A (Free) Visit To A Secret Garden

Established in 1911, The Beatrix Farrand Garden, hidden away on the Bellefield Mansion in Hyde Park, NY near the historic home of FDR (Franklin Delano Roosevelt) is a “testament to the efforts of a dedicated group of modern gardeners and the stewardship of the National Park Service“.

Beatrix Farrand, cousin of the Thomas Newbold, was employed to design and implement the hardscape and garden between 1911 and 1912 as a Spring and Autumn seasonal family garden, privately enclosed but giving movement and inclusivity to outside wild plantings, trees, and the property beyond. It was enjoyed later by Newbold descendents, the Morgan Family, who left the property in the 1970s and the garden was unmaintained until 1993 when a group of local citizens recognized the significance of the landscape and began an effort to bring the garden back to life.

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Acquired by the Federal government in 1976, the Bellefield Mansion is an elegant 18th century house remodeled by famed architects McKim, Mead and White for Sen. Thomas and Sarah Newbold between 1909 and 1911. It now serves as the regional headquarters for the National Park Service, which manages three sites in Hyde Park: the adjacent Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Eleanor Roosevelt’s Val-Kill, and the Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site, and also the Martin Van Buren National Historic Site in Kinderhook, NY.

Admission is free. Chalk that up to a continuation of our No-Spend June. Here’s a little video I made of our trip to the Beatrix Farrand Garden today. Enjoy:

 

 

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