my favorite book series was the Chronicles of Narnia.  I remember reading the first book in the series, “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” when I was 7 years old.  I would spend hours curled up with each book, which instantly transported me to a land with centaurs, a white witch, a talking lion and adventurous young children.  Now as an adult, my children have discovered the adventures within the pages of these wonderful books.

Flowers Oxford

A few years ago, I had the opportunity to visit the home of the author of these books, C.S. Lewis, while traveling through England.  We stopped by the city of Oxford where we visited The Trout Inn, which was a local pub where C.S. Lewis would frequent while sharing a pint with his literary friends, including J.R.R. Tolkien.

After enjoying a lunch of fish and chips, we traveled from the pub toward his house.  Along the way, I saw a lovely window box filled with petunias and cascading lobelia.

Flower garden next to home of C.S. Lewis

As we neared his home, I was delighted to see a beautiful flower garden filled with an assortment of annual and perennial flowers.  As my traveling companions walked on toward the house, I had to stop to take pictures of some of my favorite flowering plants.

Cosmos

Cosmos, were in full bloom, adding a visually cooling touch to the garden with its purple and white flowers.  I like to grow cosmos in my own flower garden because they aren’t just beautiful – they are also easy to grow.  I just throw out seed and let nature take care of the rest.

The bright orange flowers of nasturtiums were planted underneath the cosmos.

Dahlias

The bold color and shape of dahlias also had a prominent spot in this garden.  I confess that I have never grown dahlias, but that doesn’t stop me from admiring their unique beauty every time I am fortunate enough to view them up close.

Hydrangea

I was thrilled to see shrubs filled with flowers that do not grow where I live in the desert – hydrangeas.  The large clusters of flowers in varying shades of purple were just breathtaking.

Path to Lake

C.S. Lewis bought this home in 1930 and wrote all of the books in his children’s series, “The Chronicles of Narnia”, while living here.  It said that one of his characters, Puddleglum – a marshwiggle, was inspired by his gardener who tended the gardens of his home.

During World War II, C.S. Lewis took in children that had been evacuated.  While the children stayed with him, he would entertain them by telling stories, many of which ended up in his books.

While we did not go inside of his home, where tours are by appointment only, we did take time to explore the grounds around the house including a lake in the back.  This lake was created from a flooded clay pit.  Surrounding the lake were trees that C.S. Lewis and his brother had planted.

Narnia_Glass_Window

After leaving the house, we visited the church where C.S. Lewis attended.  In the church, is a window where illustrations inspired by characters and events in his books are depicted.  As we left the church, we visited the little graveyard by the church where C.S. Lewis is buried.

It was a wonderful experience, seeing the places that inspired the author of some of my favorite books.  Seeing the flower garden next to his home was just made a memorable trip, even more unforgettable.

Noelle Johnson
Noelle Johnson is a horticulturist and certified arborist who lives and gardens in the desert Southwest. When she is not writing or helping other people with their gardens, you can find her growing fruits and vegetables, and planting flowering shrubs and maybe a cactus or two.