Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Shakespeare Garden in Plainfield, NJ

From May 2010 photos

One of the great things about local libraries is that they collect marvelous local treasures. Recently, I wrapped up a re-processing project on just one of those treasures. The collection I refoldered, rearranged, and documented was the Plainfield Garden Club's records. Along with the well-used files I processed, the collection includes photos, slides, and scrapbooks detailing the activities of these talented and dedicated home and civic gardeners dating back to 1915. If you're interested in more details of the club, here's the finding aid.

Within the records researchers can find the history of the famed Shakespeare Garden in Cedar Brook Park. I had the great fortune of spending Mondays with these documents, sifting through the meeting minutes and treasurer's reports until I almost felt that one of these garden ladies (who all referred to each other as Mrs. Husband's-Name-Here) would walk through the Local History doorway and invite me to tea.

It seemed only right that I should pay my respects to at least one of their civic works.

From May 2010 photos

It's a lovely little garden, still well tended, at one end of a sprawling local park. My fellow library volunteer, historic Plainfield resident, and schoolmate, Michelle was kind enough to accompany me on a visit last week. It was a bit early in the garden's season, but we saw the beginnings of what promises to be some lovely blooms.

From May 2010 photos

The garden features all the flowers, herbs, and plants referred to in the famed Bard's works. Alas, we were a bit early for the roses, but we did see these bluebells.

From May 2010 photos

Like many English gardens, the shapes of the beds were maintained impeccably.

From May 2010 photos

I knew a few of the plants and flowers, but not these. Anyone know? They were growing under a tree, so I assume they tend to be found in part shade.

From May 2010 photos

Some very fragrant purple sage.

From May 2010 photos

If you decide to visit the Shakespeare Garden in Plainfield, do continue walking through the park. You will happen upon a lovely little pond, here and there sprinkled with irises at the edges.

From May 2010 photos



Flowers said...

Very Beautiful. A walk around your garden could get you into a very nice frame of mind!

info said...

Debra: Thank you so much for this lovely entry on our garden. Please advise your readers that in addition to the garden itself, we love visitors to our website www.plainfieldgardenclub.org There is a lot of Plainfield history stored on the site and of course, we always welcome comments, memories and questions.

With much appreciation --
The Ladies of the Plainfield Garden Club

PS The plant you photographed is European Ginger. It has since been transplanted between the picket fence and the sidewalk. We are renovating that bed to its original Olmsted design which did not include the non-Shakespearean Ginger.

Deb Schiff said...

Thanks so much, Ladies! I appreciate your help.