While checking out a map of Golden Gate Park to find the Conservatory of Flowers, I saw something on the map that has never made it to my list of things to do in San Francisco — the Shakespeare Garden. And, because we’ve pretty much done and seen everything else there is to do in Golden Gate Park, I felt compelled to check it out.
Located in Golden Gate Park, Shakespeare Garden is a themed garden featuring the plants and flowers mentioned within the works of William Shakespeare.
With more than 200 flowers and plants in the garden, I expected to see a lot of flowers and a lot of color, especially in May. But there weren’t many flowers at all. There were a couple of planters with spring blooms near the ornate entrance gate, but the entire rest of the garden was just lined with green shrubbery and trees.
While the garden is a semi-secret, beautiful, quiet escape from the hustle and bustle of Golden Gate Park, and totally perfect for a picnic, I was sort of disappointed.
For a “Garden of Shakespeare’s Flowers,” there just weren’t many flowers.
About The Shakespeare Garden
While the garden paying tribute to the flowers of William Shakespeare is often called Shakespeare Garden, the California Spring Blossom and Wildflower Association originally established it as the Garden of Shakespeare’s Flowers.
When you step inside the entrance gate, you’ll find a shady path of brick under a canopy of trees with a sundial on display. To the left you’ll find a display documenting the plants in the garden and throughout the garden there are bronze plagues engraved with notable quotations accompany the floral arrangements.
Several benches are spread out in the Garden of Shakespeare’s Flowers and and at the back of the garden, placed center stage in a brick wall, is a bust of William Shakespeare.
Know Before You Go
- The Garden of Shakespeare’s Flowers is located at Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and Middle Drive East not too far from the Japanese Tea Garden and the San Francisco Botanical Garden at Strybing Arboretum.
- It can be a little difficult to find the garden because it sits directly behind the deYoung Museum, but there are signs on the trail directing visitors to the garden entrance.
- If you’re looking for a quiet, semi-private, uncrowded spot for a picnic in Golden gate Park, look no further. Shakespeare Garden with only a small entrance under an iron arch, is out of the way and one of the more secret spots in the park.
- With a history dating back to 1928, the garden was the brainchild of Alice Eastwood, who served as the long-running director of botany for the Academy of Sciences. Inside the garden, a stone bench was placed in her honor, located close to the back of the grounds.