Friday, November 12th, 2010...6:18 am

Shakespeare Gardens

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NYC Central Park’s Shakespeare Garden by Happy Gillmore

There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance; pray,
love, remember: and there is pansies. that’s for thoughts.
Hamlet (4.5.170-1)

A friend recently attended a lecture about flowers mentioned in Shakespeare. She was very excited about this lecture. I told her to visit the Shakespeare garden in Central Park, Manhattan, NY. This garden bills itself as the only rock garden in Central Park and the plantings are based on the plants in Shakespeare’s home garden as well as his plays. But I should have told my friend that she could visit about two dozen Shakespeare’s gardens in the US alone.  See here.

I wonder how many there are in England and the rest of the world?  Wouldn’t it be fun to take a trip to all of these Shakespeare gardens to see how each of the designers decided to lay out their gardens using the flowers Shakespeare wrote about!?!  I wonder how many private gardeners in the world have created Shakespeare’s gardens in their yards.

Shakespeare Comedy gardens (7) by KarlGercens.com

The Hampton Court Palace Flower Show featured Shakespeare gardens in this year’s flower show with also vegetables that were grown during the time of Shakespeare from 1564 to 1616, which is the 16th and 17th century, to encourage private gardeners to do just that- create their own Shakespeare’s garden .
What a fun idea – now that this year’s garden is soon going to be put asleep, you can plan your own little Shakespeare garden for next year using  plants mentioned in Shakespeare’s plays – there are over 50 to choose from.  See here.  I grow some of the commonly known plants that Shakespeare mentions: daffodils, columbine, pinks (dianthus), aconite, roses, violets, lavender, poppies, peonies and pansies.

Or if you prefer you  can plant vegetables or plants from  the period Shakespeare lived. A list of places to purchase Heirloom or Heritage seeds from around the world can be found here.  Hampton Court used Heirloom or heritage vegetables “like buddleia chard, asparagus pea and bronze fennel and strawberry spinach, which was enjoyed by Elizabethans for its leaves and unusual fruit” (see here).

TheGardenLady has never heard of these vegetables but has read that carrots were grown and eaten in England in the 1400s. And Shakespeare recommended that his readers eat turnips, parsnips, onions, leeks, garlic and radishes with the carrots and fruit such as apples.  See here.

For quotes on flowers in Shakespeare’s plays check this out.

If you do create your own Shakespeare Garden, please share photos of it with TheGardenLady.org. If you have photos of any of the Shakespeare gardens listed, would you please also share them with us.

Shakespeare Garden by aroblopez

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