The Shakespeare Garden
This garden began in the mind of KIBA founder Nelda Lewis, Mayor Mickey Smith, and Raymond Caldwell, the director of the Texas Shakespeare Festival on Kilgore College Campus.
When this summer festival began it was decided to build a Shakespeare Garden on the Brook Drive property by the Anne Dean Turk Fine Arts Center where the Festival shows are presented.
The Garden has many flowers for the visitors to enjoy, and are all authentic to the Bard’s own garden in Stratford-on-Avon. It is a 84- foot by 125- foot fenced- in garden. The Shakespeare Garden honors Raymond Caldwell and is in memory of the late Nelda Lewis.
The building and planting of the garden took 3 years and was dedicated in May 1996. The Shakespeare Garden committee were: Nelda Lewis, chairman, Wanda Bittick, Carol Hinton, and Martha Rorscach.
There is a sun dial, bust of Shakespeare, benches for relaxing and enjoying the beauty of the garden. There are flagstone walks around the garden for easy viewing of the plants, flowers and trees which are planted in the Garden. Each flower includes a marker which gives the flowers name, a Shakespeare quote about that flower for information. It is an enchanted, wonderful cottage garden.
Some of the herbs included in the garden are mint, thyme, marjoram, rosemary, fennel, wild onion and garlic. Some of the flowers, daffodils, daisies, day lilies, roses, a fig tree, cedar tree and a dancing bear covered with fig ivy.
It is one of the only Shakespeare Gardens in Texas and is viewed by the whole community and visitors who come to the Shakespeare plays.
The chairman of the garden at this time is Cherisa York, who is a master gardener and director in KIBA , and Virginia Hudson, also a master gardener, who has now moved. Tours and visitors are always welcome and can contact the Kilgore Chamber of Commerce for tours. (903-984-5022)