Real World Gardener Shakespeare Inspired Gardens are Design Elements

July 5th, 2014

REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney, streaming live at and Across Australia on the Community Radio Network.<?xml:namespace prefix = "o" />


The complete CRN edition of RWG is available on , just click on 2RRR to find this week’s edition. The new theme is sung by Harry Hughes from his album Songs of the Garden. You can hear samples of the album from the website


with landscape designer Louise McDaid

Shakespeare inspired garden design.
Ann Hathaway's cottage-Stratford on Avon

Do you like a good play or going to the theatre? If you do you might know that one of the world’s greatest playwrights, William Shakespeare, was a dab hand at incorporating plants into his plays.

He seemed to know so much about them that it’s thought he was an avid gardener.

For example in Hamlet he uses fennel, columbines, rue, daisy and violets – I love that mix of 3 lovely flowers, an aromatic foliage herb and an edible plant

Midsummer nights dream

I know a bank where the wild Thyme blows,
Where Oxlips and the nodding Violet grows;

Quite over-canopied with luscious Woodbine,
With sweet Musk-Roses and with Eglantine


For all the readers and lovers of Shakespeare. You might have a favourite piece of prose, or remember a particularly touching poetic line – he was and remains the most prolific author to use references to plants and flowers.


In fact if you visit Stratford Upon Avon where Shakespeare retired to, I fancy you might see a Shakespearean garden at Ann Hathaway’s cottage.

There are even a number of public gardens using that theme around the world.

In Shakespeare’s time, gardens would’ve been formal as in the Elizabethan period.

Ann Hathaway's garden-Stratford On Avon, England

What a great theme for a garden.

You could even put signs near the plants that provide the relevant quotations.

Ophelia says in Hamlet “There’s rosemary that’s for remembrance, Pray you, love, remember. And there is pansies that’s for thoughts.’

Of course from Romeo and Juliet, the best known quote or misquote- "What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet."

If you have any questions about Shakespearean gardens why not write in otherwise all information will be posted on the website


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