Campus’ hidden gem: The Shakespeare Garden

It’s as close to Eden as you can get at CU

If you’re walking to class from The Hill and you have some time, take the underpass by Starbucks, and then turn right. Walk straight until you see a line of bike racks on your left leading up to a gray and beige building overwhelmingly wrapped in a blanket of greenery. Turn left. You’ll walk toward an archway, and then find yourself at The Shakespeare Garden. Have you been here before? Most have passed through, but few students have stuck around to think, write, to just be amongst the beauty of it all.


The flowers are brighter this year than in the past. The leaves in the trees whistle along to the tune of the breeze. The sun creeps in and out, casting shadows, leaving no trace. Professors and their bags overflowing with essays wander through, occasionally stopping to greet a student. I couldn’t ask for a better place to sprawl out and let myself think and my mind wander without having to worry about judgmental eyes. What are the best parts of the Garden, you may ask?

The ever present shadows

On your paper, on your face, against the brick sides of the buildings encircling you. As the leaves begin to fall, there’s something eery about the shadows. It’s as if the trees are watching you as you scribble a story down in your journal based on the silly prompt your professor assigned.


The wooden bench at the far end of the Garden

It smells of old parchment and freshly mowed grass, even when the grass is clearly in need of some cutting. The stories written here stuck around, and I feel inspired just sitting in this bench where I’ve seen so many kids, cooler than I’ll ever be, sit before.


The transitioning leaves

Like I said, the leaves are beginning to fall, and when you wrap yourself tighter in your cozy cardigan and watch the leaves dance by as you meander through the garden, there’s a feeling that autumn is welcoming you back with open arms. You can smell the leaves, hear them crinkle under your toes. The leaves are the only things consistently moving besides our pens on papers and fingers on keyboards.


The eclectic people

Today, as I sat writing this, every spot was filled, and so I gladly perched upon the edge of one of the stone ledges surrounding the Garden. Girls walk barefoot under the summer sun. Boys lounge beside them, and we might as well be in Eden. Could you picture Romeo & Juliet here? I know I could.

The smell of the flowers as you walk into the Education Building

The wind is blowing, as per usual during these late summer days, right into your face. With the gust of air, the smell of the rose petals growing outside the double doors to the Education Building kiss you in the face. There’s no need to stop and smell the roses when they come to you.

The sound of footsteps on pavement, clicking on keyboards and the gentle hum of music from your neighbor’s headphones

You can just barely make out the quiet noses within the garden. If you listen closely, you might be able to hear the bee buzzing by the bushes nearby. Or maybe, the page turning in the hands of the boy stretched out on the bench a few feet away. The best part is, this isn’t Norlin, so you won’t catch anyone giving you a glaring look if you turn your volume up, stop to say ‘hello’ to a classmate, or need to aggressively scratch out a terrible line of poetry in your notebook.


Creativity abounds between the two sides of the two separate buildings, the arches, underneath the leaves turning soft shades of yellow and orange, and bouncing within the whispers of conversations between students and professors. There’s something magic within the Shakespeare Garden. Between the Education Building and Hellems, both stunning in their own right, the Garden holds our secrets, soothes our scattered thoughts and offers an escape unlike any other I’ve come across in Boulder.


University of Colorado Boulder