Peony Tree Festival

Today I discovered a little corner of Heaven on earth. It was located in Pavilion, NY at a place called Linwood Gardens. A friend posted a couple photos on Facebook yesterday to show she’d been there and it intrigued me enough to look it up and decide to take a short 45 minute drive after church to see for myself. The gardens are only open to the public three weekends each spring to show off the extensive peony tree collections around the property – they call it the annual Peony Tree Festival. I LOVE peonies…..they are so romantic – delicate and fragile, much like romance itself! I have several pink peony bushes at my home – none are open, yet, but they are budding – and just recently was given a red peony tree in honor of my mother (it is just a stick in the ground, right now, but I hope next spring it will be loaded with the gorgeous blooms).

FYI:  If you see this post and think you might like to go see for yourself, next weekend (June 4-5) is the last weekend of the festival. The gardens were open last weekend (May 21-22), this weekend (May 28-29), and finally next weekend. They are also available for special occasions, workshops, and events throughout the year. Click here to visit their website.

Per the brochure and website: William Henry Gratwick II created Linwood as a country home in 1901. Architect Thomas Fox designed portions of the Summer House and all the original garden areas. Later, in 1933, William H. Gratwick III (W.G.) moved to Linwood with his family and set up the Rare Plants Nursery. W.G. was an artist, landscape architect, and horticulturist and added sculptures and new gardens to the landscape. His wife, Harriet, directed a community music school on the property from 1947-1963. A fire destroyed much of the Summer House in 1973, but parts were redesigned and are now open for the festival and workshops. Lee Gratwick, W.G.’s daughter, is now living at Linwood and is dedicated to preserving the Tree Peony Collection, the Gardens, and the Summer House. Linwood Gardens is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the New York State Register of Historic Places and is a Not-For-Profit Organization.

Here are photos of my time at Linwood Gardens:

From the moment I turned into the driveway, I was whisked away.

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Sitting on the terrace in the back of the Summer House and strolling through the gardens filled me with a feeling of romance and days gone by. I sat for quite some time on the terrace, enjoying a delicious bowl of homemade chicken soup, a fresh baked roll, and a sprig of grapes. I easily popped myself into the pages of any number of my favorite novels set at lovely summer houses overlooking the ocean, vineyards, or mountains…..in this case, the setting was overlooking rolling hills and a lovely valley. I would have no trouble at all picturing myself spending hours upon hours in a lounge chair with a cool drink, a large brimmed hat, and a good book. The atmosphere was inviting, calm, and peaceful. There were several other people around, but it didn’t deter from the serenity at all. Everyone was respectful of the ambiance and was enjoying it as much as I.

There are several gardens – Italian Garden, Labyrinth, Walled Garden, Tree Peony Nursery, Lily Pool, and more.

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The view from behind the Summer House

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Entrance to the Italian Gardens

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Entrance to the Labyrinth

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A couple strolling the path of the Labyrinth

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A little girl checking out a frog on a lily pad in the Lily Pool

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One of the best representations of the day – people felt free to sit and enjoy the peaceful setting

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And another perfect representation of the peace and serenity of the day!

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Entrance to the Walled Garden

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The peonies were everywhere…..every color and size imaginable!

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More photos around and inside the Summer House

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What an amazing place for a photographer or a painter to spend time……I’m so very glad I went!

One Comment on “Peony Tree Festival

  1. Wow, a lovely post Kim! We went yesterday. Wouldn’t it have been fun to “run into” each other there! It is a very special and beautiful spot, with a photo op everywhere you look! I’m glad you enjoyed it too.

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