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Posts Tagged ‘Rose garden’

Powerscourt House and Gardens is located in the scenic Wicklow Mountains of County Wicklow, Ireland.  It is one of the most well-maintained country estates in Ireland.  A castle was built there by 1300 and was inhabited by several historically significant Irish families.  In the 1600’s, the castle was transformed into the manor house that we see today.  Unfortunately in the 1970’s, a fire gutted the entire house except for the exterior stonework.  A restoration project began in 1996 to repair the house.  Currently there is a new roof and the main rooms of the downstairs have been restored for use as shops, a cafe and historical display.

The gardens of Powerscourt have been worked upon in two main phases.  The first, in the mid 1700’s, involved the gardens of the main lawn and a wooded trail around the perimeter.  In the mid 1800’s work commenced again with a re-drawing of the designs to include Italian and Japanese-themed gardens. It takes about an hour to meander the exterior pathway through 200 year old tree groves, explore the circles of the Japanese gardens, climb the decorative castle tower overlooking the property, and stop to smell the roses.

In typical estate gardening, the more formal gardens are closer to the house while the more wild, free flowing gardens create the outer border.  The Irish environmental conditions, similar to England with lots of rain and minimal temperature extremes, are extremely conducive to creating amazing gardens.

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Considering the fact that all ornamental plant species in this intimate beach community floated over the Great South Bay on a barge or ferry to settle into their new homes, Fire Island Pines features some stunning private gardens. One of my favorites sits at the corner of Ocean and Tarpon Walk. This floriferous garden is filled with a divine mixture of perennials which saturate the front of the house with a bouquet of living color all summer long.

Fire Island Garden at Ocean and Tarpon Walk

Velvety Gladiolas in deep magenta mixed with a top performing annual, Verbena bonariensis, was a successful and unusual combination I found in the garden this past weekend. Patches of Perovskia atriplicifolia (Russian Sage), Cotinus coggygria (Smokebush), Rudbeckia fulgida (Black-eyed Susan), Monarda didyma (Bee Balm) and Buddleia davidii (Butterfly Bush) grace this garden with a rainbow of hues.

A Bouquet of Living Color

Deer Fences are Necessary for Any Garden on Fire Island

Complete with a separate rose garden and deer fence to keep out hungry critters, this garden is a labor of love. It is well worth a trip to walk by this garden throughout the season to see what’s in bloom. The house and the owners are just as beautiful as this patch of land they curate.

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Jay Gould’s Gothic revival home, Lyndhurst, is perched along the eastern hillside of the Hudson river in Irvington New York. Crafted of Limestone, the interiors feature walls and ceilings painted in faux finishes that resemble marble, tiles and rich woodwork. This style of decor was considered lavish at the time.

Jay Gould's Lyndhurst Mansion on the Hudson River

Mr. Gould was a man of great fortune as evidenced by his privately chartered boat he would ride from this weekend home to and from Manhattan. Though he was despised by many and survived attempted murders, he did have the vision to create a phenomenal glass house on his property along with a magnificent rose garden which is still cared for. The other formal gardens once enjoyed by the neighbors and friends  of the Gould family are no longer in existence.

The Gould Children's Playhouse Sits at the Bottom of the Hill By the Hudson

Today the grounds around this mansion are not well cared for. Though it claims to have specimen trees, as I strolled through the property I wanted to call up my arborist for an emergency visit. The home’s name comes from the Linden trees (Tilia cordata) which are dotted around the property.

The Remains of a Fountain in the Once Glorious Glasshouse

The glass house was manufactured by Lord and Burnham company of Irvington, NY and is dated to 1881. The extravagant structure featured 14 separate rooms for palms, grape vines, orchids and other tropical plant collections. Cared for by a staff of 15 full time gardeners, the cast and wrought iron glass house was a symbol of decadence.

The Gould Family Rose Garden at Lyndhurst

Roses Trained on Arches Form a Circular Pattern

The Gould’s rose garden is nice to see, but is not worth visiting for the property alone. I recommend visiting on a nice afternoon in May and then going next door to visit Washington Irving’s beautiful cottage, Sunnyside. The contrast in taste and style of the home and grounds is fascinating. Read more about Lyndhurst here.

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