Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Shakespeare Garden Undergoes Renovations

Grant awards are fueling improvements to one of Plainfield’s stellar attractions, the Shakespeare Garden in Cedar Brook Park.

A $3,000 grant from a division of the Garden Club of America and a September 2009 grant of $7,250 from the Plainfield Foundation are funding improvements including a new picket fence, a new boulder retention wall, a new pergola and many new plantings.

The Olmsted-designed park echoes Shakespeare Gardens around the world that feature plants mentioned in works of the Bard. For the renovation, Plainfield Garden Club members, who maintain the garden, studied hundreds of plant mentioned in Shakespeare’s work to come up with selections for the garden’s renewal.

On Wednesday (April 7, 2010), staff from Union County could be seen improving the grounds, erecting the new pergola and cleaning up the site. Plainfield Garden Club members were busy weeding and preparing planting beds.

Incoming president Mandy Zachariades said it was in her first week as a member that she noticed the main crossbeam of the old pergola was completely cracked, necessitating its removal for safety reasons. The new construction will feature a composite, rot-proof material that should last indefinitely.

The old pergola was covered in Trumpet Vine, not a Shakespearean species, but the new one will be planted with vines of Eglantine Rose, Honeysuckle and Hops, all mentioned in Shakespeare's works.

On June 5, the Plainfield Garden Club will host a “Shakespeare in Bloom” event beginning at 10 a.m. It will be a “working day” where members, guests and the community will install both hundreds of new plants along with annuals grown from seed by members.

Zachariades said the knot garden will feature boxwood, lavender and lilies and the club will plant poppies to “blanket the garden.”

Cedar Brook Park is on the National Register of Historic Places and so is the Shakespeare Garden, in a separate nomination.

Zachariades urged attendance on June 5, saying, “”You’re going to see a lot.”

Click on to learn more about the group and its work.

--Bernice Paglia


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