Monday, June 6, 2011

Mohonk Mountain House - Part 1

The Mohonk Mountain House is located in the Catskills region of New York. In 1869, Albert Smiley purchased 280 acres of land and a ten-room inn at the heart of a 26,000-acre natural area in the Shawangunk Mountains. Smiley envisioned a peaceful retreat where people could enjoy the beauty of nature in a spectacular setting. What started as a ten room inn and tavern is now a historic New York hotel that can accommodate up to 500 guests.

The gardens are very well known and over the years, have attracted amateur and professional gardeners who come to attend horticultural lectures, demonstrations and workshops. To quote from The Story of Mohonk, "Gardening with Mr. Smiley was dangerously near a passion." Over the years, succeeding generations of the Smiley family have tried to live up to his gardening standards. The gardens reflect the influence of the French and Italian, but mostly English styles of landscaping of the mid-19th century. On the first few days I was there, every inch of the property was covered with a thick, dense fog. It was beautiful and mysterious at the same time.

The tulips were just about finishing up for the season and the moisture from the fog clung to their petals.

The formal gardens lie between the Mountain House and the surrounding woodlands. Visitors are encouraged to wander through the beds and admire what is blooming. Here, the alliums were towering over the pansies. Beyond this bed were others, waiting to be planted with summer blooming annuals and tropicals.

266 arborvitae make up this fantastic maze. I'll admit, the fog made it even more spooky to me...

A beautiful young cooper beech stood alone in the fog. The property has several fine specimens of copper, weeping and cut-leaf beech trees.

After a day and a half of fog, the sun did make an appearance and transformed everything into a glowing sight of color, shadows and majesty. Stay tuned for my post on Part 2 of my trip to Mohonk Mountain House.

1 comment:

  1. The camassia and tulip photo is magical. I have not been to the Mohonk but know of it. Five star restaurant I hear.


Thanks for leaving a comment! Even if I don't reply to each comment, please know that I do read every one of them and truly enjoy hearing from you!