Thursday, February 1, 2018

This Month in the Garden: Wintertime at the Beautiful Old Westbury Gardens-Long Island

Wintertime at Old Westbury Gardens
The inner beauty of a garden is found as it changes throughout the seasons, and there is a hidden beauty that strikes the senses in wintertime. One of my favorite places to visit on the north shore of Long Island is Old Westbury Gardens. I am more familiar with visiting these beautiful gardens during the springtimethroughout the days of summer, and even into the cooler days of autumn, but had never seen them in wintertime. With temperatures in the 30's and winter apparel on, a gardening friend and I decided to venture out into the winter wonderland of Old Westbury Gardens and take in all that nature has to offer.
Garden Entrance
As we drove up the tree lined driveway to the gardens, the magical tour started, as snow covered branches led the way towards the mansion and grounds. I never really paid much attention to the entry before, so this was a new outlook on how something as simple as a driveway could be so beautiful in wintertime. There was a certain allure that I find hard to describe. We paused and listened to the stillness that surrounded us, and every so often there would be the rustling sound of snow as it fell from branches above.
Westbury House Wintertime
The Westbury House was built back in 1905 by architect George Crawley for John Phipps, the eldest of three sons. His father, Henry Phipps, was one of the partners at Carnegie Steel during the Gilded Age. John Phipps had promised his wife Margarita Grace an English style estate and garden, much like the one she had grown up in. When John and Margarita passed away in the late 1950's, their only daughter Peggie (one of four children) helped to turn the estate into a nonprofit charity in 1958, which opened up to the public in 1959.
Welcoming Fireplace
The mansion has a different look in winter, with garland trimmed columns that lead the way and an inviting fireplace that warms the main room as you walk inside. The large sun room is decorated with holiday trees, with an added touch of cyclamen and daffodils. Volunteers serve warm cookies and hot apple cider on weekends during the month of December for an added touch of good cheer.
Winter Decor
The rooms of the mansion are decorated with care as perfectly placed poinsettias add color to the already beautiful decor. Holiday wreaths, brightly wrapped packages and even a train set upstairs all add to the holiday atmosphere.
Inside the Mansion
Having arrived at the gardens, it was time to venture outside and accomplish what we had set out for... to see the grounds through winter's eyes. The snow and cold did not bother us, as we were captured in the awe over the garden's beauty. It was truly the winter wonderland we had dreamed of experiencing. 
Old Westbury Mansion Back Patio
The outside porch leads to a series of steps on each side that lead to the ponds and gardens below. There are two lakes on the property and a reflecting pool behind the mansion. We walked through the trellised pergola that supports rose blooms in the summer and around to the lake.
Trellised Walkway in Wintertime
The lake was frozen in spots and the reflecting pool and columned pergola in the distance could be seen. The trees made crackling noises as ice melted from them.
Lake at Old Westbury Gardens with Columned Pergola in Distance
Once we walked around the lake, we had to go see the masonry and wrought iron gazebo, which is referred to as the "Temple of Love". It is beautifully located at the far end of the lake with a view of the mansion at the background.
Temple of Love Old Westbury Gardens Wintertime
Margarita Phipps had a passion for gardens and architecture. The gazebo is one of the many structures located on the 200 acre property...
Temple of Love Old Westbury Gardens Wintertime
and one of my favorite places to visit every time I go there.
Winter Views
On the way to and from the gazebo is an arched wooden bridge that takes you from one side of the garden to the other.
Bridge Wintertime
On the way around to the other side of the garden, a beautiful wrought iron gate with gold foil trim is located at the end of the allee, and to the right is the Walled Garden.
Giant Wrought Iron Gate at end of the Allee
The Italianate walled garden is one of the main attractions on the estate. Because the Phipps spent most of their summers abroad, the walled garden was planned for spring and fall interest. Today, under the direction of the horticulturist Lemuel Hegwood, the garden puts on a show during the entire growing season with blooms from early spring until fall, each season more magnificent than the one before.

Walled Garden Wintertime
Seeing just the structures in front of the semi-frozen pond, which is home of lotus blooms in the summer, gave a whole new perspective on this area of the garden. I found it to be quite peaceful and beautiful. 
Walled Garden Wintertime
While I had never walked through the giant pergola and gazebo arches before, I was led to explore. Visiting in the wintertime allowed the focus to go onto the amazing architecture of the structures on the property. I could just picture the Phipps and their guests strolling along the garden.
Wintertime at Old Westbury Gardens
On the way back towards the mansion, we passed through the trellised area once again and stopped to take a long look and absorb it all in. I can still visualize the beautiful gardens and feel the crispness of the air as we tracked through the snow in fur lined boots while bundled up with scarf and gloves. The view of gazebo and bridge with frozen lake, walled garden covered in white and snow gently falling from branches above, followed by the warmth of hot cider, made for a perfect day.
Old Westbury Mansion
I hope you enjoyed seeing Old Westbury Gardens either for the first time or for the first wintertime experience. I found it to be just as beautiful as I had imagined it would be. Old Westbury Gardens is open to the public from April-December and also hosts a variety of events, including workshops and weddings. If you would like to experience a virtual visit to these beautiful gardens at different times of the year, click here on this site and look under Long Island to tour Old Westbury Gardens.
Wintertime at Old Westbury Gardens
For more information visit Old Westbury Gardens

Visiting Hours and Events

Author: Lee@A Guide To Northeastern Gardening, Copyright 2018. All rights reserved


24 comments:

  1. What a wonderful tour! I visited Old Westbury a few years ago in early June on an incredibly hot day and, despite the heat, loved being there. The walled garden was exuberantly blooming and throughout the grounds people were painting, playing and adding life to the scene. The trellised pergola painted that lovely shade of blue-green provided a bit of welcomed shade and I have many photos showing interesting shadows, thanks to the complex trellis work. The bridge near the Temple of Love didn't stand out as clearly as it does in your winter photo but I loved crossing over it to spy a courting couple at the Temple. Quite appropriate. Thanks, Lee. You've aroused some wonderful memories. And I agree with your comment about the entry drive. It is beautiful in winter, gloriously black and white.

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    1. I am so glad this brought back such wonderful memories for you Pat. Thank you for your comment and kind words. I so wanted to capture the beauty of these gardens in winter, and I am glad to have weathered the cold and snow to get these photos. It makes it so much worth the while when they are appreciated!

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  2. Winter is so pretty in pictures. Not so much when I am in experiencing it.

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    1. Hi Denise. So true. I do look forward to the beauty of winter too, but am anxiously awaiting spring and warmer days ahead!

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  3. Stunning photographs, Lee. Such beautiful structures made even more alluring by the snow. I must visit one of these days. P. x

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    1. Thank you Pam! It is a beautiful place. I enjoyed your reflections of 2017 post and lovely photos of your garden. Have a great week!

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  4. Amazing virtual tour, Lee. I loved reading your text, your words and expression as 'feel the crispness of the air ' and 'we were captured in the awe over the garden's beauty'.
    Your photos are beautiful, thanks for sharing with us this Gardens!

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    1. I am glad you enjoyed the tour Nadezda. The gardens were magical with the snow. Thank you for sharing your wonderful cruise to Finland. I loved the photos!

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  5. I can see that it is a delightful tour no matter when you go there. Beautiful.

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    1. Ever season has its beauty and I enjoy the gardens every time I visit them. There is always something changing. Thank you for visiting Lisa! Have a great week!

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  6. The views of the trellis and gazebo are really beautiful.

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  7. The estate is beautiful, Lee. The snow blanket lets the structure and hardscape shine. I have no doubt that it's beautiful in other seasons as well.

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    1. I am so glad you enjoyed the photos Kris. One of the elements I enjoy most about gardening is that the garden constantly changes throughout all the seasons and there is always something new to look forward to.

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  8. How lovely to see a garden in winter - especially a garden with great structure! The snow is the icing on the cake. Fabulous photos too!

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    1. Snow does have a way of making a garden magical! I am glad you enjoyed the post Sarah. Have a good week!

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  9. Thanks so much for the treat! Beautiful. I have
    Cabin Fever, tired of the snow and more is comming. Stay warm and plowed out Happy Valentines
    yvonne

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    1. It's a rainy day here Yvonne and I dream of spring. There's just a little over one month to go...to the official start of spring anyway! Keep dreaming and a Happy Valentine's Day to you too!

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  10. Isn’t it enlightening to see a winter perspective of a favorite spot? I did nearly the same yesterday, and visited my favorite autumn spot, realizing I had never been there in winter. Just as beautiful, only different. I love how that above driveway looks on a blue sky winter day!

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    1. It's nice to see a familiar spot in a totally different perspective. Autumn is the other time of year I like to explore. We have a pond right down the street that I drive by all the time, but in fall, it becomes a masterpiece, with glowing foliage in shades of orange, yellow and red that reflect in the water. In wintertime...it's the snow on trees that I find beautiful. Thanks for dropping by Robin!

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  11. Thanks for the frosty tour of this winter wonderland! I really appreciate how the snow emphasized the structure of the garden and leads our eyes to see things differently. The entrance road is especially lovely.

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    1. I am glad you enjoyed the views Deb. Your gardens are a joy with promising signs of Spring!

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  12. How wonderful it must have been to live in such a home and enjoyed such a lovely garden! The gardens look wonderful with all the white snow and the vivid blue sky.

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    1. Agreed Jennifer. The entire property is magical. I am glad to have finally visited it in wintertime.

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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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