Shakespeare Gardens at Blount County Public Library

Blount County Master Gardeners are extremely proud to partner with the Blount County Library in the care and maintenance of the Library’s Shakespeare Gardens.   These Gardens offer many hands-on opportunities to teach pruning, maintenance of perennial plants, and the yearly upkeep tasks needed in a public garden.  

Certified Master Gardeners earn volunteer hours, and the project affords each new Master Gardener Intern class with great learning opportunities.  Beyond routine maintenance responsibilities, special projects are planned with local experts.  For example, a workshop in rose care and rose pruning is held.  Students enjoy completing the annual rose pruning, plus they benefit from taking that knowledge home to apply to their own roses.

Throughout the year, many library patrons stop to admire the Gardens and thank the volunteers for their efforts; and recently, Master Gardeners provided Garden tours during the Library's “Out of the Ordinary Fair.” The Shakespeare Gardens truly are a community resource and outreach appreciated by Blount County residents.

Shakespearean themed gardens have enjoyed popularity across in the US and the world.   In more than 20 of Shakespeare’s sonnets and plays, plants serve as metaphors in life with character attributes often acted out in garden or orchard scenes.   No fewer than 40 plants are identified to represent Shakespear’s works in public gardens and private homes worldwide.  

Establishment of the Shakespeare Gardens resulted from efforts of “Leadership Blount Class of 2004”.  Their class “Legacy Project” created two sun-facing Shakespearian gardens near the rear patio of the Blount County Public Library.  The area is on a well used public walkway adjacent to the Greenbelt and across from Bicentennial Park.  Mediterranean plants and herbs were used to maximize survival in a hot summer environment.  Thyme provides ground cover, with Rosemary and Parsley as dominant herbs.  Plantings include Yarrow, Santolina, Dianthus, Iris, Marigold, Alyssum, Chrysanthemum, Pansy, Daisy, and spring bulb mixes.  These are all dominated by 15 large Knockout Rose bushes that bloom throughout the entire warm season.  Oriental Magnolias and Azaleas (not Shakespearian) accompany spring blooms along with a partial boxwood hedge.  Metal plaques dot the Gardens identifying some of the featured plants.  This diversity is made possible by the continued generous funding provided by The Friends of the Library Committee and the Blount County Public Library.

Here's the 2018 Shakespeare Garden Project Report.

For more information, contact Sandra Widmeyer or Marietta Mason via email at:

Blount County Extension Master Gardeners


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