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My parents’ peonies

A single white peony.

A single white peony.

Today I received these photos of the peonies in my parents’ front garden (they live in Stratford, near Toronto). I’m sure my mother won’t mind me sharing her photos with you! Such lovely flowers.

The peony bushes, with the Japanese Maple in the background.

My parents have very green thumbs! I previously posted some photos of their gardens here.

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Gardens: Shakespeare Gardens (Stratford)

Sculpture of Shakespeare's head by Cleve Horne

This sculpture of William Shakespeare’s head by Cleve Horne has sat proudly in the garden since 1939. Who knows if this is what he really looked like?

I had the good fortune on my recent trip to North America to visit not one but two gardens with a connection to William Shakespeare. The first was in Stratford — did you know there was a Stratford in Canada? Indeed there is, about 150km (90 miles) west of Toronto.

Like the English town it’s named for, this Stratford also has a River Avon, and an annual theatre festival. The festival has grown from a handful of Shakespeare plays performed in a tent in the 1950s to a multi-month, multi-theatre extravaganza presenting more than the Bard’s works.

The town’s Shakespearean Gardens nestle beside the river and opened in 1936. The gardens are nice, with landscaped areas and many flowers, but I was disappointed to see no plaques explaining how the various plants figure in the plays.

Do these alliums look familiar? I used the photo for my allium rainbow post.

Alliums

Alliums

What’s a garden without a bench and a view?

I was there in late May, and summer comes slowly to Canada. Spring flowers were still in evidence.

Bluebells were still holding on.

Bluebells were still holding on.

Flowering crabapple trees were in bloom.

Flowering crabapple trees were in bloom.

A single poppy bud.

A single poppy bud.

The second garden with a Shakespeare connection is in New York City’s Central Park. Check back for a post soon.