A Bard in the
by Carole McCray
have long been associated with history and literature.
You acquire a sense of the past when you create a Shakespeare garden,
based on the References
to flowers and herbs that can be found in Shakespeare’s writings. He showed a fondness and familiarity of wildflowers and
cultivated plants native to his Warwickshire countryside. Throughout his
plays and sonnets, he refers to more than eighty herbs and flowers.
At least twenty-nine of Shakespeare’s plays are set in gardens and
OF THE BARD’S GARDEN
Shakespeare garden should follow the design of the formal Elizabethan style
knotted garden, a popular design in the sixteenth century, with a
well-defined pattern and geometric shapes.
of balance and order should prevail in a knotted garden. A classic evergreen hedge like boxwood is ideal to outline
and contain the Shakespeare garden.
In a formal
garden, plants can, also serve to outline the garden.
Germander, hyssop, santolina or lavender are good choices.
Add to the
formality of the garden with an ornamental rosemary topiary in the center of
the garden or several topiaries throughout depending on the garden size.
include attractive markers to note the quotation of each herb plant and the
play or sonnet where it was mentioned.
FOR THE GARDEN
need five to six hours of sun each day and should be in a well-drained spot.
Your Growise Center will provide additional information to help your
apple-scented, hardy perennial used in potpourri and scented pillows; tiny
daisy-like flowers can be infused for tea.
“Though the chamomile, the more it is trodden on the faster it
grows, yet youth, the more it is wasted the sooner it wears.”
King Henry IV, Part 1, Act II, Scene 4.
part of this perennial from seed to root is edible.
“There’s fennel for you and columbines.” Hamlet, Act IV, Scene 5.
semi-evergreen deciduous shrub. Anise-scented
pink or purple flowers loved by bees and butterflies.
“We will plant nettles or sow lettuce, set hyssop and weed up
thyme.” Othello, Act I, Scene 3.
scent with deep purple or pale lavender spiky flowers on silver or grey-green
feathery foliage. Popular
culinary and decorative herb. Check
different cultivars and zone hardiness as to whether lavender is annual or
perennial. “Here’s flowers
for you; hot lavender, mints, savory, marjoram.”
The Winter’s Tale, Act IV, Scene 4.
perennial with white or purple tiny flowers; culinary with spicy-scented
invasive perennial. Grow in
pots to contain it. Choose
peppermint, spearmint, apple, orange, lemon or ginger.
Flavors fruit salads; cold drinks.
Spearmint is a refreshing garnish for spring peas and new potatoes.
SAVORY—hardy perennial. Aromatic,
peppery eaves used in many bean dishes.
Called the “bean” herb. Bears
tiny pink to white flowers; makes a good edging plant.
biennial needs protection in cold weather.
Choose either curled parsley, Italian or French; the latter two are
more flavorful. “I knew a
wench married in an afternoon as she went to the garden for parsley to stuff
a rabbit.” The Taming of the
Shrew, Act IV, Scene 4.
perennial. Grow in large pot in
cold weather climates; bring indoors during winter.
Culinary and decorative with blue, pink or white flowers depending on
variety. “There’s rosemary,
that’s for remembrance; pray you, love, remember.”
Hamlet, Act IV, Scene 5.
grow as a shrub for low hedging. Common
thyme is popular with cooks; mix with parsley and bay in bouquet garni.
Other thymes—lemon thyme, woolly thyme and a variety of creeping
thymes make aromatic carpets. “I know a bank where the wild thyme blows.”
A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Act
II, Scene 1.
fascination exists about herbs because of their practical and historical
associations. In creating a Shakespeare herb garden, you will gain
knowledge and derive pleasure in planning and having a garden rooted in