Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Early Fall at Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park - Long Island

I recently had the pleasure of an early fall visit to Planting Fields Arboretum in late September.  Planting Fields Arboretum is a Gold Coast Era Estate located on the North Shore of Long Island.  First built in 1904 by prominent New Yorker James Bryne, Planting Fields was purchased as a spring country home by William Robertson Coe and his wife Mary "Mai" Huttleston Coe in 1913.  After Mai's death in 1924, Mr Coe remarried and remained in residence with his wife Caroline Graham Slaughter and his four children until his death in 1955.  At that time the property was deeded to the State of New York and Caroline remained in the Manor House until her death in 1960. Planting Fields now exists as a historical landmark.
Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park Japanese Pagoda Tree

Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park Grounds

Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park Grounds
As you enter the 409 acre park a vast great lawn with majestic trees is within view.  Hues of golds and oranges are appearing early this year as it is just turning to fall.
Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park Grounds

Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park Coe Hall

Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park Coe Hall
The main residence Coe Hall is a 65 room Tudor-Revival Style mansion developed by Walker & Gillette replacing an earlier Queen Anne Style house that burned in 1918.  An outdoor living area was created by the terraces and arches seen here that lead to the Italian Garden nearby.
Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park Coe Hall

Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park Coe Hall (View from Back Lawn)

European Beech Tree (Fagus sylvatica)  Approximately 100 years old
Many mature Beech Trees exist at Planting Fields Arboretum.  For a little bit of history...In 1915 two gigantic beeches from Fairhaven Massachussetts, the childhood home of Mary “Mai” Huttleston Coe, were ferried across the Long Island Sound to Planting Fields.  Only one of the trees possessing a 30 foot wide root ball survived the journey and  lived until 2006.  The legend of the tree lives on today as seedlings were collected from the "Fairhaven Beech" from 2000-2005 and a new tree was started in the back lawn of the mansion.
Paul Callahan Memorial Dahlia Garden Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park
The Dahlia Garden planted in the spring of 1998 is known to be one of the largest and most spectacular dahlia collections in the Northeast consisting of 400 plants. The Mid Island Dahlia Society's members donate nearly 2000 hours a year maintaining these magnificent gardens. The Dahlia Garden is in bloom from August through October and is one of the highlights of the estate.
Paul Callahan Memorial Dahlia Garden Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park

Paul Callahan Memorial Dahlia Garden Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park

Paul Callahan Memorial Dahlia Garden Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park

Paul Callahan Memorial Dahlia Garden Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park

Paul Callahan Memorial Dahlia Garden Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park
Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar Arch Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park
This magnificent living arbor leading to the greenhouse is formed by just four Weeping Blue Atlas Cedars at approximately twenty feet apart cascading over a supporting frame. These majestic Cedars are just some of the many mature specimen trees at Planting Fields.
Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park Lantana Tree

 Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park Main Greenhouse
There are several greenhouses on the estate property.  The large central Main Greenhouse constructed between the years of 1914-1929 is my favorite harboring a variety of tropical plants.   Seen here are numerous species of tropical plants including bromeliads, anthurium, palm trees, croton, and hanging planters as the one pictured below displaying the most magnificent Staghorn fern I have ever seen.
 Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park Main Greenhouse

 Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park Main Greenhouse Staghorn Fern

  Italian Blue Pool Garden at Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park

The Italian Blue Pool Garden was originally the site of a tennis house and court that was transformed into a Tea House in 1915 and surrounding perennial gardens in 1918. Seen from the mansion, a rectangular pool with fountains bordered by raised planting walls and English country style gardens form a beautiful display.  It was known to be one of Mrs. Coe's favorite areas on the property.
  Italian Blue Pool Garden at Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park

Perennial Garden at Planting Fields Arboretum-Goldenrod and Perennial Sunflower (Helianthus) Seed Pods
The vine covered arches and perennial gardens of Planting Fields are one of my favorite areas to visit.  At this time of year (late September) combinations of daisies, sunflowers, goldenrod and asters are at their prime displaying a mixture of yellow, white and purple blooms throughout the garden.  
Perennial Garden at Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park (September)

September Perennial Garden at Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park

September Perennial Garden at Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park

Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park Coe Hall Lower Garden Path & Sitting Area
There are also many serene and tucked away sitting areas like the one shown here at the back area of the mansion...perhaps a quiet retreat.   Leaving the park, majestic trees tower overhead in the serene setting and another visit is complete.
Horsechestnut Tree at Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park

Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park is a beautiful place to visit anytime of year as the gardens change with each season for a constant breathtaking display.  For more on visits to Planting Fields visit my other posts at Planting Fields Arboretum July and Planting Fields Arboretum August.

As Always...Happy Gardening and Happy Fall!


Author: Lee@A Guide To Northeastern Gardening, Copyright 2014. All rights reserved



10 comments:

  1. What a stunning place to visit! I really love the Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar arch, that is just amazing. And the Lantana tree, so beautiful.

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    1. Planting Fields is such a beautiful place to visit and it constantly changes with each month so there is something new to see each time! The Weeping Blue Atlas arch has grown quite a bit since I last saw it.

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  2. Absolutely stunning !
    The weeping cedar is beautiful....how I would love that in the garden :)
    The 100 year old beech has an interesting root system.....I love to study large trees (no expert just think they are amazing)
    I read once : The beech tree spends 100 years growing
    100 years living
    100 years dying...............
    Apparently they are not long lived ??

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    1. The oldest beech tree I have seen is one that is 150 years old located in Newport, Rhode Island. I am not sure how long they live but they are magnificent and majestic trees. Here is a link to the post with that tree. The roots must have been 15 to 20 feet wide! http://landscapedesignbylee.blogspot.com/2013/08/the-mansions-gardens-of-newport-rhode.html#.VCWtR_ldV8E

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  3. What a spectacular place to visit. I thought that the Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar Arch was amazing. I would have liked seeing the dahlias and the September Perennial Garden. It reminds me a little of Monet's garden.

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    1. The Dahlia garden is amazing and with so many different varieties...more than I have seen anywhere. Glad you enjoyed the visit!

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  4. I am so putting this on my list of must sees!! I am just blown away by all the dimensions that this garden has to offer! Could you imagine living here?!?! What a dream it must have been and such history! And that greenhouse is spectacular as are all of those seating nooks in the garden! Thank you for passing along the inspiration friend! Nicole

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    1. I am amazed each time I see it NIcole and imagine having lived there with the mansion and all the magnificent gardens...definitely a gardener's dream come true! If you ever get the chance it is a must visit along with Old Westbury gardens as well.

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  5. The grounds are wonderful, as is the architecture of the buildings. The weeping blue cedar arch is amazing, a long time to create it I expect.

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    1. Hi Judith. I can only imagine how long it took to get that arch to look the way it does and I bet there was also a lot of tender loving care put into shaping it. I am in awe each time I see it and would guess that it has to be at least 20 years old.

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Thank you for visiting. I love reading your comments and knowing you have been here, and will try to reciprocate on your blog. If you have any questions I will try my very best to answer them. As always...HAPPY GARDENING!

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