Welcome to A Writer’s Garden where writers who are gardeners or just love gardens will be sharing their garden and flower stories, as well as a bit about their writing.

Today, I’m sharing Shakespeare in the Garden and some photos of the Disney World Shakespeare garden I saw a couple of years ago during their annual garden celebration. I’ll tell you how you can honor the bard in your garden should you be so inclined.

 

Shakespeare in the Garden

 

You may not be aware of this, but Shakespeare talked a lot about gardens in his plays. There isn’t a lot of historical information about Shakespeare outside of his life in London, but his references to so many garden plants leads us to believe that he knew a lot about plants. His detailed descriptions about the plants–from the way they smelled to their myths, meanings and special powers–are evident in the lines from his plays. It’s even believed that he may have taken poetic liberties with the climates where the plants grew and even created new plants much like he created new words.

Take a look at some of the flowery lines from Shakespeare’s plays and some pictures from Disney World’s Shakespeare Garden featured in 2013 Garden Show and you’ll see what I mean.

Rosemary

  • “There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance, pray you, love, remember.” Spoken by Ophelia in Hamlet to remind her brother of their father’s murder. Rosemary was also placed in Juliet’s tomb, in the sad love story of Romeo and Juliet.
  • Roses
  • “What’s in a name? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Said in Romeo and Juliet by Juliet to Romeo when explaining that his family, not he, was her enemy.
  • “Of all the flowers, methinks the rose in best.” Said by Emilia in Two Noble Kinsmen.

Violets in the knot garden (lower center)

“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 eglantine: There sleeps Titania sometime of the night, Lull’d in these flowers with dances and delight.” A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Marigolds

  • “Here’s flowers for you: Hot lavender, mints, savoury, marjoram; The marigold, that goes to bed with the sun And with him rises weeping: these are the flowers of middle summer, and I think they are given to men of middle age.” A Winter’s Tale.
  • “And there is pansies—that’s for thoughts.” Ophelia, in Hamlet.
  • In the Taming of the Shrew, Lucentio calls the pansy by another name, Love-in-idleness, which signifies love in vain and would have been known to Shakespeare’s audience. “But, see, while idly I stood looking on, I found the effect of Love-in-idleness.”

So what would you need if you wanted to make a Shakespeare garden?

Start with a bust of the bard. If you want to add a tree, consider a white mulberry. The playwright planted one in 1602 in his Stratford-upon-Avon Garden. Add the flowers and herbs mentioned above or choose from any of the flowers Shakespeare mentioned in his plays. You can reread his works or do an internet search. Shrubs played an important part in 16th century gardens of his day, so consider ringing your flowerbeds with a low growing shrub like that pictured in the first photo in the blog or add some on the perimeter of the garden.

For those of you who don’t want to explore Shakespeare, here are some herbs and flowers you can choose from that Shakespeare mention in his plays:

Herbs:

  • Rue
  • Fennel
  • Thyme
  • Savory
  • Marjoram
  • Mint
  • Lavender
  • Bay
  • Chamomile
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Rosemary

Flowers:

  • Roses- Essential since the bard mentioned this flower the most
  • Violets
  • Daises
  • Daffodils
  • Carnations
  • Primroses
  • Columbine
  • Buttercups
  • Irises
  • Pansies
  • Lilly
  • Marigolds

Shrubs and Trees:

  • Hawthorn
  • Hazel Nut
  • Gooseberry
  • Holly
  • Honeysuckle
  • Apple
  • Lemon

And if a few weeds creep in, don’t worry. Shakespeare mentioned them in his plays, too. Just follow his advice on what to do:

Dandelions in the phlox (in my garden)

“Now this is the spring, and weeds are shallow rooted. Suffer them now, and they’ll o’er grow the garden and choke the herbs for want of husbandry.” Queen Margaret Mary in Henry the Sixth, Part III.

 

About the Writer/Gardener:

Multi-award winning author Catherine Castle loves writing and flowers. You’ll find plants in many of her books. Her romantic comedy with a touch of drama A Groom for Mama features flowers in several scenes.

Before beginning her career as a romance writer she worked part-time as a freelance writer. She has over 600 articles and photographs to her credit, under her real name, in the Christian and secular market. She also lays claim to over 300 internet articles written on a variety of subjects and several hundred poems. In addition to writing she loves reading, traveling, singing, theatre, quilting and gardening. She’s a passionate gardener whose garden won a “Best Hillside Garden” award from the local gardening club. She writes sweet and inspirational romances. You can find her award-winning Soul Mate books The Nun and the Narc and A Groom for Mama, on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Follow her on Twitter @AuthorCCastle, FB or her blog.

Flowers and gardens play a part in Catherine’s award-winning romantic comedy with a touch of drama A Groom for Mama. Take a peek at the blurb, then hop on over to Amazon for a sample read or just buy the book.

 

A Groom for Mama

By Catherine Castle

 

Beverly Walters is dying, and before she goes she has one wish—to find a groom for her daughter. To get the deed done, Mama enlists the dating service of Jack Somerset, Allison’s former boyfriend.

The last thing corporate-climbing Allison wants is a husband. Furious with Mama’s meddling, and a bit more interested in Jack than she wants to admit, Allison agrees to the scheme as long as Mama promises to search for a cure for her terminal illness.

A cross-country trip from Nevada to Ohio ensues, with a string of disastrous dates along the way, as the trio hunts for treatment and A Groom For Mama.