While here at GardenRant the hot topic was rich people’s gardens, love ’em or hate ’em, I was strolling the garden of one of the super-rich – Marjorie Merriweather Post (as in Post Cereals). Here’s the very grand mansion, named Hillwood, filled with Russian imperial art (including Fabergé Eggs) and other Old World goodies. I’ve taken the mansion tour and my favorite parts were the private quarters – closets, baths, pantries. Very Upstairs/Downstairs.
The similarly grand gardens – 13 acres of formal ones – are the work of prominent landscape architects Umberto Innocenti and Richard Webel in the 1950s. they include such high-maintenance items as a French Parterre and Rose Garden. And of course the estate had its own greenhouse and cutting garden.
All gorgeous, right?
Now putting greens aren’t gorgeous to me, but the website tells us it was just one of many amenities for healthy living that Post loved, including a pool, tennis courts, bridle path, stables, and dog kennels. So in the spirit of Let’s Move! I can easily overlook a bit of intensively-managed turf.
Somehow the extravagance of this estate, like the extravagance of Versailles shown in Ivette’s post, doesn’t bother me. In fact, I love that they’re preserved.
But today, with what we know about the environmental cost of extravagance and about Earth’s resources being limited, you’d have to be awfully clueless to try to duplicate Versailles. Like the couple in the surprisingly good documentary Queen of Versailles.
As for the Post estate garden, it may be high-maintenance but there isn’t an outdoor kitchen in sight. So to the super-affluent rich among you (anyone out there?) go ahead and recreate it; then invite me over. (More photos here.)Posted by Susan Harris on August 1, 2014 at 7:20 am, in the category Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, Real Gardens.