"It's not that the place wasn't attractive, it just wasn't a Shakespeare Garden," campus horticulturist David Stoller told The Miscellany News, explaining his restoration of the Shakespeare Garden, planted by classes in Shakespeare and botany in 1916. Concerned about the condition of the campus grounds and plantings since his hiring in the fall of 1978, Stoller had pointed out not only the overgrowth of campus landmarks such as Noyes Circle and the Shakespeare Garde and the general lack of proper plant nourishment and drainage but also to damage done by people—and automobiles—taking shortcuts across the lawns, killing the grass and compacting the soil.  "Laziness," he had said, "can be highly destructive.... Trees and grass should not be killed and people should be expected to walk a few feet more."

Resigning his post in frustration in the spring of 1980, Stoller reversed his decision in the fall, bouyed by support from strudents, faculty, adminitrators and trustees. While starting a general program of restoration, he focused also on the Shakespeare Garden, removing its overgrown yews—they had, he said, literally outgrown their usefulness—and replacing them with smaller, boxwood hedges. Levelling the garden's lower beds, which had gradually become steeply sloped from erosion, Stoller added a terrace and a stone wall to the south, separating the garden from the adjacent Fonteyn Kill as a "termination point" for the garden.  As to the garden's original contents, Stoller noted, "A typical Shakespeare Garden would have at least 100 to 150 varieties of plants mentioned in Shakespeare's works or known during his ear.  At the stage I arrived only about a dozen of the plant varieties in the garden actually belonged there."

Davis Stoller's Shakespeare Garden project was scheduled for completion in the fall of 1981.