Lyndhurst's Rose Garden
In Tarrytown, New York, Lyndhurst, the former estate of Jay Gould (and the setting for two Dark Shadows movies), has a lovely rose garden that is maintained by the Garden Club of Irvington-on-Hudson. A look at some of the 500 roses that grow in this unusually designed garden, now owned by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Last Friday, I took the train from New York City to Tarrytown, where I visited the rose garden at Lyndhurst. Lyndhurst, which is a National Trust Historic Site, is an estate with a Gothic Revival-style mansion and was home to a number of tycoons, including Jay Gould. Overlooking the Hudson River, the estate covers 67 acres and was also the site for two Dark Shadows films, The House of Dark Shadows (1970) and Night of Dark Shadows (1971).
Though tours of the mansion require tickets, the rose garden and the rest of the estate is free to visit. We've put together some photos of some of the roses in bloom, with a little history of the garden. And if you're in the New York area, Lyndhurst is a lovely day trip.
Visiting Lyndhurst: Lyndhurst grounds are open to the public every day from dawn to dusk. And for more information, visit lyndhurst.org
The rose garden is the pride and joy of the Garden Club of Irvington-on-Hudson, who have been taking care of the rose garden since 1968. The roses were originally planted in the early 1900s, during Helen Gould Sheperd's ownership of Lyndhurst (Gould Sheperd was the oldest daugher of Jay and Helen Gould) and the garden focused on pink climbing roses. After Sheperd's death, the estate passed to her younger sister, the Duchess of Talleyrand-Perigord (née Anna Gould). Through World War II, the garden began to decline and when the estate was left to the National Trust after the death of the Dutchess in 1961, there were only a few roses left.
All of the text and information about the roses is from the garden club's master list of roses:
Left: 'New Dawn' Large-flowered climber to 12 to 15 feet. Dreer, U.S. 1930. Pale pink flowers of moderate fragrance up to 35 petals, medium to large, very double, borne mostly solitary in small clusters. Light repeat. It has glossy dark green foliage and is constantly putting out new growth. It holds the first rose patent ever issued in the U.S.
The Lyndhurst Rose Garden contains some 500 roses, set in three cocentric rings, joined by trellises covered in climbing roses.
'Tumbling Waters' Polyatha. Poulsen, Denmark. 1997. Cascades of tiny white blooms. Light, sweet, fragrance, mounded, spreading growth habit.
'Silver Moon' Large-flowered climber / rambler. Van Fleet, U.S. 1910. Yellow buds open to large, single to semi-double, creamy white blooms set off by golden stamens. "The climber to choose if you want to slipcover a barn with roses," says Peter Malins. Too much rose for Lyndhurst's trellises, but good healthy strong canes, handsome foliage favored by nesting birds. Profuse one-time bloom. A species hybrid which grows 25 to 30 feet.
'Aviateur Bleriot' Hybrid Wichuriana. Fauque, France. 1910. Very double, very fragrant flowers that fade to lamon and cream, but start as orange and yellow buds. A lovely old non-recurring rambler. Dark glossy foliage. Louis Bleriot was the first aviator to fly across the English Channel.
'Sparrieshoop' Large shrub or climber of 10 to 12 feet. Kordes, Germany, 1953. Fragrant bright pink buds, lovely soft-pink single flowers, bright pink on the reverse. A vigorous plant with sweet briar ancestry. Named for the village where Kordes has their now famous nursery.
The trellises actually indicate what hue of roses are in the adjacent ground beds. For example, between a trellis covered in red roses and a trellis covered in pink roses should be a bed with red and pink roses. Of course, admits Pru Montgomery, a member of the garden club, sometimes a rogue bush will sneak in and break the gentle ombre color scheme of each ring.
Left: 'Dorothy Perkins' Hybrid Wichuraiana. Miller, U.S. 1901. An old-fashioned rambler with profuse small pale to bright pink blooms. Named for the granddaughter of the founder of Jackson and Perkins Nursery. Susceptible to mildew. Irving Garden Club members propagated both these plants. Once blooming.
Each ring of the rose garden features different kinds of roses: In the outer circle of beds, the garden club planted shrub and old garden roses; in the middle circle, there are hybrid teas and grandiflora, and in the inner circle, polyanthas and floribundas bloom.
Left: 'Heritage' (also known as 'Roberta') Shrub. David Austin, U.K., 1984. Big cupped flowers of old rose form in a variety of light-pink shades and with a good lemony fragrance. Continuous blooming. Parentage: 'Wife of Bath' x 'Iceberg'
The flowers were cunningly chosen so that the same color of climbing roses grow over each ray of trellises, so that a visitor will see nothing but arches or red, white, pink, or yellow roses when standing in the center of the garden.
Left: In the arch at the front of the photo, the trellis is covered in 'Dortmund.' Climber. Kordes, Germany. 1955. Large sprays of brilliant red three-inch single flowers with a white eye. Exceptionally shiny, heavily textured foliage. Large orange hips. Can be used as a shrub or trained on a pillar. Grows 10 to 15 feet.
'Westerland' Floribunda. Kordes, Germany. 1969. Bright apricot-orange flowers with a ruffled look an dpleasant fragrance. A tall upright bush with soft green foliage. Planted in 2007.
One of the biggest problems for the garden club has been deer! With the installation of a fence around the rose garden, the deer have been barred from wandering in and munching the roses.
Left: 'Dorothy Perkins' Hybrid Wichuraiana. Miller, U.S. 1901. An old-fashioned rambler with profuse small pale to bright pink blooms. Named for the granddaughter of the founder of Jackson and Perkins Nursery. Susceptible to mildew. Irvington Garden Club members propagated these plants. Once blooming.
Though the original rose garden was planted with only pink roses, today, the twenty-four cresent-shaped beds have roses in all shades, reflecting the garden club's desire to reflect the broad spectrum of color and variety of the many rose varieties available today.
Left: 'Julia Child' Floribunda. Carruth, 2006. AARS 2006. Buttery gold yellow blooms with a strong licorice and spice scent. Medium height, with a bushy well-rounded growth habit. New to the garden in 2007.
'Charles Darwin' Austin shrub. David Austin, 2002. Continuously blooming apricot blend flowers with a strong lemon fragrance. Height 3' to 4'. New to the garden in 2007.
In this bed, between a red rose-covered trellis and a yellow rose-covered trellis should only be red, yellow, and orange roses. But a white rose bush managed to sneak into the bed:
'Iceberg' (also known as 'Fée des neiges' or "Schneewitten') Floribunda. Kordes, Germany. 1958. Sweetly fragrant white flowers. Exceptionally disease resistant and hardy One of the tallest and most profusely blooming floribundas.
The yellow flower is 'Julia Child' and the red is 'Show Biz' Floribunda. Tanatu, Germany. 1983. AARS 1985. Cluster after cluster of scarlet red blooms, which have a flat, open form with wavy petals. Low compact growth habit and light sweet fragrance.
The greenhouse, which was designed by Lord & Burnham, the greenhouse specialists, it held Jay Gould's spectacular orchid collection and other rare plants. Tricia Wright, the Chief Interpreter at Lyndhurst, told me a great story about how one year, when Gould decided to gift orchids to various friends and associates in Manhattan, the plants were driven down from Tarrytown, accompanied by a steam heater to keep the flowers warm, as they were dropped off door to door.
During Jay Gould's time, the greenhouse was considered the largest in the country and the first to use metal framing. The greenhouse has since fallen into disrepair and the orchids long sold, but when Gould was alive, the greenhouse alone required a full-time staff of sixteen. Today, Lyndhurst only has three gardeners for the entire estate.
The Lyndhurst grounds are open to the public every day from dawn to dusk.
Visitors are encouraged to enjoy the site by using the many walking trails.
2012 Welcome Center and Gift Shop Hours: Friday and Sunday 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Guided tours of the mansion are offered hourly from 10 a.m., Friday to Sunday.
The last tour will begin at 4 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at the Welcome Center beginning at 9:30 a.m. each day. Tickets are $12 for adults and $6 for children.