Gardens have inspired great poems throughout history, from Homer’s Garden of Alcinous to Milton’s Paradise Lost, through to Elizabeth Jenning’s In a Garden. However, for Garden Designer Fiona Cadwallader, it was a poem by Samuel Coleridge, This Lime Tree Bower my Prison, which provided the inspiration for her garden at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show. And Fiona is hoping that her design The Poetry Lover’s Garden will also provide some lyrical encouragement to some of the 150,000 visitors to the show, to explore their creativity and have a go at writing their own garden-related ‘Micro-Poem’.
Poets will be asked if they would like to create a short ‘Micro-Poem’ about Fiona’s garden, or any of the incredible displays of floral delights at Chelsea. They can post these on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #CFSpoet. The Micro-Poems can also be submitted in a Poem Pot at the side of Fiona’s Artisan Garden. Each day Fiona will select her Poet of the Day from all the entries.
Fiona commented: “I studied Coleridge’s work at university and ‘This Lime Tree Bower My Prison’ made a big impression on me, as the poem echoed my own belief that everyone has an innate appreciation for nature, and gardens can be a heightened version of that. So, when I was considering ideas for my first Chelsea show garden, it felt natural for me to reference the themes of this beautiful poem in the design. Alongside garden design, poetry is a real passion of mine and I’d like to encourage other people to let the beauty of the gardens and floral exhibits at Chelsea inspire them to write a short micro-poem which captures their thoughts of their visit. I hope we can create a real poetry buzz throughout the week of the show.”