Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Planting Fields Arboretum Long Island, NY

Planting Fields Arboretum Late August

I recently experienced some of the most beautiful gardens I have ever seen.  The Planting Fields is a 409-acre public arboretum and historic site that is one of the few remaining famous Gold Coast estates located on the north shore of Long Island.  Located in the town of Oyster Bay, the estate including a mansion and meticulously kept grounds, was the former home of William Robertson Coe and his wife Mary (Mai) Huttleston Coe in 1913.   Planting Fields retains its original historic buildings and landscapes and can be visited year round.

Coe Hall Planting Fields
The property's first mansion burned down to the ground in 1918 and the present Coe Hall, a 65 room Tudor Revival seen here was constructed between 1918 and 1921.  William and Mai Coe had an interest in collecting rare species of plants that formed the gardens existing on the grounds of the estate.  Mr. Coe sold his estate to the State of New York in 1949 for a sum of $1 so that the site could become a historical landmark and arboretum for visitors to enjoy.
Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar Living Arbor

Beautiful mature evergreens such as this single Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar are the pride of the property. Four trees were trained to form an arbor leading to one of the greenhouses on the estate.

Dahlia Garden (late August)
A walk to the Dahlia garden on the other side of the estate proved to be quite rewarding.  Dahlias of almost every variety imaginable grace this plot and are in full bloom at summer's end.  There were so many that it was difficult to choose a select few to show here. Their beauty is indescribable. William Coe had admired Dahlias because of their variety of texture and bold colors.  The present day garden constructed in 1998 is maintained by the Mid Island Dahlia Society and is one of the largest and most spectacular dahlia gardens in the northeast.  I am thrilled that it is here on Long Island.  Over 400 varieties of dahlia are tended to and Dahlia Society members donate over 2000 hours a year maintaining the gardens.

Main Greenhouse

This is the main greenhouse on the premises housing tropical plants such as hibiscus, orchards, ferns, bromeliads, Bird of Paradise, Banana trees and succulents nestled in a tropical gardener's paradise

The 'Italian Garden'

This is one of the reflecting pools on the estate known as the Italian Garden. Mai Rogers Coe originally created the site back in 1913 as one of her favorite places to stroll.  There are over 40 varieties of perennials that bloom sequentially throughout the year to produce a vibrant display of color.

Camellia Greenhouse

This is the Camellia Greenhouse constructed in 1917 that houses the largest collection of camellias in the northeast with over 300 plants on display. In the center of the greenhouse is a beautiful reflecting pool and fountain and in the backdrop is a miniature grotto.

This was certainly a special day for an overly exuberant gardener.  It turns out that while on our August Sunday drive we ended up here at the arboretum on a whim and it became a day to remember.  I did not have my camera so being a very determined gardener I used my cell phone to take these photographs.  I will be sure to visit Planting Fields again next summer and will bring the good camera so that I can engage in some better photography.  If you are ever on Long Island and would like to see these magnificent gardens you will not be disappointed.  They are a welcome sight for the gardening enthusiast or for anyone who appreciates the beauty of nature along with a little bit of local history!

                                                As Always...Happy Gardening!

Author:Lee@ A Guide To Northeastern Gardening Copyright 2011. All Rights Reserved

1 comment:

  1. This is one of my very favorite places to visit! You captured the essence and beauty of this magical retreat perfectly. Nicely done :)


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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