What was once someone's private estate and 50 years in the making, the Innisfree Garden is open to the public for all to enjoy.
This garden is a hidden gem tucked away in the Hudson Valley and has earned the title as one of the "world's 10 best gardens."
And for those who have the chance to visit, it is no wonder why it was given that name.
Just an hour and a half drive up north of New York City to the town of Millbrook in Dutchess County, you'll find the 150-acre Innisfree Garden.
Walter and Marion Beck and Lester Collins
This garden was once an oasis to artists, Walter and Marion Beck up until 1960. And the landscape architect Lester Collins was the genius behind it all.
Walter Beck has always loved and been inspired by the works of Chinese poet, Wang Wei and with this, Lester Collins was able to incorporate some Chinese garden design principles into the garden which can be found throughout.
"Western gardens are usually designed to embrace a view of the whole. Little his hidden. The garden, like a stage set, is there in its entirety, its overall design revealed in a glance. The traditional Chinese garden is usually designed so that a view of the whole is impossible. [It] requires a stroll over serpentine, seemingly aimless arteries, The observer walks into a series of episodes, like Alice through the looking glass."
-Lester Collins, Innisfree: An American Garden (1994)
The gardens can be found around a 40-acre lake, a great background from any point of view in the garden. Some gardens are easier to find than others, but that is the beauty of it, it allows for more exploration.
As you progress through the garden, you'll notice that each "section/series" changes which Lester Collins describes as "… like Alice through the looking glass." And he was not wrong about this.
Each section showcases different compositions of water, rocks, trees, and plants, you'll be here for hours on end trying to locate all the beautiful masterpieces.
One visit to Innisfree is not enough to discover all this garden has to offer.
Especially with seating found around the park, you'll be compelled to enjoy nature to its fullest.
During COVID, reservation, and ticket purchases through their website are required ahead of time. In the past, you were able to come anytime within their hours of operations and stay, now reserving a time slot allows you to stay in that allotted timeframe.
But because of this, there are significantly fewer people around which allows for a more relaxing and enjoyable experience
Senior (65+): $5
Child (5-15): $5
Child (4 and under): $5
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