Tag Archives: gardens

Visit to Anne Hathaway’s Cottage

Ann Hathaway's Cottage

Ann Hathaway’s Cottage

My boyfriend and I took a detour past Anne Hathaway’s Cottage on the way home from a family event today. Run by The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, it’s the childhood home of Shakespeare’s wife and young William would have gone there when he went a wooing.

If you haven’t been, it’s definitely worth a visit. Your ticket allows you entry to the house and gardens for the year, and if you lived locally then it would be worth going back frequently for the gardens alone, we arrived in the middle of the Sweet Pea Festival, which was beautiful but they have seasonal events throughout the year. There’s currently an exhibition of the language of flowers which talks about how Shakespeare used the hidden meaning of flowers in the play, though this seemed to be very much aimed at a school age audience (eg. when they talked about Ophelia handing out flowers to King Claudius’ court they didn’t mention that the rue Ophelia keeps for herself may be as an abortifacient as she is pregnant with Hamlet’s child).

I was especially excited to see the bed which may or may not be the second best bed that Shakespeare left to his wife in his will (as re-imagined in one of my favourite poems by Carol Ann Duffy) though apparently the teasel heads are used to discourage visitors from sitting on the bed rather than for any symbolic meaning, as related in this amusing video.

Shakespeare's Second Best Bed?

Shakespeare’s Second Best Bed?

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Penny ground with first half of sonnet 116...

Penny ground with first half of sonnet 116…

... and the second half of sonnet 116

… and the second half of sonnet 116

 

Bookish Plants

As much as I am looking forward to Christmas, once it’s over I miss the sunlight and the spring. I’m preparing for those dark winter months between Christmas and my garden sprouting for another year by preparing some book themed flowers in my house. I know that sounds a little crackers, but it’s all in the name. My flowers will have names which associate them with paper, books, stories… etc.

So far we have (sprouting) Amaryllis Novella and Narcissi Paperwhite… ta da!

Amaryllis and Narcissi growth

Amaryllis and Narcissi growth

Amaryllis Novella

Amaryllis Novella

Narcissi Paperwhite

Narcissi Paperwhite

 

Do you know of any plants with similarly bookish names? I am planning on making my garden a nature reserve but can see potential for extending a similar theme to my borders. William Shakespeare roses for example. I’d be really grateful for any suggestions and am willing to include fruit and veg.