into the low hills of Dutchess County is hidden
one of the absolute gems of the Hudson Valley, Innisfree
Garden. Search out this marvelous expansive garden and
luxuriate in the unique design and landscape.
Conceptualized in the oriental style,
the garden surpasses the models upon which it is based.
"Saucer" gardens are designed as relatively
intimate spaces whose lines and plantings draw you in
and around the spaces through their combination of earth,
plantings and water. Innisfree is a sequence of these
intimate spaces exquisitely planted and maintained highlighted
by natural and created high vantage points allowing
you to rise above the gardens and view them from multiple
perspectives. As you wander through the gardens you
walk through cascading water in a gorge then down through
an expanse of lawn and back up again atop a rough stone
pergola. All the time surrounded by plantings of perennials
and drifts of tall grasses.
Innisfree is an American garden created
with an oriental sensibility, not a Japanese garden
recreated in America. You are immersed in a uniquely
American interpretation of an ideal garden and landscape.
The small gardens at Innisfree all face out to a spectacular
lake reflecting the sky and clouds into the manicured
landscape. And the lake itself acts as it's own "saucer
garden" filled with water lilies and surrounded
by a broad path inviting you to walk the lake and view
it also from many angles. The path takes you out around
the lake, across a bridge and up onto high ground opposite
the small gardens. You walk through small glens, dense
forests and broad manicured avenues.
Innisfree Garden is a unique and totally
friendly experience. Benches abound for quiet contemplation,
paths are for the most part easily graded and exceptionally
well maintained. Although Innisfree is not 100% handicapped
accessible, it is mostly so and fairly available to
all levels of disabled persons.
Getting to Innisfree can be just a
little tricky as it is not completely obvious and definitely
not well marked. Approach Innisfree on Route 44, between
routes 82 and 44A carefully look for a blue sign on
the south side of Route 44 pointing the way to Innisfree.
You will be turning onto a small well paved two lane
road. At the next intersection the road jogs a bit and
the paving starts to get worse, but keep going. Down
the road on your left you will pass a small Rockefeller
University Research Center and then you will enter Innisfree.