Tucked 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
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.
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.