Students delighted after stumbling upon secluded Shakespeare Garden

The+Shakespeare+Garden%2C+tucked+between+the+Technological+Institute+and+the+Ford+Motor+Company+Engineering+Design+Center.+Despite+its+location+in+the+center+of+campus%2C+it+remains+hidden+to+many+NU+students+going+about+their+busy+lives.
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Students delighted after stumbling upon secluded Shakespeare Garden

The Shakespeare Garden, tucked between the Technological Institute and the Ford Motor Company Engineering Design Center. Despite its location in the center of campus, it remains hidden to many NU students going about their busy lives.

The Shakespeare Garden, tucked between the Technological Institute and the Ford Motor Company Engineering Design Center. Despite its location in the center of campus, it remains hidden to many NU students going about their busy lives.

Zinya Salfiti/Daily Senior Staffer

The Shakespeare Garden, tucked between the Technological Institute and the Ford Motor Company Engineering Design Center. Despite its location in the center of campus, it remains hidden to many NU students going about their busy lives.

Zinya Salfiti/Daily Senior Staffer

Zinya Salfiti/Daily Senior Staffer

The Shakespeare Garden, tucked between the Technological Institute and the Ford Motor Company Engineering Design Center. Despite its location in the center of campus, it remains hidden to many NU students going about their busy lives.

Haley Fuller, Reporter

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While trying to cut through campus on her way north, Medill sophomore Kyra Steck suddenly found herself lost in a garden, aglow with lights and surrounded by hedges. After seeing a small fountain in the middle, she realized that she had accidentally walked into the Shakespeare Garden.

“It felt like I stumbled on something I wasn’t supposed to find,” she said.

While Northwestern advertises the garden as a campus highlight, it’s not nearly as conspicuous as the Rock or Weber Arch. Instead, visitors need to hunt around for the 70-by-100 foot garden tucked away between the Technological Institute and the Ford Motor Company Engineering Design Center.

Despite its location in the center of campus, it remains hidden to many NU students going about their busy lives. Communication first-year Clay Lawhead was happy to stumble upon the garden on his way north one night.

“It made me stop and think and appreciate it,” he said.

The Garden Club of Evanston created the Shakespeare Garden in 1915, joining many similar gardens in the U.K. and U.S. built in honor of the 300th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death. Jens Jensen, a renowned Danish landscape architect who created multiple parks in and around Chicago, designed the garden, as well as the hotly contested Harley Clarke Mansion in Evanston. However, Northwestern’s Shakespeare Garden is one of the few formal gardens he designed.

Adding to its history, the garden was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1988 because the two hawthorn hedges ringing the garden are the originals, grown in France specifically for this Shakespeare Garden. Every plant and flower is mentioned in one of Shakespeare’s works with the goal of making it a true English garden where bees and butterflies come and go, said Cie Bond, the Garden Club of Evanston’s head coordinator of the Shakespeare Garden.

Bond has held her position for the Shakespeare Garden for four years and said she has loved her time at the helm.

“Working in the soil that you know a hundred years worth of women have cared (for) and loved is really incredible,” she said.

While it requires effort to find the garden, it takes even more work to maintain it. Bond said 40 of the Garden Club of Evanston’s members work five shifts in the garden every year, while four women meet twice weekly to plan and coordinate volunteer shifts. Every spring they plant new flowers, while in the fall they remove dead plants to put in bulbs.

Even though it’s a lot of work, Bond said working with the garden club has been a rewarding experience.

“I’ve learned so much working here,” she said. “I can’t even tell you what this garden has meant to me and what it’s brought to me as a mother, a woman, a gardener, a friend.”

Email: haleyfuller2022@u.northwestern.edu
Twitter: @haley_fuller_

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