Hopefully, this step-by-step list can help to give you a sense of what you'd like to accomplish. After considering this information, please reach me through our Contact Form so we can begin our Shakespeare Garden adventure!
1 Let me know what, overall, you'd like to accomplish with your Shakespearean theme garden.
2 What is the size of your garden? Remember, it can be 5-by-5-feet, 50-feet square, a half acre, encompass your whole yard or be tucked away in a corner of your yard where only you know about it.
3 What is the condition of the space? Is it already a garden, or do you need to tear up grass? How much sun does it get? Is there proper drainage and soil health (hopefully at least 4 hours of sun a day)? Are there any landmarks, trees, streams, driveways, swimming pools, etc., you have to work around?
4 I can share a list of the plants mentioned in Shakespeare's plays, which you'll also find on this site. You may discover that you already have some of the plants on your property.
5 Are you willing to do a little research on the Internet? Some websites include photos of public Shakespeare gardens; these sites may help you to visualize a garden you want.
6 I can help you draw a map of your new garden. Do you have access to Microsoft Office's Excel program? It can help.
7 How much money are you willing to invest? The design may only require a tape measure, looking at existing garden sites, and then designing your own (with my help).
It’s possible to create such a garden for little more than $100, assuming a limited space and perhaps some plants already on the site, or perhaps a design that is done in phases. It’s also possible to spend $300 to $500 (or more) without a bust of the "old man" placed in the center of the garden. If you’re like me, you must show restraint when going to a local nursery. Go with a list and promise not to get carried away.
8 Remember that the “garden” does not have to be in one concentrated spot on your property. Perhaps the flowerbeds on the south side of your house can be home to some of the plants. Perhaps a section near your rear patio can house primarily herbs (close to the kitchen door). Perhaps a bed near or around an existing tree can be home to some new plants while giving you a constant view of the new section while sitting on your back deck or sipping your morning coffee by the kitchen window.
Soon to be included on this site is a diagram and photos of my humble Shakespeare garden. It really appears in many areas of my property. I leave it to the map and the ground labels to help my friends in giving themselves self-guided tours.
9 A note about labels: Stakes/labels are really important in identifying the plants. While some professional gardens have beautiful brass plates in the ground identifying the plant and the Shakespeare quotation, it's quite simple to put inexpensive staked labels in the ground, draw a map anyone can follow and prepare an accompanying guide that states the flower name and provides the quotation from the play, including Act, Scene, and Line number.
I'm a Sturbridge, Mass., resident and lifelong Shakespeare devotee, teacher and stage director. If you're interested in my volunteer Shakespeare Garden services or have something to add to the site, I encourage you to contact me by email by clicking here . I hope to hear from you soon!