Gardening is a gift that keeps on giving – and this is especially true of the Planting Fields Arboretum, a jewel of a gift on Long Island’s Gold Coast.
William Robertson Coe, who made his fortune in marine insurance, built the mansion in 1921 in the style of a 16th century Elizabethan country home – but it’s the park-like 409-acre estate, designed by the Olmsted brothers, that brings gardening enthusiasts, walkers, brides, and myself back in time.
Part of the fun of wandering the grounds is the chance to get lost on the pebbled paths,
all of which are lined with tall trees and shade-loving plants . . .
. . . like hostas.
Around every corner is a bride and groom’s photo op.
A close-up of Crepe Myrtle ruffles.
The Tea House was storybook-like . . .
. . . and its view of the Italian Garden had me convinced that this is all I need to be completely happy.
Until I arrived at the Main Greenhouse. . .
. . . with its Tropical Room, overflowing with colorful blooms, like. . .
. . . Ginger . . .
. . . and unknown beauties. . .
. . . and Bird of Paradise.
Adjacent to the Tropical Room was a room dedicated to all things Begonia.
Then came a room filled with the Orchid collection.
If you visit, remember to look up.
Inside the Orchid room, I noticed the rooting of something valuable.
It was kept under lock and key.
As you wander from room to room, the climate changes. Here is the Cactus room.
Some species looked like they arrived from another climate on another planet.
Yes, gardening is a gift that keeps on giving. Give yourselves a gift, and take time to visit your local arboretum or botanical garden. They are truly gardens of inspiration, imagination, and relaxation — and those are gifts we could all use.