Gardens in Stained Glass

Tuesday, July 29, 2014
"We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses."  Great reminder by Abraham Lincoln.  And speaking of Lincoln, last week I was able to cross off another destination on my summer agenda when we spent a morning at Hildene in Manchester, VT.  

Hildene was the home of Robert Todd Lincoln, the only child of Abraham and Mary Lincoln that survived to adulthood.  " Robert first visited Manchester as a young man in the summer of 1864 when he came to the Equinox Hotel with his mother and his brother Tad. He was so taken by the beauty of Vermont that some forty years later he returned to purchase 500 acres of land to build what he would call his ancestral home." (taken from Hildene's website).  I will give you more Hildene later in another in my Hildene series, but today I want to focus on the gardens - which for me, was worth the price of admission.  I think you'll understand why.
The gardens were designed as a birthday gift for her mother by daughter Jesse Lincoln in 1907.  Many of the original plantings still exist and produce thousands of peony blooms each June.  "Her design was influenced by French parterre gardens she had seen while the family lived in Europe and she wanted the garden to resemble a stained-glass Romanesque cathedral window. The panes of colored glass were produced by different colored flowers and privet hedge was planted to represent the leading between the panes."  As gorgeous as this garden looks - both in the photos as as you stroll through it, the best view can be found from Mrs. Lincoln's second floor bedroom which overlooks the gardens.  I would have had a hard time leaving a bedroom that offered such a spectacular view!

 If you're looking at these shrubs and thinking they look particularly neat and symmetrical - they should - they are trimmed DAILY.....yes, daily!

Aside from the spectacular design, the beautiful collection of specimens and absolute awe-inspiring beauty of the gardens, one cannot ignore the magnificent view that awaits you once you reach the end of the garden.  Robert Todd Lincoln certainly chose the most beautiful corner of Manchester for his "summer cottage", didn't he?  I'll tell you more about Hildene in my next blog, but for now I'll leave you to spend a few moments enjoying the Hildene Gardens.

 Don't forget, to view photos in a larger format, click on any photo and view as a slide show.  Hope to see you back soon to enjoy the rest of beautiful Hildene.

All photos, unless otherwise noted, were taken by Gail A. Welter.  All Rights Reserved. Photographs in this blog may not be downloaded, reproduced or manipulated in any form or fashion without my express written consent.

1 comment

  1. It's late but I had to start "visiting" some of the latest destinations, vicariously, through your photos and words.
    Another one on my "to do" list.
    You have piqued my interest and I anxiously await your next chapter!


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