Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Autumn at Bayard Cutting Arboretum State Park

Bayard Cutting Arboretum

Welcome to the Bayard Cutting Arboretum State Park, located in Great River, on the south shore of Long Island, New York. This 691 acre state park was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted for William Bayard Cutting in 1886, and offers a wide range of interest from the Great Lawn to the Conifer Garden, Holly Walk, Oak Park, Royce Rhododendron Garden, Four Season Garden, Old and New Pinetums, Breezy Island and the River Walk that winds along the Connetquot River waterway. The parks 13 distinct plant collections continue to grow as new gardens are donated annually.
Common Sage

The gardens hold their beauty all year long, and autumn is the perfect time to explore the grounds as nature puts on a bountiful show. As you enter the park by the mansion, the first plant that will catch your eye is the vibrancy of this common sage along with dried flower heads of Hydrangea and Allium, along with the evergreen foliage of Mugo Pine.
Arboretum Autumn View

Continue further for a stroll along the winding woodland trail for a spectacular view.
Salix babylonic (Weeping Willow)
This Weeping Willow with its changing foliage is almost magical as it grows along the wetland area of the arboretum. 
Pink Mushy Grass
Also along the woodland trail is this Pink Mushy Grass, which is always an eye catcher with its airy pinkish-red plumes! Muhlenbergia capillaris 'Lenca' (Pink Mushy Grass) is hardy in USDA zones 6-9 and thrives in either full to partial sun.
Woodland Garden Walk

Here is another view of the woodland trail with its winding bluestone path and seasonal color.
Callicarpa (American Beautyberry)

This beauty is Callicarpa or American Beautyberry, hardy in USDA zones 5-8. Callicarpa displays beautiful arching branches with lusters of pale lavender-pink flowers in summer, followed by masses of glossy amethyst berries in fall. Callicarpa refers full fun to partial shade and a moderately moist soil.
Ilex verticillata 'Winter Bounty'  (Winter Bounty Holly)
One of my favorite areas of the arboretum is the Holly Walk with more than 100 varieties of holly. This Winter Bounty Holly, hardy in USDA zones 6-8, produces an enormous display of dark red berries which make a spectacular show during late fall and winter. This shrub grows to a mature size of 14-20 feet high by 6-10 feet wide, and prefers a location with partial or dappled shade and a well-drained soil.
Ilex verticillata, (Winterberry)

Ilex verticillata, commonly known as winterberry, is a species of holly that is native to the northeast, that loses its leaves in autumn to display its bright red berries. Hardy in USDA zones 3-9, Winterberry prefers a location with partial sun.
River Walk-Breezy Island
Following along the Connectquot River is a bridge which leads to Breezy Island, where marsh grasses and perhaps some island wildlife, such as osprey can be seen.
River Walk-Breezy Island

The view is quite scenic and relaxing.
Sarracenia (Pitchers Plant or Trumpet Pitchers)
This interesting Pitcher Plant is from the genus Sarracenia, which consists of 15 different varieties of native perennials scattered across North America. Most are hardy in zones 6-8 and thrive best in boggy conditions.
Bridge Crossing
The changing autumn leaves at this time of year are simply beautiful along the bridge leading from the woodland trail.
Mountain Hydrangea Autumn
This hydrangea is still showing off its blooms while the others have already dried out for the fall.
Oakleaf Hydrangea Autumn
Oakleaf  Hydrangea produces bountiful white blooms, but also puts on a wonderful show with its brilliant burgundy foliage before the leaves drop.
 Scotch Heather-Caluna vulgaris 'Boskoop'
Here is Scotch Heather. It is hardy in USDA zones 5-7, prefers full sun to partial shade and grows to a mature size of approximately 1.5 feet high by wide. It bears pale mauve flowers in mid-summer along with bronze-yellow foliage that deepens in autumn. 
Perennial Walk (Four Season Garden)
Another one of my favorite areas of the arboretum is the perennial walk, also known as the Four Season Garden. At this time of year, Asters and Chrysanthemum are the highlight. 
Ajania pacifica (Pacific Chrysanthemum)
I love this variety of  Chrysanthemum  (Ajania pacifica) with its variegated foliage and bright yellow blooms that last well into autumn. Ajania pacifica is hardy in USDA zones 5-9, grows to 1-2 feet, and prefers a location with full sun to part shade.
These colorful Asters are a wonderful fall addition to the Four Season walk. These perennials are generally hardy in USDA zones 3-8 and prefer full sun to partial shade. I love the interest they supply while complemented by hydrangea, ornamental grasses, astilbe and  variegated yucca.

Betula Jacquemonti (White-barked Himalayan Birch)

Here is White-barked Himalayan Birch along the Woodland Trail. It is hardy in USDA zones 4-7 and known for its beautiful peeling bark. I especially enjoy its character in the fall.
Old Pinetum: Horse Chestnut
Along the Old Pinetum trail is this Horse Chestnut, which is an eye-catcher during the autumn months!
Dwarf Conifer Garden
Back around towards the Manor House is the Dwarf Conifer Garden, hosting an array of beautiful conifers from around the world, including numerous varieties of Chamaecyparis (Hinoki Cypress), Lawson’s Cypress, spruce, cedar, juniper and pine. Among the conifers are hydrangea, heather and various perennials mixed in, providing all season interest.
Pinetum Extension-American Sycamore
American Sycamore shows off its beautiful bark...
Native Woodland
while the fall season offers an array of color!
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Farm

An important aspect of the arboretum is this three acre Community Sponsored Agriculture Farm, which was established in 2012. A portion of the land to the right is now used for growing herbs and vegetables, which can be purchased by members. There are also egg-laying chickens, which are a hybrid cross between a White Rock female and a Rhode Island Red male.  
Cornell Cooperative Extension Farm 
This attractive trellis adds some character to the spot.
Manor House

Back around to the front entrance, this 68 room mansion was designed by architect Charles C. Haight, and built for William Bayard Cutting in 1886 as a country home. Mrs. Cutting specified that the arboretum should “serve as an oasis of beauty and quiet… a source of pleasure, rest, and refreshment.” I hope you found your visit to be just that.
Arboretum Map and Park Information

Bayard Cutting Arboretum, Long Island

I hope you enjoyed This Month in the Garden as we toured the Bayard Cutting Arboretum. Be sure to stop by on the 1st. and 15th. of each month as I continue to share gardening tips, information and horticultural adventures! (Linking up with: Floral FridaysMacro Monday 2Ruby Tuesday and Image-in-ing Weekly Photo Link-Up.)


  1. Absolutely stunning! Thanks for sharing. It brightened tbe gloomy day here in Michigan.

  2. Lee, what a beauty Winter Bounty Holly! I love it because this Holly remind me about Christmas. This Arboretum has got an excellent collection of plants, many trees, bushes and grasses.I'm interested in pink mushy grass-I'd like it for my garden ;-)


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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