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Great Estates Garden & Landscape Weekends

Date Published: June 14, 2022

Explore the gardens and landscapes of Dutchess County’s Great Estates along the Hudson River. Experience the outdoor beauty of these estates from the Revolutionary War, the Gilded Age, and the World War II eras on your own or attend an outdoor event! Don't miss the Great Estates Garden & Landscape Weekends on June 25-26 and September 24-25, 2022. Find details of what each site is offering below and check back as additional events and details continue to be added!

Clermont State Historic Site

Landscape Highlights: A walking tour of Clermont’s grounds on Saturday, June 25 and Saturday, September 24 at 2 p.m.

Have you ever walked the grounds and wondered what the ruins once were? Or why there are two driveways? What’s with all the cottages? Led by Clermont’s staff, this moderate walking tour will take you to sites of interest all over the property. A great introduction to the property and the history of Clermont! Please dress for the weather and wear sturdy shoes. This event is FREE, but visitors must register in advance. To register for this event, click here.

Wilderstein Historic Site building facade
Wilderstein Historic Site, Rhinebeck; Photo: @mad.dog.photography.hv

Wilderstein Historic Site

Garden and Landscape Tour on Saturday, June 25 at 10 a.m. and Saturday, September 24 at 10 a.m. 

Wilderstein is a historic country estate located along the Hudson River in Rhinebeck. With its exquisite Queen Anne mansion and Calvert Vaux designed landscape, Wilderstein is widely regarded as one of the region's most important examples of Victorian architecture. It was the home of Margaret (Daisy) Suckley, a distant cousin and confidante of Franklin Roosevelt. 

 

During this special outdoor guided tour, visitors will learn about Wilderstein’s landscape and gardens, the exterior design of the mansion and outbuildings, and the lives of the Suckley family.  One hour should be planned for the tour with an additional half hour for perusing the gift shop, exploring the hiking trails on the property, and enjoying the spectacular views. Tickets $12.  Advance online registration strongly encouraged.  To purchase tickets, go to the calendar here.

Staatsburgh State Historic Site, Staatsburg
Staatsburgh State Historic Site, Staatsburg; Photo: Zachary Gawron

Staatsburgh State Historic Site  

Container Garden Workshop on June 25 and 26 from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. 

The Friends of Mills at Staatsburgh will host a free activity to make a small container garden. Participants will receive a 10” pot and can choose plantings for it. Guidance will be offered to people who are new to container gardens, and experienced gardeners will be invited to share their knowledge. The workshop materials will be provided for free, thanks to the generous support of event sponsors: The Friends of Mills at Staatsburgh, Lowes of Kingston, and Home Depot of Poughkeepsie. The event will take place rain or shine. Advanced registration is required. Registered participants can drop in at any point between 1p and 2:30p. To register, click here. 

 

Guided Landscape Walk of Staatsburgh’s Grounds: What You See and What You Don’t See on September 24 and 25 at 10 a.m. 

Enjoy a free guided stroll across the historic grounds of the Gilded Age estate of Ruth and Ogden Mills, uncovering hidden landscape secrets along the way.

 

The location of fabulous weekend parties for the most elite society of the Gilded Age, Staatsburgh presented a picture of perfect beauty and luxury while deliberately using landscape elements to hide the technology and labor that made the estate run. Using historic photos of the grounds, the tour will show what visitors would have seen 100+ years ago, but also reveal what was hidden from them.

 

The tour will be about one mile of mostly level terrain, with some uphill walking. The program, including the walk, discussion, and looking at historic photos, will take about 1 hour. The event will be canceled in the event of heavy rain or excessive heat. Please wear comfortable shoes, a hat for sun, and bring water. Advance registration is required—click here to register.

 

Self-Guided Tours of Staatsburgh’s Grounds 

Enjoy a walk through Staatsburgh’s grounds, designed in the classic English Landscape Garden style.  You’ll stroll down a shaded carriage drive winding past a sweeping lawn to a magnificent view of the Hudson River.  A short, free guide to accompany your walk can be found here: Self-guided Walk at Staatsburgh.

Locust Grove Estate Poughkeepsie
Locust Grove Estate, Poughkeepsie

Locust Grove Estate 

Garden Tours at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 25 and Saturday, September 24 

Enjoy a Spring Garden Spotlight with Director of Horticulture Claire Davis on Saturday June 25th at 10:30am. You'll learn more about the heirloom flower and kitchen gardens, with a focus on what's currently in bloom!

 

Enjoy a Fall Frolic Tour with Director of Horticulture Claire Davis on Saturday, September 24th at 10:30am. You'll learn more about the heirloom flower and kitchen gardens, with a focus on dahlias and asters, and how we choose what to plant each year.

 

Each tour is $15, Patron Level members and above are free! Book tours by calling 845.454.4500 between 10am and 5pm.

 

Historic carriage road walk with Director/Curator Ken Snodgrass at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, June 26 and Sunday, September 25

Join Director Ken Snodgrass for a Guided Walk on our historic carriage roads. You'll have a chance to learn more about the three historic estates that were united to form today's Locust Grove, and view rarely-seen historic photos! Wear sturdy shoes and be prepared for a walk of about a mile.

Each tour is $15, Patron Level members and above are free! Book tours by calling 845.454.4500 between 10am and 5pm.

Mount Gulian Historic Site Beacon
Mount Gulian Historic Site, Beacon

Mount Gulian Historic Site

Garden Tours on Saturday, September 24 and Sunday, September 25

Mount Gulian Historic Site, Beacon, invites visitors to explore its garden and unique horticultural history on Saturday and Sunday, September 24th and 25th.  Garden tours will be given at 11 a.m., 12 p.m. and 1 p.m.   Reservations are required.  Please call 845-831-8172 or info@mountgulian.org.
 
Visitors will learn about the garden's origins, evolution, and notable gardeners, including MaryAnna Verplanck, who as a precocious eleven-year-old, designed the original 1804 garden; James F. Brown, a fugitive slave who worked as the estate's master gardener after his freedom was purchased by the Verplanck family; and Virginia Verplanck whose literary contributions include two gardening books, Every Day in My Garden and A Year in My Garden from the early 20th century.  

 

Admission to this special program is: $12 adults; $10 seniors; $6 youngsters (6-18 years). Children under 6 and Mount Gulian member are free 

Vanderbilt Mansion summer Hyde Park
Vanderbilt Mansion (summer), Hyde Park; Photo: Photo: Zachary Gawron

The Roosevelt-Vanderbilt National Historic Sites in Hyde Park

The gardens at the Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site will be available throughout the Great Estates Garden & Landscape Tour Weekends. Visitors are encouraged to bring their smart phone or other handheld devices to access the digital garden tour available by dialing a number or scanning a QR code. Park grounds and gardens are available from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. For maps of the park, including location of gardens, stop by our Visitor Contact Stations or download the new National Park Service app to your smart device.

 

Additionally, the Roosevelt Home Garden and the Beatrix Farrand Garden at the Home of FDR National Historic Site will be available throughout the Great Estates Garden & Landscape Tour weekends for self-guided exploration. Both gardens boast cell tours that can be accessed using smartphones and other handheld devices and are available daily from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. For maps of the park, including locations of the gardens, stop by the Visitor Contact Stations or download the new National Park Service app to your smart device.


Related: Path Through History Weekends

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