A Day in the Garden: Hildene Part1

Winter is the time of year when most gardeners are busy planning the coming years garden, while it's in deep hibernation. Last summer I visited numerous historic properties. One of which was Hildene the Manchester, Vermont summer estate of Robert Todd Lincoln. The son of President Lincoln became the Chairman of the Pullman company; it clearly afforded him a comfortable lifestyle that built the house and grounds. The gardens were incredible and had me transfixed. The formal garden was designed by Lincolns daughter Jessie for her mother while cutting and vegetable gardens provided produce and flowers for the house. Between the houses two gardens there are a wealth of ideas for even a modest garden like mine.

Hildene, the house sits on 500 acres and was built between 1903/05. The garden was inspired by French gardens that Jessie Lincoln had visited when the family lived in Europe.

One of the breath taking views of the Green Mountains. During our August visit, the garden was awash in drifts of Phlox and other annuals. In June there are over a 1000 peonies in bloom from the original plantings which must be spectacular.  

Behind the arbor a massive hedge of white hydrangea creates a contrasting background for the colorful garden. 

Another mountain view with the hydrangea hedge on the left.

The sundial and split brick path divides the front of the garden from the back. The lighting is hidden by tucking it under the boxwood hedge. 

The simple and the exotic, humble cosmos on the left and white Hardy Hibiscus on the right.
Next Monday the potager of Hildene. 

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