Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Shakespeare's Garden


New Place Garden, Shakespeare's mulberry tree.

It's been a while since my visit to Stratford-upon-Avon, but my wife took these photos last week. I post for you here–Shakespeare's home & garden, his birthplace home & garden, and his wife, Anne Hathaway's house & garden.

Nash House, next door to where Shakespeare's house once stood. This is the entrance to the grounds where major gardens now stand.

Above and to the right are photos from the Nash House (now a Stratford-upon-Avon history museum), next door to where Shakespeare lived, called New Place. He lived here from 1610 until he died, in 1616. At the time it was built, it was the second largest building in Stratford. The site of New Place (reported to cost 60 pounds in 1597, now it costs 10 pounds for entry to the museum), is now an Elizabethan knott garden, a typical garden of Shakespeare's time, most likely in the spot where his own orchard and kitchen garden were. These gardens were planted in the 1920s.

Since these shots were taken at a bad time of the year, the photo at the left shows the garden during it's peak. So you can see what it's supposed to look like.

There's a mulberry tree in the center of the very large garden, said to be a cutting from an original mulberry Shakespeare planted in roughly the same spot. Here you can find not only the colorful, herb-filled, formal knott garden, but free access to a topiary garden and English-style gardens throughout a large park called Great Garden at New Place.

Shakespeare's birthplace.

Shakespeare's birthplace (born in 1564) is another site worth visiting. It is the home of his family & father, John's, glove-making workshop. He spent his first five years with Anne Hathaway in this house. Behind this building are some nice gardens not ventured into on this trip. Not much to see this early in the season. You'll find, in this garden, plants and trees mentioned throughout his plays.


This thatched roof "cottage" actually a large home with 14 rooms.

Shakespeare's wife, Anne Hathaway's cottage is one of the most picturesque homes in all of England. The beautiful, rather large, home (her family's home) has gorgeous English gardens and paths through 90 acres of woods & orchards surrounding it. There's also a tree garden, planted in honor of Shakespeare. Paths Shakespeare would have wandered while courting Anne. This is in Shottery, just outside of Stratford-upon-Avon.

It is said that A Midsummer's Night Dream was first performed under this tree.

Now there are "Shakespeare Gardens" planted throughout the world (in many university gardens, Central Park, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Chicago Botanic Garden, Johannesburg, Vienna, and dozens more), usually incorporating plants from his works (rosemary, roses, pansies, fennel, columbine, rue, daisies, violets and mulberry–more than 80 plants in total). They often have signage with relevant quotes relating to the plants displayed. They often are geometric in layout and composed of boxwood dividers. For more information on how to plant your own Shakespeare garden, and a longer list of Shakespearean plants, visit this post by The GreenMan, I found.

If you ever get to England, Stratford-upon-Avon is a must-see. You'd be hard-pressed to find a more lovely town in all of England. From the ancient Tudor-style buildings to unbelievable gardens to the swans on the picturesque Avon, the views are idyllic.

14 comments:

  1. We have a Shakespeare garden here in south Alabama but I've never visited it. Would love to go to England one day and see all the great garden there.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is a lovely part of England but anything associated with Shakespeare is very crowded. If you just want to see lovely gardens there are many in this area which are just as beautiful but less crowded.

    Best wishes Sylvia (England)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Isn't that green grass just the best. The garden looks to be absolutely charming no matter the time season. Wonder what would happen to one of those thatched roofs during a Buffalo winter...although it would make quite a highlight for the open garden weekend don't you think?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh, it's beautiful there! How lucky that your wife got to go see it!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Phillip,
    Having seen your garden in photos, I can see why you wouldn't want to leave it, but England is worth the trip!

    Sylvia,
    I hear you. When people come to visit me they want to see Niagara Falls (a twenty-minute drive from here) and I tell there's too many people, not to go there. But there's no stopping a tourist once they have something in mind.

    Barbarapc,
    Thatched roofs never caught on here in Buffalo, for good reason. They are disgustingly charming though. On our garden tour we have one "green" planted roof. That's gotta' count for something.

    Catherine,
    It's been about a dozen years since I was in Stratford-upon-Avon. And I was there in the Fall, so I've yet to see these gardens in full bloom (other than other people's photos). She travels to Europe once a week. Other than a run and dinner, she doesn't get much time to spend touring, unfortunately. But hey, she eats dinner in Europe once a week. How bad is that?

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm in the UK and confess I've never been to Stratford-upon-Avon! One day ...

    There are plenty of beautiful gardens in the North too.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I love those thatched roofs too. But in Los Angeles the fire department would have a fit.
    Beautiful photos, thanks for the post. One day I'll get there....

    ReplyDelete
  8. I love reading your garden travel stories. Kindred spirits! Since I'll be able to mark Giverny off of my "garden to see before I die list" the next list is for hiking the Cotswold Way and then seeing more of the gardens. There are so many in the UK!

    Camero

    ReplyDelete
  9. Phoenix,
    I haven't gotten to the north yet. But will. We've spent a good amount of time around Kent, having friends in Sandhurst. And lots of time in and around London. Even been out to Land's End and Brighton. The Cotswolds are an area we just have not gotten to yet. YOU have no excuse!

    Laura Z.,
    I'm guessing fires, bugs and roof-rot are the three top reasons to not go thatched.

    Cameron,
    With your Apple iProducts allegiance and your interest in gardens and lust for travel, I'm telling you, we're meant to be together, the only thing keeping us apart is our zone preferences.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I got goosebumps when I saw that tree... Could it be the real ONE?! Then, It saw HIM!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Tatyana,
    I have my doubts of the veracity of that claim. This tree would have been a sapling at the time, if it had been around at all.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I'm chuckling about the comments on thatched roofs. A building with a thatch roof is more expensive to buy! I have lived in several cottages with thatch and yes, the insurance is expensive due to the fire risk and it does encourage spiders. My view is if you love thatch live opposite a thatch cottage, then you can look at it when ever you want (more often than you look at your own house) all the pleasure none of the problems.

    Best wishes Sylvia (England)

    ReplyDelete
  13. how wonderful! It's going on my list of places to see.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Full many a glorious morning have I seen Flatter the mountain-tops with sovereign eye, Kissing with golden face the meadows green.

    (Shakespeare, Sonnet 33)

    ReplyDelete

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails