Electronic Shakespeare Garden

“Not poppy, nor mandragora, Nor all the drowsy syrups of the world, Shall ever medicine thee to that sweet sleep Which thou owedst yesterday.” Othello [III, 3]

I am creating an electronic Shakespeare Garden on a Pinterest board. Shakespeare gardens can be inspired by his works, or can include many of the plants mentioned, or can reproduce a setting for a famous scene.  On Pinterest are my pictures of some of the plants mentioned in Shakespeare, plus pictures of some Shakespeare Gardens.

Plant names change over time – what we call a dandelion was in the 1500s a “golden lad” in flower or a “chimney-sweeper” when in seed. Decades ago, I started a paper card file to keep track of the plants in Shakespeare. I use this personal resource, plus the OpenSource Shakespeare Concordance to search for references. There is a surprising range of both horticultural and ornamental plants included in Shakespeare’s works.

“In thy fats our cares be drown’d, With thy grapes our hairs be crown’d: Cup us, till the world go round, Cup us, till the world go round!” Antony and Cleopatra [II, 7]

Folger Shakespeare Library’s garden, Washington DC


“When daffodils begin to peer, With heigh! the doxy over the dale, Why, then comes in the sweet o’ the year; For the red blood reigns in the winter’s pale.” Winter’s Tale [IV, 3]

“There’s fennel for you, and columbines.” Hamlet [IV, 5]

Images Copyright 2010-2012 by Katy Dickinson

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