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"Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate,
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date".(Shakespeare…Sonnet 18)
or the perennial favorite: What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.
Romeo and Juliet (2.2.45-7)
I am sitting on the lone teak wood bench in the 'Shakespeare Garden' located in a corner of the Brooklyn Botanic garden, New York and am reminded of college Literature lessons. William Shakespeare used flowers and plants as metaphors in his writings and the Garden is a green tribute to the Bard of Elizabethan England.
The English cottage garden with a fountain, a flagstone path and a lone teak wood bench, flaunts nearly 80 species of flowers and herbs mentioned in Shakespeare's plays and sonnets. The plants are labeled with Shakespearean or common names, special quotations and graphic descriptions and in the profusion I recognize poppies, parsley, daisies and the garlic plant: everyday plants infused with literary qualities.
The original Garden was funded in 1925 by Henry C. Folger, founder of the ‘Folger Shakespeare Library’ in Washington, D.C., and his wife Emily. The Garden was relocated to its existing site, near the Fragrance Garden and the Celebrity Path, in 1979 to give it more space to blossom.