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Gardens: Shakespeare Gardens (New York City)

A subtle plaque set into a stone marks the entrance to the garden.

A subtle plaque set into a stone marks the entrance to the garden.

I have finally emerged from under the mountain of digital photos from my June trip to Canada and the US. In an earlier post, I showed you the Shakespeare Garden in Stratford (Canada), and here are photos from the one in Central Park, New York City. I was pleased to see that the Central Park garden does indeed have quotations linking plants to plays, which I thought was sadly lacking in Stratford.

“Shakespeare Garden is a four-acre landscape named for the famed English poet and playwright. The garden features flowers and plants mentioned in his poems and plays. Small bronze plaques scattered throughout the garden bear quotes from the Bard.” (source: centralparknyc.org)

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Gardens: Shakespeare Gardens (Stratford)

Sculpture of Shakespeare's head by Cleve Horne

This sculpture of William Shakespeare’s head by Cleve Horne has sat proudly in the garden since 1939. Who knows if this is what he really looked like?

I had the good fortune on my recent trip to North America to visit not one but two gardens with a connection to William Shakespeare. The first was in Stratford — did you know there was a Stratford in Canada? Indeed there is, about 150km (90 miles) west of Toronto.

Like the English town it’s named for, this Stratford also has a River Avon, and an annual theatre festival. The festival has grown from a handful of Shakespeare plays performed in a tent in the 1950s to a multi-month, multi-theatre extravaganza presenting more than the Bard’s works.

The town’s Shakespearean Gardens nestle beside the river and opened in 1936. The gardens are nice, with landscaped areas and many flowers, but I was disappointed to see no plaques explaining how the various plants figure in the plays.

Do these alliums look familiar? I used the photo for my allium rainbow post.

Alliums

Alliums

What’s a garden without a bench and a view?

I was there in late May, and summer comes slowly to Canada. Spring flowers were still in evidence.

Bluebells were still holding on.

Bluebells were still holding on.

Flowering crabapple trees were in bloom.

Flowering crabapple trees were in bloom.

A single poppy bud.

A single poppy bud.

The second garden with a Shakespeare connection is in New York City’s Central Park. Check back for a post soon.