Plant a Shakespeare Garden

In April, literature fans mourned the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare's death - and celebrated a life worth living, and writing about. For though the bard wrote on subjects far and sometimes fanciful, his own spirit, wit and humor came through in every stanza.

His topics touched on all the things we experience today: life, love and loss; death and birth, marriage and marital strife, tragedy and often, laughter. Yet the poet was indeed a product of his times, as well as his almost mythical locale: late Tudor England. Among other things, such as music, dramatically gorgeous clothing and courtly manners (or lack of them), the period was known for its beautiful gardens, where the elite and common alike would go to gather their thoughts.

So just what IS a Shakespeare garden? Different enthusiasts have different definitions, but any garden that serves as a quiet refuge - even if only a small one (say, plants surrounding a bench) - and contains plants known to William Shakespeare's time will fit the bill.

For your own Shakespeare garden, try the following:

* chamomile

* bilberry

* birch tree

* English (of course) time

* lavender

* cloves

* honeysuckle

* grape

* rosemary

* lemon

* mallow

* cowslip

* bachelor's buttons

* crabapple

* balm

* narcissus

* plums

* poppy

* ivy

* hyssop

* cherry tree

* brier

* fennel

* garlic

* burdock

* daffodils

* senna

For a few Shakespearean finishing touches, try a lovely white fence (a partial fence at the perimeter is fine), a gate (purchase or refurbish; get as fancy as you'd like), a sitting bench and water and food to attract birds and butterflies.

 

Image: the Shakespeare Garden at Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. Credit: vogue.com

 

 

 

 




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