Gardens of 2019: New Place


Remembering all the beautiful gardens I visited in the summer of 2019, when a bubble was just something you could make with Fairy liquid.

New Place in Stratford-on-Avon was once Shakespeare's family home. A good excuse to share this Shakespeare-inspired sonnet from On the Wing (Offa's Press):


Sons and Roses

Shall I compare him to a climbing rose –
my semi-hardy, prickly twelve-year-old?
He’s scaled the larch-lap fences that enclose
our garden, and gone rambling. Buds unfold

beyond the fence, in places I can’t see.
Some days, on this side, all the stems are bare
and hurtful thorns are all he offers me.
I worry then: wild brambles lurk out there.

What gardener in my place would know for sure
which stems to prune and which to leave unchecked,
how far to let him wander and explore,
at what point freedom turns to base neglect?

I don’t have answers, yet I persevere:
so long as roots need water, I’ll be near.

Ros Woolner

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