As you like it
Small garden, or challenging space? No problem! The Beautiful Borders are always awash with take-home ideas to help you squeeze the most into your garden. Find out more about Katie Day’s Border below.
Designed by Katie Day
“All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts…”
Katie’s Border offers an escape into the storyworld of William Shakespeare’s play As You Like It – a romance with gender swapping set in the Forest of Arden (just down the road from the NEC!).
The play centres around the escape of the young people from the formality of the Court into the freedoms offered by the natural landscape of the forest. Katie’s border design echoes this clear divide. The Court is represented by a formal Tudor Parterre style garden with a tightly clipped Buxus sempervirens hedge, which was a popular garden style in Shakespeare’s day. A custom built decorative arch with “woodbine” (Lonicera periclymenum) growing
over it leads into a path of log stepping stones through informal woodland style planting and a feature Hawthorn tree (Crataegus monogyna), invoking the Forest of Arden.
The planting in this area is purposefully colourful and celebratory with flowering shrubs and herbaceous plants reflecting the flourishing of young love, the ‘Bleeding Heart’ (Lamprocapnos
spectabilis) being the most direct example. The gender swapping by the character Rosalind as she enters the forest inspired the decision to incorporate the colours of the Trans flag – Pink, Blue and White – into the painted archway and the planting colour palette. Katie has selected pink, blue and white flowering plants that flower in June, as well as considering shape to reflect both masculine (Digitalis purpurea f. albiflora) and feminine (Paeonia lactiflora ‘Sarah Bernhardt’).
The Hawthorn tree (Crataegus monogyna) acts as a focus for the story elements, and is decorated
with ribbons and tiny fragments of mirror to reflect the viewers’ own images and incorporate them into
the border. A heart-shaped sign with ‘Rosalind’ carved into it is hung against the trunk, and love
poems written on paper are spiked onto the thorns and branches.