Welcome to After Eden

This site is dedicated to gardening, gardens, and the idea of the garden.

I have called it a digital manuscript because, like the medieval manuscript, it combines words and images–or to be more precise it combines posts, photography, and poetry. The title comes from my interest in gardens and gardening after The Garden.  I want to write about gardens because I am fascinated by the way in which they serve as both symbolic and physical retreats from the chaos and complexity of daily life, by the human desire to create beauty, and if even for the briefest time, by the human desire to order and to control something in Nature.  I hope that you will follow “After Eden” with me.  The first post explains more about my motivation and what I mean by a garden.

Susan K. Hagen, Ph.D.
Mary Collett Munger Professor Emerita of English
Master Gardener


The photo for the After Eden homepage was taken in May 2016 in Italy at Ninfa, an abandoned mediaeval town with a history of Papal intervention and inter-familial fighting.  The 260-acre park contains a landscape garden of 20 acres among the medieval town’s ruins and is overseen by the Fondazione Roffredo Caetani.  It is the most beautiful, the most peaceful, place I have ever been.


© Susan K. Hagen and After Eden, 2017, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Susan K. Hagen and After Eden with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


“lyk a bisy bee”

For well over a decade I have been fascinated with taking photos of bees on blooms.  It all started while teaching summers for British Studies at Oxford, I think.  The first challenge at catching bees on flowers that I remember took place in 2006 in University Parks while taking photos of giant sea holly (Eryngium …