Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Bayard Cutting Arboretum New York State Park

Welcome to Bayard Cutting Arboretum!
Bayard Cutting Arboretum: The Country Home

Bayard Cutting Arboretum is a 691 acre state park, established in 1886, and located in Great River, Long Island, New York. William Bayard Cutting (1850-1912) was the son of Fulton Cutting and Elise Justine Bayard. At the age of two, he and his younger brother Fulton lost their mother and were taken under the care of their grandparents, Robert and Elizabeth (Mc Evers) Bayard. Educated in a private school in New York, William graduated from Columbia College at the age of nineteen, and the Columbia Law School in 1871, with a Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts, and Doctorate of Law. He was immediately accepted into the New York Bar but did not practice, as his time was consumed as a businessman and philanthropist in the railroad, banking, insurance and real estate industries and involvement in sugar refineries. William married Olivia Peyton Murray, daughter of Bronson Murray and Ann Eliza Peyton in 1877, and had four children, William Bayard Cutting, Jr., Justine Bayard Ward, Bronson Murray Cutting, and Olivia James. Upon William's death in 1912, the Bayard Cutting Arboretum was donated to the Long Island State Park Region by his wife and daughter, Mrs. Olivia James. Mrs. William Bayard Cutting remained at the mansion until her death in 1949.
The Country Home
The beautiful 68 room mansion, called Westbrook, was designed by architect Charles C. Haight, and built for William Bayard Cutting in 1886 as a country home. The family's main residence was in New York City. 
Mansion Plaque
The park area, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted for William Bayard Cutting in 1886, consists of several points of interest including the Great Lawn, Conifer Garden, Holly Walk, Oak Park, Royce Rhododendron Garden, Four Season Garden, Breezy Island and the River Walk along the Connetquot waterway. The park continues to expand as new gardens are donated and is the home of the well-known Dahlia garden, maintained by the Long Island Dahlia Society, and a three acre community sponsored Agricultural Farm, started in 2012.
 Amsonia hubrichtii (Hubricht's bluestar)
There is a huge assortment of ornamental, unusual and native plants along the walking paths at Bayard. One of the first plants encountered at the arboretum is this Amsonia hubrichtii (Hubricht's bluestar). Amsonia is a clumping perennial, hardy in USDA zones 5-8, that produces light blue flowers in spring, green foliage in summer and this vibrant yellow-orange foliage in fall, which is a real eye-catcher! 
Platanus acerifolia (London Plane Tree)
Towering above is London Plane Tree, which reaches a height of 75-100 feet tall and a spread of approximately 80 feet at maturity. London Plane Tree is hardy in USDA zones 5-9.
Cornus sanguinea 'Compressa' (Dwarf Bloodstem Dogwood)
Another eye-catcher, this Dwarf Bloodstem Dogwood is hardy in USDA zones 4-8, and widely admired for its interesting deep green multi-veined foliage. Cornus sanguinea 'Compressa' displays a narrow columnar stature, reaching 6-8 feet high by 1-3 feet in width. In autumn, foliage turns to a burgundy red, followed by bright burgundy-red stems in winter.
 Holly Walk: Ilex verticillata 'Afterglow' (Afterglow Winterberry)
Along the Holly Walk is Ilex verticillata 'Afterglow'. Afterglow winterberry is a compact winterberry native to Eastern North America, that reaches a mature height and width of 3-6 feet tall by wide. Hardy in USDA zones 3-9, this deciduous shrub displays glossy dark green leaves in summer and orange-red fruit in fall on female plants. Afterglow Winterberry requires a male pollinator, such as Ilex 'Jim Dandy' to produce fruit. The berries of winterberry are an important food source for birds, but not edible by humans and pets.
Ilex opaca xanthocarpa (Yellow Berry American Holly)
Here is Ilex opaca xanthocarpa, Yellow Berry American Holly. This slow growing dense evergreen, hardy in USDA zones 5-9, grows to a mature height and width of 20-30 feet tall by 15-20 feet wide. It is known for its display of golden-yellow berries produced in fall.
Ilex meserveae 'Golden Girl'  (Gold Fruited Blue Holly)
Ilex meserveae 'Golden Girl', otherwise known as Golden Girl Meserveae Holly or Gold Fruited Blue Holly, is a hybrid evergreen holly, hardy in USDA zones 5-9. It grows to a mature height of 8-10 feet tall by 5-8 feet wide, and is known for its beautiful golden-yellow berries. An interesting note is that Golden Girl is thought to be the first ever patented holly with yellow berries in the world. Ilex meserveae 'Golden Girl' requires a male pollinator near by, such as Ilex 'Blue Boy', 'Blue Prince' or Blue Stallion' to produce its autumn fruit.
Acer shirasawanum 'Aureum' (Full Moon Maple)
Full Moon Maple, hardy in USDA zones 5-7, is an outstanding compact deciduous tree known for its beautiful, eye-catching foliage. New growth in spring is yellow to burnt orange with tones of salmon and chartreuse appearing for the summer months. Autumn foliage turns to a vibrant golden-orange as seen here. Full moon Maple grows 8-12 feet high by 6-8 feet wide.
Edgeworthia chrysantha (Chinese Paperbush) 
This interesting shrub is near the entry to the Four Season's Garden. It is called Edgeworthia chrysantha, or  Chinese Paperbush. This rounded shrub grows to 4’ x 4’ in our region and begins in spring with a flush of dark green foliage followed by flower buds that form in late summer. As winter approaches, leaves drop to expose smooth cinnamon colored stems. Buds form in December/January, that burst open to expose fragrant, tubular-shaped yellow flowers in February. 
Acer palmatum fluctuans 'Variegata' (Variegated Maple)
This Variegated Maple along the Four Season's Garden Trail is outstanding with its autumn foliage. Hardy in USDA zones 4-7, is an outstanding compact deciduous tree known for its beautiful, eye-catching foliage during three of the four seasons.
River Walk: Taxodium distichum (Common Bald Cypress )
Common Bald Cypress (USDA zones 4-10) is a long-lived pyramidal conifer, reaching 70-100 feet tall and possessing an unusual root system. Living in swampy areas, this tree produces knobby growths above the surface, known as "knees", which are thought to help the roots get oxygen. A close up of one of the "knees" is shown in the lower left portion of the photo above. These trees are growing right along the Connetquot River on the Bayard River Walk.
Bridge Crossing to Breezy Island and Tea House
Follow a bridge that crosses the waterway to Breezy Island. Breezy Island was constructed in the early 1900's with soil dredged from the Connetquot River to help with the passage of William Bayard Cutting's ship to his Idle Hour estate further upstream. The views of the river are beautiful from this site where much wildlife can be encountered.
Canal (and Swan passing) 
Mrs. Cutting's Tea House
This charming Tea House was constructed on on Breezy Island for Mrs. Cutting back in 1887 as a place for her to enjoy her morning cup of tea. It was rebuilt in 2016, keeping its integrity in place. It is now a lovely place to sit and overlook the river.
Daphne 'Eternal Fragrance'
While walking along the various paths, you may encounter Daphne with its autumn blooms. Hardy in USDA zones 6-9, Daphne 'Eternal Fragrance' produces a profusion of showy fragrant pink blooms over many months, starting in spring and re-blooming through summer and fall. Daphne is evergreen in temperatures above 0 degrees Fahrenheit and possesses a compact habit, reaching a mature size of 2-3 feet tall by wide.
Ajania pacifica (Pacific Chrysanthemum)
This beautiful Chrysanthemum in the perennial garden, Ajania pacifica, forms mounds of dark green foliage with small button-like yellow blooms that appear in autumn. This species of hardy mum is really beautiful and the pollinators seem to love it too!

Ilex verticillata 'Winter Bounty' ('Winter Bounty' Holly)
Hardy in USDA zones 6-8, Winterberry 'Winter Bounty' is known for its enormous display of deep red berries during late fall and winter, more than most other hollies. 'Winter Bounty' grows to a height and width of 14-20 feet high by 6-10 feet wide. Here is a close up!
Weeping European Beech Tree
On the Great Lawn at Bayard is this 130 year old Weeping European Beech, which is a favorite photo spot of many. It is one of the original trees on the property and has become an icon.
The Dwarf Conifer Collection
A newer addition to the park is the Dwarf Conifer Garden. It was donated by the Rezek family in 2018 in honor of Long Islander and horticultural pioneer Ed Rezek. Ed always had a fondness for unusual dwarf evergreens and helped to popularize dwarf evergreens as we know them today. This garden is a wonderful tribute to his accomplishments.
The Dwarf Conifer Collection
The collection consists mainly of unusual dwarf conifers along with some flowering shrubs and perennials mixed in. Some of the conifer selections in the garden include dwarf Norway spruce, dwarf blue spruce, dwarf cryptomeria, Hinoki cypress, Juniperus 'Gold Strike', Mugo Pine and Japanese Garden Juniper.
The Dwarf Conifer Collection
The conifers are complemented by selections with interesting foliage, including Japanese Forest Grass, and Sedum.
The Dwarf Conifer Collection Walking Path

Four Seasons Walk: Oakleaf Hydrangea Autumn Color
Along the Four Seasons Walk is Oakleaf Hydrangea. While this shrub produces beautiful panicle white blooms in late spring to early summer, its autumn foliage is just as spectacular!
Mahonia Media ‘Marvel’ (Hybrid Mahonia)
This hybrid Mahonia is actually formed from a cross between Mahonia aquifolia and Berberis sargentii, with improved flower spikes and fruit. It cold hardy in USDA zones 6-9, and produces fragrant bright yellow blooms from late November into December.
White Barked Birch
'Whitespire' Clumping Birch (USDA zones 3-7) is even more attractive during the autumn and winter months when its beautiful white bark is prominent.
Bayard Cutting Arboretum State Park,

I hope you enjoyed This Month in the Garden for December. Be sure to stop by on the 1st. of each month as I share gardening tips, information and horticultural adventures! (Linking with: Floral FridaysMacro Monday 2Our World TuesdayTravel Tuesday, Pictorial TuesdayMy Corner of the World, Friday Photo Journal, and Image-in-ing Weekly Photo Link-Up )
~As Always...Happy Gardening! ~

Author: Lee@A Guide to Northeastern Gardening,© Copyright 2010-2020. All rights reserved.


  1. What an absolutely stunning fall display at that place!

    1. Thank you for stopping by Robin. I am glad you enjoyed the views!

  2. beautiful images....
    berries might look so appealing for wild birds.

    1. Yes...the birds love them. I make a point of having some of these shrubs on my own property for that reason.

  3. What a lovely place.
    Thank you for sharing at http://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2020/12/i-miss-fall-colors.html

  4. What a fabulous park! The mansion is beautiful!

    Happy Wednesday!

    1. I am glad you enjoyed the post Veronica. The mansion has such a rich history.

  5. I see the Bayard Cutting Arboretum is very large park, Lee. I like its dwarf conifers, as I have seen in another arboretum in Finland. Many rhododendrons and other conifers have been grown there. I also loved Holly Walk berries, which are so colorful. The gazebo looks well maintained.
    Thanks for sharing!

    1. I walked five miles during one visit Nadezda and it is a short drive to get there. The Holly Walk is one of my favorite sections!

  6. Wow ! Beautiful place and stunning fall display.It would be my pleasure if you join my Link up party related to Gardening here at http://jaipurgardening.blogspot.com/2020/12/garden-affair-painting-earthen-pots.html

  7. Wonderful photos - what a delightful place to visit the fall colors!
    Thanks for linking up at http://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2020/12/kitty-at-zoo.html


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!