Stir-Up Shakespeare, by Brownsea Open Air Theatre

Tudor Knot Garden

Make a miniature garden using free materials found outdoors at any time of year.

Before you begin, collect whatever small things you can find: moss; lichen; sticks; greenery; small fir cones; small stones or sand.

Find a shallow container, such as: a large plate; old baking tray; seed tray; food container.

Tudor gardens were often divided into four quarters, with paths making the lines. You can use any pattern you like.

  1. Fill the tray with moss.
  1. Press the moss down firmly into the tray with a plank, chopping board or plate.
  1. Decide on the pattern for your garden.
  2. Make your pattern in the tray by pulling out sections of moss. (A blunt knife can help with this.)
  1. Carefully fill the pattern with sand or very small stones - use a teaspoon. Press down firmly.
  1. Add small pieces of greenery, moss, twigs or fir cones to decorate the garden.
  1. To make it last longer, keep your garden cool and spray it occasionally with cold water.

You could use sandpaper or lentils for the path.
Can you find a small foil tray or mirror to make a pond?
Moss can be all sizes - use short moss to make the base and chunky moss to make hedges.

Tudor gardens were often laid out in geometric patterns, called ‘knot gardens’ and could be very complicated. The shape of the garden and the different shades of green were more important than flowers, although herbs were often used.

Draw a garden plan, making up your own pattern. Use different shades of green and brown as your main colours and it will look like a Tudor garden.

Gardens or outdoor spaces are important in Shakespeare’s plays – Juliet’s balcony overlooks the garden or orchard, for example.

Other Design activities:

A4 Theatre

A4 Theatre

Build your own model theatre from A4 card.

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Peepshow Theatre

Peepshow Theatre

Made from a shoebox: design a scene from ‘Romeo and Juliet'

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These activities will be enjoyed by children and adults of all ages. The activities are rated according to difficulty and level of parental involvement: these descriptions are intended as a rough guide only. We have rated them to help parents of children aged 8-13, on the assumption that above this age supervision is rarely required, and that below it, supervision is generally required.

Easy : Set it up and off they go.
Intermediate : Some help needed.
Hard : Challenge yourself.