Walking in the Shrubbery and the Wilderness with Jane Austen

Date: Sunday August 4, 2019 2:00-4:00 p.m.

Location: University of Idaho Arboretum, 1200 West Palouse River Drive, Moscow, ID

Free and Open to All Ages

Jane Austen’s characters live in or visit elegant English estates with their gardens, shrubbery, and parklands. In Mansfield Park, some of the characters explore the wilderness garden at Sotherton. A wilderness was a large area planted densely with a variety of trees and shrubs and crossed with wide avenues and narrower winding paths. Some of the trees and shrubs that Austen mentions specifically include larch, laurel, and beech. For an excellent discussion of the history of landscaping surrounding English great homes, as well as possible models for the wilderness at Sotherton (with pictures), please see

Come join us as we explore the beautiful 63-acre University of Idaho Arboretum and Botanical Gardens. We will have a list of trees and shrubs mentioned in Jane Austen’s novels, minor works, and letters. The arboretum has examples of the British trees or their North American or Asian counterparts for almost every tree and shrub from Jane Austen’s works. We will meet at 2:00 at the south end (West Palouse River Dr.) of the arboretum, at the shelter with the map, near the red barn. We will provide maps and a list of the trees and shrubs and walk to find the trees together. Please bring your own drinks or snacks.

Notes about the Arboretum: No pets are allowed at the arboretum. We will be walking on both grass and gravel and there are geese droppings, so plan your footwear accordingly. There is a portable restroom at the south end of the arboretum and at the north end, there are public restrooms in the golf course clubhouse.

If you have any questions, send us an email at

The Arboretum with a view of wheat fields and the Palouse hills. Photo by Michele Larrow