Wednesday, May 14, 2008

A Secret Garden


It looks like the gate to a secret garden, doesn't it? It actually leads to the Cross Estate Gardens, a beautiful historical site hidden in the rolling hills of New Jersey's horse country. The gardens date back to the early years of the twentieth century, when the surrounding area was a summer retreat for wealthy New Yorkers.




One of the main features is a wonderful wisteria-covered pergola, which spans the length of the garden. At this time of year, it is alive with the buzz of bees who feast on the long purple racemes.





Tucked amid the tall trees is a lovely natural shade garden, whose meandering paths offer a place to stop and appreciate the wonderfully fragrant air. I wish that you could smell the air, heavy with the scent of wisteria and lilac.



The house, originally built in 1905, was purchased in 1929 by Redmond Cross. His wife, Julia Newbold Cross, belonged to the Royal Horticultural Society and was also a president of the New York Horticultural Society. Along with noted landscape architect, Clarence Fowler, she made extensive improvements to the gardens. The house was remodeled in 1940, after the death of Mr. Cross.





The formal garden is surrounded by a stone wall, and divided into four quadrants paved with old bricks. Large terracotta jars adorn this English garden, surrounded by lavender and veronica. The air is heavy with the drone of bees.








The Cross Estate gardens are a project of the New Jersey Historical Garden Foundation in cooperation with the National Park Service. For more information, visit http://www.crossestategardens.org/.

32 comments:

  1. Oh Mary, that is spectacular! I could smell the wisteria and the lilac. What a feast for all the senses.

    ReplyDelete
  2. What a lovely and enchanting home. The gardens are luxurious with plantings. We have a garden here that has a very large gazebo covered in wisteria. Gardens seem to be so close to God.

    ReplyDelete
  3. So beautiful! I have always wanted a secret garden, I think most women do don't you? They kind of symbolize a secret snctuary, a priveleged place. Thanks for sharing this one with us!

    ReplyDelete
  4. All I can say is WOW. Can you imagine actually living there?

    I do have a secret garden. It's such a lovely retreat.

    - Suzanne

    ReplyDelete
  5. Mary, we just don't have things such as this in our West Texas area so I always enjoy tours of lovely places....thanks so much for this one...
    hugs, bj

    ReplyDelete
  6. Beautiful!!!! I want a secret garden. Thanks for taking me there. Mary, have a wonderful day.
    Janie

    ReplyDelete
  7. Janie, I never get to say "hello" to you because you don't have a blog, so I just wanted to tell you how much I appreciate your comments!
    xoxo,
    Mary

    ReplyDelete
  8. Just a breathtakingly beautiful place Mary.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Gorgeous gardens! I'd love to have a secret garden. I'm working on the idea but where to put it in our smallish yard is the question. Thanks for sharing these fantastic scenes with us. ~Adrienne~

    ReplyDelete
  10. I loved going on this stroll with you, Mary. I would never tire of going through and seeing what new things are emerging.

    I have always wanted a small enclosed area with a gate that I could make into a jewel box of a secret garden. A project for a future year.......

    :-) Rosie

    ReplyDelete
  11. What a beautiful day you had to wander in such a place! I enjoyed the tour very much. I can almost hear the bees and smell the flowers.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Oh, can you imagine having a garden such as that for your personal escape? I'd love to be able to walk out my back door and into that beautiful place. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  13. What a lovely home and gardens-- I'd move in in a second. Hopefully, my wisteria will bloom next year! I just love the photos.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful treasure with us. It gives us a chance to visit places we would never be able to go to. It is truly lovely!!!

    ReplyDelete
  15. What a beautiful garden. I am heart broken that I didn't know about it when we lived in New York. Thanks for sharing the pictures with us.

    ReplyDelete
  16. What a gorgeous garden to visit. Beautiful photos Mary. I love the Wisteria hanging from the pergola.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Mary, that garden is beautiful! I would love to visit there sometime. Thank you for taking me on a stroll through it with you.
    Hugs,
    Penny

    ReplyDelete
  18. What a great tour you gave us.
    I love the wisteria-covered pergola!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Beautiful place, Mary! I can almost smell the lilac and wisteria.
    Hugs,
    Donna

    ReplyDelete
  20. What a beautiful gate indeed :) I just could daydream on that for days!

    Hugs,
    Dena

    ReplyDelete
  21. You had me at hello, when you said the words "secret garden", my favorite children's book. These gardens are spectacular and so is your photography, by the way. I like how you added al the information about the gardens as well. Wisteria in bloom and lovely vistas, how lovely. Karen

    ReplyDelete
  22. Oh my that is beautiful. Thanks for sharing such a beautiful garden and house with us.
    Love the wisteria.
    Alison

    ReplyDelete
  23. Gorgeous photos of a lovely place - makes me want to go there sometime!

    ReplyDelete
  24. How beautiful! I particularly like that pergola. How fun it would be to take a stroll under it on a sunny day! Thanks for taking us along on a tour of the Cross Estate!

    ReplyDelete
  25. The garden looks almost ethereal with the hanging wisteria and the bleeding hearts. So beautiful. Thank you for giving me a glimpse of it.

    ReplyDelete
  26. wow, that is gorgeous. What a glorious place to wander around and take pictures!!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Which for a marvelous garden, Mary.
    I am totally inspired, by all these wonderful pictures.
    The spring is a marvelous season.
    Take care
    Barbara

    ReplyDelete
  28. Oh, how interesting! I love learning about places like this. Thanks! -Julia :-)

    ReplyDelete
  29. Hi Mary :)

    What a beautiful place! Your pictures capture the beauty perfectly :)

    off to read more...
    hugs,

    rue

    ReplyDelete
  30. Such exquisite beauty...your images are so lovely!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment. I love to hear what you have to say!