“That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet”
“I’m tellin’ ya, buddy, you’re crazy if ya think the Yankees are gonna finish behind the Red Sox!”
There are juxtapositions, and then there are juxtapositions.
Few are as jarring—or perhaps as pleasing—as Shakespeare Garden in Central Park.
Where else but New York City might you hear, among the cacophony of voices, someone reading a quote of the Bard off a plaque in one instant followed by someone else energetically arguing about something like sports the next?
But then, anything goes in New York City, as regular visitors know—and love—so well. Mostly, though, the Shakespeare Garden is a place of beauty and reflection. Among the most famous of the many similarly themed gardens worldwide, it covers this one covers 4 acres at West Side and 79th Street.
All About The Shakespeare Garden
At Shakespeare Garden, you can simultaneously learn about botany and the classics. You’ll find flowers and plants mentioned or alluded to in the plays of William Shakespeare. According to lore, a white mulberry tree in the gardens is the product of a graft from a tree planted by the poet himself.
You might find people talking sports as they stroll along the flowered paths, but mostly you’ll be among people interested in the related Shakespearian quotes on bronze plaques near each plant mentioned. You’ll find planted mentioned in – and quotes excerpted from – Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, Much Ado About Nothing and more.
The garden, created in the 1880s, originally was known as the Garden of Hearts. It was renamed in Shakespeare’s honor in 1916 to mark the 300th anniversary of the Bard’s death. It’s located near the Delacorte Theater, the open-air amphitheater home every summer to the acclaimed Shakespeare in the Park series.
Shakespeare Garden truly is a place of serenity, a place of temporary respite from the nonstop onslaught of vitality that is a vacation in Manhattan. And if you should encounter any disruption of serenity – hey, it is New York after all – simply offer the offending parties this plant-related quote from A Midsummer Night’s Dream:
“And, most dear actors, eat no onion nor garlic, for we are to utter sweet breath.”