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.
Iris flowers about to open.
Peony flowers about to open.
A sea of peonies.
Do these alliums look familiar? I used the photo for my allium rainbow post.
What’s a garden without a bench and a view?
A line of benches.
St James church peeking through the trees.
I was there in late May, and summer comes slowly to Canada. Spring flowers were still in evidence.
Bluebells were still holding on.
Flowering crabapple trees were in bloom.
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.