Saturday, June 27, 2015

New England Gardens: Blithewold Mansion, Gardens and Arboretum Rhode Island

BLITHEWOLD MANSION AND GARDENS
On a recent trip I had the pleasure of visiting the picturesque and serene Blithewold Mansion, Gardens and Arboretum located on the Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island.  The area was developed in the mid 1890's when Pennsylvania coal magnate, Augustus Van Wickle and his wife Bessie purchased the land and built the first Blithewold mansion.  After Augustus's death in 1989, Bessie re-married William McKee in 1901 and after a disastrous fire in 1906, the original home was replaced with the mansion that exists today.  Bessie and her older daughter Marjorie Van Wickle proved to be talented horticulturists and Marjorie carried on her mothers legacy by developing the remaining 33 acres of Blithewold into the gardens that exist today. The mansion and grounds are listed on the National Register of Historic Places and are enjoyed by visitors.
BLITHEWOLD MANSION

BLITHEWOLD MANSION

BLITHEWOLD MANSION
NORTH GARDEN

NORTH GARDEN

NORTH GARDEN

NORTH GARDEN
 
ENCLOSED GARDEN

VISITORS CENTER AND GARDEN

MOON GATE AND GARDENS
GARDENS

LILLIUM

ALLIUM SEED HEAD

NORTH GARDEN FOUNTAIN

BLITHEWOLD ART EXHIBITION 
As part of an ongoing art exhibition " Sculpture Embraces Horticulture", several artists were featured in the gardens at the time of our trip using the elements of sun, rain and wind to power their creations. The above sculpture is a sunflower spiral solar powered creation from artist George Sherwood.  Sherwood’s sculptures are based on movement that is a combination of both subtle and obvious. At times it appears his sculptures do not move at all, and at other times the colorful stainless steel reflective discus twinkle with each breeze, integrating art with nature. 
BLITHEWOLD ART EXHIBITION 
Charissa Brock creates art with bamboo and was intrigued by the gardens and bamboo grove at Blithewold which is quite large for New England with its cold winters. Brock integrates the motion of the wind with bamboo and has created large “feathers” out of bamboo canes. Each feather has a skirt of short bamboo pieces and when the wind blows the feathers play with the wind creating music.
BAMBOO GROVE
WATER FEATURE IN DISPLAY GARDENS

SHRUB WALK
SARGENT'S WEEPING HEMLOCK

These gardens were certainly an enjoyable visit.  I was happy to read that in order to preserve the integrity of Blithewold a small group of concerned citizens banded together and raised funding to keep it open to the public. They became known as Blithewold, Inc. and in 2010 along with Preserve Rhode Island, an amended lease for a period of 99 years was created with an extension option, so that Blithewold would be protected for the future. Today it is considered to be one of the finest gardens in New England and received a certificate of excellence in 2014.

 I hope you enjoyed the visit.  As Always...Happy Gardening!


For more information visit Blithewold.


Linking with Tuesday Garden Party

Author: Lee@A Guide To Northeastern Gardening, © Copyright 2015. All rights reserved


10 comments:

  1. Thanks for introducing me to these beautiful gardens. I love the Moon Gate and gardens, and the weeping hemlock is incredible!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Moon Gate was my favorite part of these gardens too! It was an enjoyable visit.

      Delete
  2. You certainly found a lovely garden to visit. The hard landscaping, the plants and the sculptures all come together to make a fascinating place. I love Moon Gates, they always focus the eye onto something beautiful. Thanks for taking us with you on your visit.

    ReplyDelete
  3. What beautiful gardens! :) So many things to enjoy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for visiting and I am glad you enjoyed the gardens!

      Delete
  4. I need to get out more....wow was this stunning!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's always nice to explore a new garden Donna. There are so many gardens and so little time!

      Delete
  5. Hope you had a great fourth of July. Everytime I see your posts I get inspired. Yvonne

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So nice to hear Yvonne. Thank you for visiting! Hope you had a nice 4th as well!

      Delete

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!

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...