Shakespeare Garden – San Francisco, California - Atlas Obscura

Shakespeare Garden

A garden oasis filled with flowers mentioned in the works of William Shakespeare.  


Established in 1928, this garden pays homage to the plants featured throughout Shakespeare’s many literary works. The garden was originally conceived by Alice Eastwood, the former Director of Botany at the Academy of Sciences. Around 200 flowers featured across the garden are found in the pages of Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets. The garden’s many benches are frequently used for picnics and reading. Along the back wall of the garden, visitors can find a few quotes from the famous author.

Depending on the time of year, visitors will be treated to a vast array of flowers, including daisies, lilies, poppies, roses, and violets. Interspersed among all the floral patches are citations from Shakespeare’s various comedies, sonnets, and tragedies. Such as: 

“I have seen roses damask’d, red and white,But no such roses see I in her cheeks…”Sonnet 130

Besides the sundial at the center of the garden, the only other fixture is a bust of the bard himself, William Shakespeare. It’s said that this is only one of two in existence. 

Know Before You Go

The garden is next to the California Academy of Sciences and is easily accessible from Nancy Pelosi Dr., Martin Luther King Jr. Dr., or via the path next to the science museum.

Springtime, especially the month of April, is the best time to visit. The flowers should be in full splendor and the crabapple trees, which border the center of the garden, will be in blossom.

Note that access may be denied, as the garden is advertised as a wedding venue.

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October 5, 2019

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