Located an hour and a half from Warwick, Wethersfield Garden in Amenia, New York is well worth the visit. The garden is open to the public Friday-Sunday from noon-5pm and costs $5 per person. The price of admission is well worth it for the views alone. The garden sits 1000′ above sea level and has commanding views over the rolling countryside.
Wethersfield is formal, mostly a green garden with a clear axis. The structure is provided by evergreen hedges and topiary. Enormous weeping beeches have been trained into towering green pillars and provide a grand entrance to the European formal gardens beyond. Hostas, ferns, and statuary are the stars of this garden. This tranquil oasis is a Catholic religious retreat so don’t be surprised to see barefoot nuns basking in the sunlight.
Wethersfield Garden utilizes a restrained color palette and it’s mostly dominated by foliage. There are some very well trained climbing roses which are white and four urns full of fuchsias but aside from that, it’s about texture more than color.
The man who built the house and garden, Chauncey Devereux Stillman, converted to Catholicism late in life. His great grandfather founded what eventually became Citibank. Chauncey used his “green” to create and promote the practice of eco-friendly farming and to this day, the 1000 acre farm around the garden produces hay sustainably.
He was an avid art collector as well and amassed a substantial collection of works. Take a peek here: https://www.wethersfield.org/main-house
The location of this garden makes it truly idyllic. Once you come out of the formal green labyrinth you feel like you can breathe and there are stunning views in every direction. It’s a must see garden in the Hudson Valley.
Photos ©2019 by Mabelyn Glanzman