Shakespeare Garden in Evanston, Illinois is a Shakespeare garden on the campus of Northwestern University. Planned in 1915 and built from 1916 to 1929, the garden was the first Shakespeare Garden in the United States. The Shakespeare Garden was a gift of the Garden Club of Evanston in 1920.
The flowers, shrubs, trees and herbs in the garden are mentioned in Shakespeare’s writings and are varieties best suited to the garden’s location and Midwestern climate. Among the more than 50 plants that can be planted are rosemary, lavender, thyme, hyssop, rue, lemon balm, columbine, old roses, ox-eye daisy, anemone, daffodil, pansy, poppy, nasturtium and marigolds. Parsley, holly, ivy, mint and peonies are also allowed.
The eight-bed garden is hidden from view by a double wall of hawthorn hedges. The 70- by 100-foot plot of land was established in 1915 when it became a project of The Garden Club of Evanston members because of wartime sympathy for our British allies and to commemorate the 300th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. It was a way to celebrate the ties between England and America.
The Shakespeare Garden still contains most of the original hawthorns that were started from seed in France and which form the formal garden’s base. The hawthorns are the reason the Shakespeare Garden was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988.
Credit: Overview from the Garden Club of Evanston website