Check Out Our Shakespeare Garden!
By Pat Sheridan, Master Gardener
A garden organized around a unifying theme is a theme garden. Ideas for theme gardens are limitless. There are Japanese gardens, butterfly gardens, rose gardens, and vegetable gardens, to name just a few. Here at the AgriLife Extension, we have several examples of theme gardens: the children’s discovery garden, the square foot garden, the fairy garden, and the culinary herb garden, and more.
Within the Herb Area lies the Shakespeare Garden:
“I know a bank where the wild thyme blows…” A Midsummer Night’s Dream
“Rosemary, that’s for remembrance…” Ophelia
“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose…” Romeo and Juliet
Did you know that herbs and other plants were frequently mentioned in the plays and sonnets of William Shakespeare? It seems that he was very knowledgeable of the characteristics and uses of many plants. In his day (the 1600s), plants had symbolic significance. Every mention is thought to be important to the story. His writings speak about more than 30 different herbs and flowers and the settings were sometimes in gardens.
Our Shakespeare garden features bronze fennel, creeping thyme, chamomile, yarrow, rosemary, bay laurel, tansy, rue, the red rose, but plants may vary with the season and weather conditions. We even have a bust of old Will himself to watch over the plants in his garden.
Some well- known public gardens in America that contain areas dedicated to Shakespeare are located in Central Park in New York City, Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, and on the Folger Shakespeare Library grounds, Washington, D.C. Closer to home, Festival Hill and Mercer Botanical Gardens are worth a visit.
Herb Rubs Available at Open Gardens Day!
Treat yourself to new and unusual flavors for your next meat or vegetable dish! The herb group has created three distinctive blends of herbs that add great flavor when applied to meat or vegetables: Chef Ben’s Spice Rub, Mediterranean Rub, Wayne’s BBQ Rub. Sold in individual packets, these delightful blends will be sure to please your friends and family. Price: $4.00/each
Kiwi Vines in Bloom
Part of the Orchard/Turf Demonstration Garden is the Kiwi Arbor. Two vines were planted last year: a male and a female. The male started blooming recently as shown in these photos. The female vine has not started blooming yet. Growing these in Montgomery County is a unknown, since the variety in the garden requires 600 “chill” hours, nominally the number of hours between 45 F and 32 F. If successful, these vines will produce Golden Kiwis.
Kiwi vines in MCMGA orchard