5 Public Gardens to Visit This Spring
Gardens brighten the heart as much as they brighten the landscape. Lucky for us, the Valley is rich in these beautiful oases. Here is just a sampling.
Garden Photo Courtesy of Friends of Clermont
1. Clermont State Historic Site
1 Clermont Ave, Germantown
This 500-acre estate offers stunning views of the Hudson River from the South Spring Garden, Italian-inspired floral designs within the Walled Garden, and a fish pond as the centerpiece of the Wilderness Garden. Guided tours and hiking trails are also available.
Season: April 13-October 31.
Admission fee: gardens, free; house, $7.
2. Locust Grove
2683 South Rd, Poughkeepsie
This 200-acre estate showcases an Italianate villa designed in 1851 for artist/inventor Samuel Morse. The historic 20th-century mansion features Hudson River School paintings and early 19th-century American furniture; a permanent exhibit explores Morse's careers as an artist and inventor. Visitors can learn about fruits and vegetables that used to be grown on the estate at the Heritage Vegetable Garden. There's also a half-acre ornamental garden with the largest collection of peonies in the area.
Season: gardens, grounds, visitors center and museum, year-round; mansion tours, weekends in April, daily May 1-October 31.
Admission fee: grounds/garden, free; mansion, $11.
3. Boscobel House and Gardens
1601 NY-9D, Garrison
Visitors may follow the brick path through this 60-acre property, which leads to herb gardens, an extraordinary rose garden, and the front lawn, which offers views of the Hudson River.
Season: April 15-October 31.
Admission fee: gardens and grounds, $11 adults, $5 children; House, garden, & exhibit, $17 adults, $8 children.
4. Stonecrop Gardens
81 Stonecrop Lane, Cold Spring
The entire 60-acre property includes woodland and water gardens, raised alpine stone beds, cliff rock gardens, and a breathtaking enclosed English-style flower garden. The Conservatory, which is included in the admission price, displays greenhouses of alpines, tropicals, and succulents.
Season: April 2-October 31.
Admission: $10 adults, $5 children.
5. Untermyer Gardens Conservancy
945 N Broadway, Yonkers
The Walled Garden is just one of the magnificent aspects that this 43-acre City of Yonkers park has to offer. With an amphitheater and large reflecting pool filled with goldfish and koi, the garden also features Japanese hollies and colorful tulips bordering the area during the spring. Take a walk down the stairs of The Vista to a breathtaking view of the Hudson. In the 40 years that Samuel Untermyer owned the property (from 1899 until his death), it was considered one of the most celebrated gardens in America.
Season: open year-round, but optimal viewing is from April to October.
The Secret Gardens
The Garden Conservancy, a national group whose aim is to preserve American gardens for perpetual enjoyment, arranges Open Days each year to showcase special private gardens. Visitors buy tickets, then receive maps of where to visit the properties. Here are select Open Days for the Hudson Valley:
Columbia County: May 5; June 9 & 24; July 29; August 11 & 18
Dutchess County: May 12; June 16, 23 & 30; July 7 & 21; September 22; October 13
Greene County: August 4
Putnam County: June 10
Ulster County: June 24; September 23
Westchester County: April 29; May 19; June 17; July 21 & 29; September 9.