All the Garden’s a Stage

You know when that little blog post seed embeds itself in your mind and starts growing? You try to ignore it, then you let it grow a bit, and then it just won’t leave.

Well the little seed this time was sown by a certain Shakespearean garden at RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show: All the World’s a Stage.

You must have similar ideas. You start typing, and before you know it your seedling is but a distant memory, and its roots are so firmly taken there’s nothing to do but go with the flow and sharpen your secateurs. But then you have another idea, one that could even grow to be better than the first. So you start clipping, cutting, pruning it into shape, and somehow it still looks OK, sort of, well you can’t be sure…

Anyhow, my seedling post grew to become a gardeners’ take on All the World’s a Stage. And whilst I’m sure that a certain Mr. Shakespeare wouldn’t be best pleased, I’d hope his comment would at worst be “Thou art unfit for any place but hell!” And at best be “As you like it….”

All the Garden’s a Stage

All the garden’s a stage, and all the plants are merely players;

They have their exits and their entrances,

And one garden in its time grows many actors.

First, the annual, flowering so prolifically in the gardener’s care.

Then the biennial, with its shining morning face, after a year

Impatiently waiting.

And then comes the climber, growing like a furnace across the

Wall, and oftentimes with benefit of perfume that is sure to raise

its mistress’ eyebrow.

Then in their casual way appear herbs, full of good doing

And hope with their promise of healing to one,

Yet quick to punish another in honour of reputation alone.

Then perennials in fair round clumps and duly propped, with flowers

Aplenty and light jostling foliage, full of wise ideas and modern

Formations; and so in drifts they play their part.

The sixth range shifts into the lean and gnarled shrubs,

Or charismatic tree, with wire ties on bowed branches and twisted

Stems; with youthful fresh wood above, well saved, a world seemingly

Too wide for its fissured trunk, and yet its floriferous presence,

Blooming again with a child like vigour; it beams and shines its message.

Last scene of all that ends this strange eventful garden scene,

Is a chance second bloom and mere oblivion,

Sans fruit, sans leaves, sans seeds, sans everything.


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