Designers reflect Bard's influence

Shakespeare provided inspiration for designers at this week's Hampton Court Palace Flower Show and runs until Friday.

The Shakespearean comedy gardens reveal five designers' interpretations of the plays and draw on the open-air settings often favoured by the playwright.

The Merchant of Venice, by Michelle Duxbury, centres on a boardwalk of weathered pilings with three large wooden vessels like gondolas. As You Like It, by Anthea Guthrie, uses dappled greys and light greens, wild strawberries and willow.

The Taming of the Shrew, by Yvonne Mathews, presents a vibrant and colourful tableau. Twelfth Night, also by Mathews, incorporates some quirky design elements to reflect the a play defined by mistaken identity.

A Midsummer Night's Dream, by Jayne Thomas, is represented by trees planted in an Elizabethan-style parterre garden.

Much Ado About Nothing, by Sue Thomas, is based on an Italian orchard with a pool and spiky planting to symbolise the tension between the main characters.

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