There is certainly no shortage of public gardens in the Hudson Valley, to visit, enjoy, and soak up inspiration. Large or small, historic or contemporary, there’s a lot to see. Check them out during different seasons. If you find one that keeps calling you back, you might want to consider volunteering there. Most of these gardens operate on limited budgets, although you wouldn’t know it to look at them. And most welcome volunteers who can donate a little time to plant, weed, or give tours. You’ll learn so much and gain as much as you give.
The ClimberyWhat's a climbery? A garden with clematis vines that scamper up cedar stakes everywhere you turn. The Climbery is a private garden that is open to the public by appointment. You are free to tour the garden on you own, but since it is the owner's home, she likes to know when you're coming. It's an awesome collection of clematis, (600 varieties and 6,000 vines), as well as some impressive borders and a lovely enclosed garden dedicated to the memory of her father.
Blithewood GardenJust when you think you've driven all the way to the river's edge, you come upon a beautiful McKim, Mead & White Beaux-Arts mansion sitting next to a long wall. Walk a little closer and you'll be surprised with a sunken garden of drought tolerant flowers and plants that billow over the edges and lines of a formal garden that is open and free to the public.
Innisfree GardenTotally unique and utterly intriguing, Innisfree Garden has to be seen, to be understood. At first glance, it seems to be barely touched by gardeners. Look closer and you'll discover a series of "cup gardens", vignettes designed around a focal point, sometimes man made, sometimes natural. Walk slowly, to take it all in.
Mohonk Mountain House
St. Gregory's Garden
Mohonk Mountain HouseFormal bedding gardens, sprawling borders everywhere you look, and 280 acres of American picturesque landscape surround this castle of a resort. It's been a family business since 1869. You'll need a grounds pass to walk about, or go for a meal or a special event and enjoy the grounds as a bonus.
St. Gregory's GardenLooking for a place for some quit contemplation? The Memorial Garden at St. Gregory’s with it’s sheltered benches and maze for clearing your head are a quit spot tucked behind Saint Gregory's Episcopal Church. It’s not large, but it is a very nice spot for reflection.