All the World's a Stage

Show Gardens
Inspired by Shakespeare’s literary analogies, this sunken stage garden invites visitors on a journey through ‘The Seven Ages of Man’.

Each age is represented by a water basin, which mirrors the transition in planting from lush greens and pure whites to barren golds and deep purples. Gaze into the basins and reflect upon one’s own life journey. Descend into the ‘lushness of youth’, allowing oneself to be enveloped by Gunnera and ferns. Feel the atmosphere evolve to the ‘barrenscape of death’ represented by dry grasses set against the dark depths of chocolate cosmos and Aeonium.

Experience the garden from the staged seating where you can observe the other ‘actors’ in their journey through the ages. Enjoy the calming atmosphere under the shade of tree glades and be reminded of the connection between Shakespeare and Hampton Court Palace. Join us when the garden functions as a stage and showcases live performances, enhancing the theatre of this garden.

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The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.