85 Members and a number of guests came to Bawdeswell to hear Jackie Bennet give her enlightening talk on the connection between William Shakespeare and gardens.
Jackie was commissioned by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust to write a book about its gardens, including a contemporary garden at Shakespeare’s last home, New Place.
Shakespeare was interested in the natural cycle of the seasons and life, and 250 plants and flowers were mentioned in his plays. He was the son of a Tanner from Stratford. His family would not have had a garden but would have grown herbs for cooking and the land behind the family house would have resembled a farmyard. In 1582 he went to help at Anne Hathaway’s mothers farm and their romance started then.
When plays were performed in those days for royalty they were performed at the palaces, for example, Hampton Court. Shakespeare would have seen lovely knot gardens there which were very popular in the Elizabethan Age. Many new plants were coming into Britain at that time. The garden at Kenilworth Castle is probably the only Elizabethan garden still in existence.
The house Shakespeare lived in in Stratford has been pulled down. The garden however is still there in a contemporary form.
Mince pies,cakes and tea and coffee were enjoyed by everyone after the talk – we were all very grateful to the Village Hall Committee who supplied and served them.
Visit to Shropham Vicarage
Thursday 14th July
Venue: Shropham Vicarage, Church Road, Shropham NR17 1EJ.