Shakespeare Garden

Parks are a bouquet of blossoming flowers, created by mankind, a tribute for his love for nature ~ Hints Of Life

Shakespeare Garden

The staircase leading to Shakespeare Garden at Central Park

The summer days in Central Park are marvelous and the sublime beauty of its surroundings is breathtaking. One often sees people looking for cool spots to spend time relaxing and enjoying their day in the company of nature. And I was ‘one’ among many others with the same idea – a cool, quiet spot for some ‘me’ time in the gorgeous summer afternoon.

Trying my luck and taking my chances I started walking around the park looking for that ideal spot. And who would have know, in the next 20 minutes I was standing in the Shakespeare Garden just as I passed through ‘The Swedish Cottage’. The Garden is nestled between Belvedere Castle and The Swedish Cottage. Known to be one of the most beautiful hidden gems in Central Park, this was a perfect spot for me to read my current book- Lady Almina and the real Downton Abbey and savor some delicious butter croissants and lemonade. For my readers who loved the Emmy Award-winning show Downton Abbey and were teary eyed as the show ended on December 25, 2015, this book is a great read. Based on real-life inspiration and setting, Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey tells the story behind Highclere Castle and the life of one of its most famous inhabitants, Lady Almina, the 5th Countess of Carnarvon. The book will take you into the real life of real characters.

Shakespeare Garden_3

The beautiful bench was my companion for the afternoon

Shakespeare Garden
Shakespeare gardens, created out of reverence for the bard, can be found throughout many locations in both the US and Britain. Of these gardens, one of the most famous is that found in Central Park, located on the West Side of the park and 79th street.

Formerly known as the Garden of the Heart, in 1916, the Garden was renamed the Shakespeare Garden to mark the 300th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death. Following in the tradition of already established Shakespeare Gardens, the Garden was filled with the beautiful plants and flowers mentioned in the works of the playwright, as well as those featured in his own private garden in Stratford-upon-Avon.

Sitting on the lovely bench in the Garden (as shown in the second picture) I relished the sweet smell of the roses around me. Quiet, peaceful and quaint the other occupants in the Garden were a few couples, and some pass byers. As I walked around the garden I identified some flowers like Catmint and Annabelle Hydrangea.

The Garden covers four acres of plants that change according to season. Included among these are plants such as rosemary and pansies, alluded to by Ophelia in Hamlet, thistle, mentioned in the play Much Ado About Nothing, and even a white mulberry tree that is said to have grown from a graft of a tree planted by Shakespeare himself in 1602. To aid you in your quest to identify the various species of plant life located within the space, bronze plaques with corresponding quotations from Shakespeare’s plays have been placed sporadically along the path. The Garden is located near the Delacorte Theatre, the site of the annual “Shakespeare in the Park” series held in the summer. Anyone visiting Central Park in the summer, Shakespeare in the Park is highly recommend, a must watch.

Due to its serene and romantic atmosphere, the Garden is also a popular spot for wedding ceremonies which you might witness while visiting the Garden on a Sunday afternoon.

Hey New Yorkers, so is ‘Shakespeare Garden’ the next Sunday spot for you? Do share your comments below.

About Shakespeare Garden

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Sparkling sunset

View a sunset as it were the first sunset of your life. ~ Hints Of Life

Sunset @Riverside

Sunset shimmer and twilight sparkle,
the life in her eyes, a reflection of her soul,
peering through the sparkling water,
her gaze mindful, as if in a hypnotic state

scents of musk and lavender filled the air,
her sensuous kohl eyes smiling softly,
her thoughts deepened, reminding her of all,
joyful times as a child

sunset shimmer and twilight sparkle,
she imagined playing peek a boo with her best friend,
under the Tuscan sky,
the delight of summer in their eyes

a delicate love,
she gazed at the sunset, just a little longer this time,
a prayer escape her lips slowly,
she yearned and wished,
the joy of love to touch her once again

Northern Cardinal

Some days,
sing a song to your heart, to your soul
Some days,
sing a song to nature, because nature is a remarkable listener. ~ Hints Of Life

Path @ Central Park Conservancy

As I stepped inside Central Park after nearly four weeks, I saw the spell of Spring everywhere. The entire park was lush green, radiant like an ancient forest. The tall umber-green trees hovered over me all around.  In moments, I realized, how much I had missed the park, the quiet walks through the serene, abundant natural beauty. A gush of happiness, smile on my lips and the feeling of witnessing pure ‘Magic’ filled me as I stared into the greenery. Just staring into nature can be so soothing to one’s eyes. And inhaling the fresh, organic smells in the park can be a complete therapeutic experience for the senses.

Standing near the Conservatory Water  mid way in the park I could only think of one word ‘Wondrous’. It’s amazing how the same place in the park can feel so magical and different every time you visit. Like the Central Park Conservancy, my current most favorite part of the park. A friend of mine said to me once and I quote him here  ‘It’s like watching the same place, the same surroundings but with different eyes’. Two months ago I was in awe of the naked trees and open, wide landscape and today I see every corner lush green.

My adventure didn’t end here, just steps away from me I spotted a male Northern Cardinal dancing and doodling on the foliage behind some branches at the Conservancy. Probably searching for seeds and insects under the foliage. It was such a sight to watch him. Sometimes he disappeared behind the branches and other times made his presence felt completely as if playing hide and seek. He was so delightful and irresistible, I captured the detectable bird with tinge of red all over him in my camera – sealing the moment for ever.

@ Central ParkNorthern Cardinal
The Northern Cardinal nests year around in Central Park. These birds are a perfect combination of familiarity, conspicuousness, and style in the park: a shade of red you can’t take your eyes off. Even the brown females sport a sharp crest and warm red accents. Cardinals don’t migrate and they don’t molt into a dull plumage, so they’re still breathtaking in winter snow. In summer, their sweet whistles are one of the first sounds of the morning.

Cardinals usually raise two broods of young in a year. Unlike most Northern songbirds the female also sings, often from the nest, what may be a call to her mate. Cardinal pairs have song phrases that they share. If you carefully listen to them on the first sunny days on late winter, you may hear sounds like ‘Cheer, cheer, cheer’ or a short ‘Chink’ sound.

@ Central Park1Central Park is home to umpteen species of birds. In my research I found that since the creation of Central Park, more than 280 bird species have been recorded, 192 are regular visitors or year-round residents and over 88 are infrequent or rare visitors. Isn’t it so fascinating? Considered as one of the best birding spots in the United States, the park attracts birders from all over the world. The park also provides guided bird watching tours in Spring and Fall.

So, do you feel pepped-up to sign-up for a bird watching tour at Central Park soon? Do share your thoughts in the comments section.



Azure, the color of tranquility is the color of nature. ~ Hints Of Life

Azure Manhattan Skyline

The wind blew past her like a song from heaven,
kissing her softly, gently like hands as they caress,

her soft hazel eyes gazing at the evening sky,
the clouds painted a many shades of blue,
her inner voice exclaimed, why did I never before notice- the clouds could be like this,

like the sky is the sea and the clouds are the souls of happy ships, sunk long ago,
she said aloud again, why didn’t I notice?
since then blue became her most beloved color,
and as far as her childhood memories go,
azure has been her favorite color forever and ever.



When there is calm within oneself, even the thorns appear harmless. ~ Hints Of Life


After a bleak rainy Saturday, the sun shone like a lady dressed in gold on Sunday morning. The Upper West Side was glowing under its golden rays depicting a beautiful Spring day.  The nature’s color added much serenity to the atmosphere. The feeling of bliss enrobed me from inside out. As much as I want to dwell on the beautiful, sunny Sunday, it would be unfair to totally forget the rain drenched Saturday.

Languorously, I starred at the rain, which was coming down in heavy sheets since early Saturday morning, and continued throughout the day. After much contemplation, I decided to stay home and enjoy the rain vicariously through the huge south-west facing  windows in my living room. It was a day to savor on a large mug of hot-chocolate and read my current favorite book, A House Somewhere: Tales of life abroad. Beautifully written the book includes original contributions by Isabel Allende, Jan Morris, and Simon Winchester (A good recommendation for readers who appreciate travel writing).

…I know well the delectable thrill of moving into a new house somewhere altogether else, in somebody else’s county, where the climate is different, where the mundane preoccupations of life at home don’t seem to apply and it is even fun to go shopping – Jan Morris.

My favorite lines from the book so far. I even went ahead and clipped it on my ‘Thoughts’ board in a colorful handwriting. I like to write down anything that inspires me or is plain beautiful. Because you never know when these words would uplift your sprits any given day, inspiring you to do something more with your life. I read and read for most of the day and the profound words transported me to many different destinations, giving my imagination wings to fly like the Blackpoll Warbler. A tiny, gorgeous bird that makes the longest overwater journey of any songbird, flying nearly 1,800 miles nonstop over the Atlantic Ocean to its wintering grounds every year. Isn’t that outstanding?

When I read such courageous stories, my belief in harmony (within oneself) and self-belief becomes stronger than ever before. As Sallust rightly said,  Harmony makes small things grow, lack of it makes great things decay.




Eastern redbud

If we surrendered
to earth’s intelligence
we could rise up rooted, like trees. Rainer Maria Rilke

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Golden sunset

I stand alone like the cherry tree
shining in the shadow of the sunset
radiant in its beauty like a diamond


Watching the sunset is a profound moment for me and I do takeout time everyday (almost) to gaze at the spectacle of color in the sky that lasts for a few minutes before it fades away. Living in the West where winter is long and brutal there can be many days when the sun doesn’t show at all. So, it becomes even more important for people here to be out in the sun when it does appear. But the upside of living in the West is the many breath-taking sunsets that one witnesses as the days get longer in spring and summer.

Nonetheless, as a sun worshipper I don’t need much deliberation to be in its company. I always have ready reasons to be out in nature. Moreover, research shows that the psychological effects of admiring the sunset may persist long after the color has faded. Admiring the sunset helps boost ones well-being, increase levels of happiness and enhance life satisfaction. The key is to actively engage with the experience. To reap the rewards of the sunset, you need to stop whatever else you’re doing and really notice and appreciate the show in the sky.


The five reasons to gaze at the sunset:

Makes you feel at peace:
No matter how tough your day went or how exhausted you feel, spending a few minutes gazing at the sunset will make you feel at peace with yourself and others. You will look forward to a new, fresh day tomorrow.

Doesn’t cost a cent:
I believe watching the sunset is the most romantic date with your love or just by yourself. And the best part is it doesn’t cost you a cent. To make it an even more beautiful experience you can bring along a bottle of wine and savor the myriad hues in the sky.

Enhances your emotional well-being:
It is a know fact that people who live close to nature are happier and more emotionally secured. Especially people who spend time appreciating the beauty of nature. And what can be a better way then enjoying the sunset.

Makes you mindful:
It gives you a chance to be mindful and live in the moment which is otherwise quite difficult. And in time you would realize, admiring the sunset has become a routine. Isn’t that an amazing addition to an otherwise busy life.

Mindfulness is bringing one’s complete attention to the present experience on a moment-to-moment- basis. According to Perspectives on Psychological Science study, mindfulness is “the nonjudgmental awareness of experiences in the present moment” and has been proven to have significant psychological and physical benefits, including stress reduction and improved cognitive functioning. Gazing at the sunset is one of the best ways to practice mindfulness.

Allows you to multi-task in a healthy way:
Some days I like to run in the park as the sun begins to hid behind the horizon. I take a few minutes to simply look at the setting sun, relishing its beauty, as I perform a few stretching exercise. Other days I like to stand upright in a Mountain Pose and simply gaze at the beautiful sunset, slowly inhaling the fresh air through my nose and exhaling it through my mouth.

Don’t miss a sunset because every sunset is gorgeous and different!


Sunset- Riverside

On the green patch of grass she sat, by the Hudson river
admiring the sunset, a zillionth time
among many thoughts that captured her conscious,

the most profound of all, or she did rather call it a desire,
to fly like a bird in the sky,
peering through the myriad hues of the setting sun,

kissing goodbye to the soft yellows and orange
before night sets in and stars sparkle

Spring pink

Words fall short to describe the essence of Spring, its fragrance in every breath!

Pink flowers2

Kwanzan flowering cherry

Spring came suddenly, bursting upon the world, as a child bursts into a room, with a laugh and a shout, and hands full of flowers, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Such our my feelings these days. A dazzling pink Kwanzan cherry tree greets me everyday, just as I step out of the house. As a rule, I stand by its side admiring it for a few long minutes before getting on with my routine. One can’t do much other than be in awe of its beauty. And I confess, I’m totally mesmerized by its existence. Like beginning of young love, that feels inseparable, eternal.

Sometimes as I stand there, the huge cluster-like carnation blossoms swing to and fro with the breeze. It is such a sight to watch the deep pink double flowers swinging. One can feel the pure joy of its existence.

Pink flowers1

Huge clusters of carnation- like blossoms

Kwanzan Flowering Cherry
Also called a Japanese flowering cherry, Kwanzan  is easily one of the most dazzling and showiest of all cherry trees. The blooms are a clear pink, double flower. While still in bloom Kwanzan will start to grow young bronze leaves. And as summer progresses the leaves will settle into a glossy light green with a slight red tinge making it a wonderful shade tree as well.

Kwanzan is one of the hardiest and easiest to grow flowering trees. It grows rapidly to a height of 20-30 feet, loves full sun and will thrive mostly in any soil. Planted around a deck or patio the Kwanzan cherry tree creates an enchanting outdoor living space.

Pink flowers

Bloom where you are planted

Positively stunning in spring, the tree will be around for weeks. The deep pink color, and twice as many blooms as any other cherry tree, Kwanzan cherry adds a lot of character to any street, garden or patio.

As I look at the marvelous creation of nature everyday, it feels like nature is singing and dancing once again. And I too want to dance to it’s tune now and forever.


Yoshino Cherry Blossom

Her laughter makes my heart blossom. All I aspire is, to spend time in her companionship.

Cherry Blossoms at Central Park

Yoshino Cherry Blossom tree at Central Park

A lovely spring afternoon, and I was meeting a friend for lunch at Quality Italian, Midtown West. A delicious meal and lots of talking and laughter. It was more than a perfect afternoon for me but it didn’t just finish there. After goodbyes (for the next five minutes) with promises to catch up soon, I had some time on me before taking on the worldly duties again.

There were two things on my mind coffee and a spring afternoon walk through Central Park. So, I got myself a cappuccino from Zebetto (one of my favorite café around the area) and made my way through the streets to Central Park’s entrance at 6 avenue.

Cherry Blossoms at Central Park 1

The secret of life is that there are no secrets. Life is always showing itself. Byron Katie

Yoshino Cherry 
Yoshino Cherry is a very popular ornamental cherry tree found in plenty at Central Park. If you happen to visit the Park now, from mid to late April you would see the first buds of these trees typically blossoming before any other tree in the park.

Before the leaves appear on the Yoshino Cherry trees, pale pink flowers emerge in clusters of five or six (as seen in the pictures). Then as the leaves begin to grow on the tree, they first appear in bronze color and later as the summer approaches the same leaves turn into a darker green.

Cherry Blossoms at Central Park 2

Only from the heart can you touch the sky. Rumi

It is said, ‘the perfect blossom is a rare thing. You can spend your life looking for one and it would not be a wasted life’ Katsumoto, The Last Samurai. Such were my feelings as I stood in front of the irresistibly gorgeous Yoshino Cherry tree. A feeling so overwhelming, as I was a little teary eyed but could not reason it why.

Surprisingly, it wasn’t just me. After gaining my composure I noticed that a few steps to my right were two teenage boys mumbling something to one another. They went around, closer to the branches that were leaning towards the earth to get a close look at the pale pink flowers. It was truly a mesmerizing sight as the branches had lots of flowers. They stood there for some time simply gazing at the blossoms before biding adieu to the beautiful tree. Though strangers, our joy was the same.

When you see people just like you appreciating the beauty of nature, it is a divine feeling.

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