Background image of the classic Peter Rabbit Tales books that sits behind the shop element

A Peek into the Gardens of Peter Rabbit

To celebrate National Children’s Gardening Week, which runs from 25th May to 2nd June 2024, we're taking a peek into some of our favourite gardens from the World of Peter Rabbit. Why not encourage your very own little bunnies to hop, skip and jump in their own gardens or the nearby outdoors, just like Peter Rabbit and his friends in the stories below.

Beatrix Potter used her own garden at Hill Top Farm, in Sawrey, near Windermere, as inspiration for many of her Tales. She was a keen gardener and sprinkled her stories with elements of the natural world, through which she captured the changing seasons and a love for the outdoors. These gentle lessons within her stories are perfect to spark imaginations, inspire curiosity and ignite a sense of wonder in readers of all ages.

Mr. McGregor's Garden

Within the timeless tale of mischief, The Tale of Peter Rabbit, lies the most famous of Beatrix Potter’s gardens. Of course, it could be none other than Mr. McGregor’s garden – Peter’s favourite place to plunder! Despite his mother’s protests, ‘Peter, who was very naughty, ran straight away to Mr. McGregor’s garden,’ writes Potter, in the first pages of her beloved classic. The mischievous little bunny wriggles – and with a squeeze – emerges under the gate, into the infamous stone-walled garden, lined with well-tended rows of vegetables.

‘First he ate some lettuces and some French beans; and then he ate some radishes’. Mr. McGregor’s garden is ripe with greenery and splashes of colour: cabbages are growing, pots erupt with delicious herbs, cucumbers are packed in frames, geraniums flower and gooseberry bushes ripen.

Of course, Peter’s excursion doesn’t go unnoticed; he catches the gardener’s watchful eye, but thankfully, Mr. McGregor’s well-stocked garden shed, packed with tools and flowerpots, provides the perfect hiding spot for a bunny on the run!

Jemima Puddle-duck's Farmyard

Set apart by a wrought-iron gate, within Jemima Puddle-duck’s farmyard, sits a rustic walled garden. It's here in the garden's rhubarb patch – which is bursting with crimsons and oversized leaves – the determined duck tries to lay her eggs in peace. But Jemima is interrupted so waddles to the nearby woodland instead, where she encounters Mr. Tod, a sly fox in his lair amongst the pink and purple hues of flowering foxgloves.

In a cunning attempt to steal and eat her eggs (and to have the confused duck for dinner!) he asks Jemima to fetch some herbs. Ever-resourceful, Jemima collects ‘sage and thyme, and mint and two onions, and some parsley,’ from her countryside garden, unaware of the fox’s plan. But thankfully, wise collie dog Kep quickly realises what the wily Mr. Tod is up to, and saves Jemima – before it’s too late!

Tom Kitten's Cottage Garden

In The Tale of Tom Kitten, three playful little kittens – Mittens, Tom Kitten and Moppet – give us a glimpse of Potter’s own Hill Top cottage garden.
When the kittens’ mother, Tabitha, turns her children into the backyard ‘to be out of the way while she made hot buttered toast,’ for her guests, the mischievous bunch begin an adventure like no other – and it’s not long before their clothes are covered in grass stains!

In the beautiful, flower-filled garden the kittens climb the rockery, ‘breaking the ferns,’ while chasing butterflies, and enjoy the sunshine. The kittens’ garden bursts with colour, from rhododendrons to snapdragons, irises to peonies. Mittens, Tom Kitten and Moppet may have completely forgotten about their clothes, but their summertime antics and enjoying the outdoors are far more important than fancy frocks and buttons!