The third season of Downton Abby is now being aired in the U.S. and I enjoy following along. I laughed aloud at this conversation from Season 3, Episode 2 where Lady Edith Crawley is visiting her grandmother, Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham, played by Maggie Smith. Edith has recently been jilted at the alter and her grandmother is pressing her to find something to do with her life.
Violet: You must keep busy.
Edith: What with? There’s nothing to do at the house, except when we entertain.
Violet: There must be something you can put your mind to.
Edith: Like what? Gardening?
Violet: Well—no. You can’t be as desperate as that.
Gardening out of desperation—one could do worse. What better place to spend time after having lost hope, despairing, than in a garden where the cycles of nature can be observed, can soothe and restore.
“No occupation is so delightful to me as the culture of the earth, and no culture comparable to that of the garden.” Thomas Jefferson to Charles W. Peale, August 20, 1811.