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Mercer Opens Shakespeare Garden Bookmark

Mercer Opens Shakespeare Garden

Did you know Shakespeare loved flowers and plants? In fact, elements of Shakespeare’s personal garden in Stratford-upon-Avon still exists as a popular tourist destination.

Fortunately, you don’t have to travel to Europe to view a Shakespeare Garden. Mercer Botanic Gardens opens the first Shakespeare Garden in the Houston area Monday, April 23 at 10 a.m. with a dedication ceremony in the East Side Gardens. Everyone is invited to meet the Bard in person during the event!

The new garden is the first of its kind in Houston and replaces an underutilized lawn area. Features include antique roses, boxwoods, and seasonal color surrounding an open sitting area. Strategically placed garden benches overlook a decorative water fountain and William Shakespeare bust to form a quiet enclosure reminiscent of gardens popular during the English Renaissance.

The project took shape after Mercer employee Al Friedl read Shakespeare’s Flowers by Jessica Kerr, which details the plants and herbs that appear in more than 50 of Shakespeare’s plays. After discussing the project with Mercer Interim Director Jim Nutter and Commissioner R. Jack Cagle, both Shakespeare enthusiasts, Friedl decided to donate funding to make the garden a reality.

“Al Friedl came to me with this idea after noticing the Houston-area lacked a Shakespeare Garden. He thought the garden would not only be visually stunning, but may also inspire a love of Shakespeare in a new generation,” said Mercer Interim Director Jim Nutter. “The new garden will be perfect for reading, visiting with friends, and relaxing.”

For more information, contact Mercer at 713-274-4160 or visit


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