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Field Study: Innisfree and Wethersfield

Sept. 28, 2023 Midnight

Innisfree and Wethersfield

Join Berkshire Botanical Garden for an exploration of two beautiful yet distinctly different public gardens in Dutchess County, New York on Sept. 28, from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Both are large, predominantly green gardens but Innisfree Garden nestles organically in a natural bowl wrapping around a glacial lake while Wethersfield Estate and Garden is a classical idyll atop a hill surrounded by rolling fields and forests. Innisfree Garden, seen during a curator-led tour, is a powerful work of art and an iconic postwar design. Inviting exploration and even contemplation, Innisfree is a remarkably low-maintenance landscape that merges the essence of Modernist and Romantic ideas with traditional Chinese and Japanese garden design principles in a form that evolved through subtle handling of the site and slow manipulation of its ecology.

After the morning at Innisfree and picnic lunch (Bring Your Own), we will travel to Wethersfield Estate and Garden, a classical idyll atop a hill surrounded by rolling fields and forests. Wethersfield mixes the formal lines, green hedging, vistas, and water features characteristic of Italian Renaissance gardens with elements of English Arts and Crafts style. During a second, curator-led tour, you will learn about Wethersfield's history of innovative gardening practices with an emphasis on land stewardship and conservation.



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