These are the words engraved around a fountain in the center of one of the Shakespearean gardens in Stratford, Canada. Shakespeare incorporated plants into many of his plays such as A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Hamlet. Later, it became an idea to collect and display all the plants mentioned throughout Shakespeare’s plays into one garden. Thus, the birth of a Shakespearean Garden.
While exploring the area, I have come across two of these gardens. One is near the river and the other is outside the Festival Theatre. They share many components such as a tribute to Shakespeare himself and labels near the plants to show there significance.
My favorite part was the quotes from the plays with the exact act and line where it is found next to the plant that was representing it. One that I found was from Hamlet Act V 174, “There’s rosemary; that for remembrance pray you, love, remember.”
However, the gardens vary in many qualities as well. The Festival Garden had other interesting gardens such as a witch’s garden filled with ingredients for spells, Wolfsbane and Devil’s Herb, and a romance garden filled with plants for perfumes and beauty, Fringed Pink and Sweet William. I loved seeing and learning the past uses of so many plants.
The Shakespearean Garden near town had such a calm atmosphere. I could have brought a book and read all day in a place with that feeling. I explored the many plants and the interesting structures around the area. There was tower built to commemorate a wool mill, a cute little cottage, and a metal gazebo.
The best part of the garden was the bridge to a more secluded area shrouded in shade from all the trees. There were benches right next to the water banks that glistened with sunlight and had an amazing view of the river and bridges. It was just the picturesque area for a romantic date in a Nicholas Spark’s book.
I really loved both gardens and having the opportunity to explore all the corners and hidden treasures found in a Shakespearean Garden.