-- W.B. Yeats, "The Lake Isle of Innisfree" (1888)
"I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree"
On a cool, cloudy, October day, Duane and I visited beautiful Innisfree Garden at Millbrook, NY. We were on our way home from a brief get-away to New England--a wonderful trip with Innisfree as the perfect climax. This was the private garden of artist Walter Beck and his wife heiress Marion Burt Beck. They collaborated with landscape architect Lester Collins to create a garden with an Asian influence exemplified by the elements of water, stones, bridges, and plants. Walter Beck named the garden Innisfree after the island in an Irish loch immortalized by the poet, W.B. Yeats. From the moment we entered the grounds, we were in love with this serene place.
|As we approached the garden, we drove through a gate next to a lovely stone building; then traveled down a long, narrow, winding lane|
|Along the way we passed a small lake where Duane spotted turtles sunning themselves on a log. He took this picture of them.|
The centerpiece of Innisfree is the beautiful Tyrrel Lake, 40 acres in size. Water is pumped from this deep glacial lake into a hillside reservoir to feed the garden's water features.
|I took pictures of the lake from several spots as we went around it. Every view is stunning. |
There are bog gardens filled with water lilies. I would love to see them when the plants are blooming. The second one we saw had lotus that must be stunning in bloom.
|Bog Gardens. You can see the leaves of lotus in the picture on the right.|
As we walked beneath a sharp, vertical cliff, we saw mist rising above--small waterfalls flowed down the sheer cliff wall. The Mist Waterfall is one of the most dramatic sights at Innisfree. It looks very natural but its creation required an extremely elaborate construction.
|Some of the plants include, on the right, foxglove and columbine. The light green foliage on the left is primula.|
|Lip Rock Waterfall|
|We climbed the Stone Steps by Tiptoe Rock then I rested near the Stone Slab Bridge|
|I believe this is the Water Sculpture with the Hillside Cave at the top|
|Five pear trees in the Meadow with one vertical rock|
|On the edge of the Meadow, bees were visiting Joe Pye|
|One of the terraces with pools and streams|
There are many magnificent trees at Innisfree including ginko, hemlock, and pine.
|At first I thought this was a dawn redwood but its root's 'knees' show that it is a bald cypress. I wish my dawn redwood developed knees. Duane said that if it did he would paint faces on them.|
I have shown only a few of the areas we visited. Innisfree is a large garden (185 acres) that feels very open yet provides intimate spots called cup gardens. I feel that we need to make several visits to assimilate it all. It didn't help that I wasn't wearing walking shoes--this was a spur-of-the-moment visit. Most definitely we will return--I have to see Innisfree when the flowers are blooming.
Back at Astolat Gardens, my own dear venture, we have had more nasty storms with at least five inches of rain, plus very high winds. There has not been a frost yet but one is imminent. I plan to start putting the garden to bed over the coming week--never this late before.
|The Serenity Garden from the garden room window. The asters were flattened by the storms and the flagpole lies on the grass. The golden leaves of hosta and climbing hydrangea are pretty but wont be here much longer.|
I brought the houseplants inside. I placed some of them in the French window facing west and some in the south-facing dining-room window.
|The cactus on the right had quintuplets this summer--see below|
|Look at the five baby cacti. |
|A last view of the pond and herbaceous border before leaves fall and we put it to bed.|
|Fall arrived at Astolat at last|
Although this posting is not a full review of my October garden, I am still linking with Sarah, Down by the Sea, in Dorset, England for her Through the Garden Gate meme. To see my October blooms, please click HERE.
I can't believe tomorrow will be the first day of November--this year is passing faster than any other. They say the years pass quicker as you get older--well, that seems true since I am now an octogenarian. Thank you dear friends for the birthday wishes. My wonderful husband and children gave me a surprise party that I will never forget. It is gardening that keeps me young--I recommend it.
Have a great November!
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