Across from busy Cambridge Common and a short walk from Harvard Square is a step-down space with a bubbling fountain, and a mossy, secluded upper level. Hidden behind a four-foot-tall stone wall, this tranquil place is a lunchtime retreat for some and a place to read for others. In late May it is the setting for the Children’s Theatre performance at Harvard’s Arts’ First celebration.
Abutting Radcliffe Yard and the Harvard Graduate School of Education, the garden was built over a number of years by the grounds’ staff following no single recorded plan. It underwent a major renovation in 2008 by Landscape Artists Stephen Stimson Associates. According to Stimson’s site, “The expanded garden plantings now extend the blooming seasons from early spring until late October and incorporate a large area of native shade loving perennials and ground covers.”
Young and old travel from near and far to the Radcliffe sunken garden to sit and enjoy this splendid oasis in the city.