Life in gardens: many pretty devises

Embroidering in the garden, via British Library“Ladies seated at their embroidery, including one engaged in lace-making, and another at the virginal, with a man beside her singing. Behind, a formal garden, with clipped hedges, parterres, and fountain.”  

The image  is from the Album Amicorum of Gervasius Fabricius, 1603-1637, (Würzburg and Salzburg) via The British Library Commons on flickr.

It’s hard to see how any of them could work over their ruffs.

Now for women instead of laborious studies, they have curious Needle-workes, Cut-workes, spinning, bone-lace, and many pretty devises of their own making, to adorne their houses, Cushions, Carpets, Chairs, Stooles, confections, conserves, distillations, etc. which they shew to strangers. . . . This they have to busie themselves about, household offices, etc. neate gardens full of exotick, versicoloure, diversely varied, sweet smelling flowers, and plants, in all kindes, which they are most ambitious to get, curious to preserve and keepe, proud to possesse, and much many times to bragge of.

Robert Burton, Anatomy of Melancholy, 1621