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The Shakespeare Garden

Blooming In The Shakespeare Garden

Now blooming in the Shakespeare Garden 1 May 2007

Click on photos to enlarge.

William Shakespeare framed by 'Snow Goose' a repeat blooming Rambler

'Snow Goose', Rambler, Austin 1997

Single Red Pomeganate 'Wonderful'

Double Apricot Flowering Pomegranate
Double Red Flowering Pomegranate
'Alba Semi-Plena' The single white rose


The Shakespeare garden contains shrubs and perennials that evoke an English garden. Many of the plants have been cultivated for centuries and were even mentioned in works of Shakespeare, including pansies, violets, pinks, rosemary, daffodils, iris, roses, pomegranate, and orange.

The Shakespeare Garden serves to recognize and display those plants which figure prominently in the writings of Shakespeare and in the gardens of the Elizabethan Era.  Moreover, this garden complements the collection of Shakespearean materials in the library and provides a unique setting for the enjoyment of both plants and literature, thus unifying two of The Huntington's major themes.

With the stylized look of a woodland glade as the garden's main motif, it appears as if it were a vignette from an old English country scene.  We see Shakespeare's plants set forth in a boggy dell, while neighboring trees suggest an encroaching forest.  This pastoral illusion is strengthened by gently rolling berms, a few carefully placed trees, and distant masses of perennial color, elements which lend textural detail and expand the perceived size of the garden--thus more fully engaging the imagination of the visitor.  However, the ultimate intention of this garden is the creation of a stage for the understanding of Shakespeare's art and its relationship to plants.

The interpretive method that we have chosen is the placement of signs in the garden that give the appropriate Shakespearean quotations for many of the plants.  The Riverside Shakespeare serves as a standard text; Dr. Hallett Smith, a senior research associate at The Huntington, is one of the editors of the Riverside edition.



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