Last weekend I got to enjoy one of the gems of the Western N.Y. region. I went to Linwood Gardens for their annual Tree Peony Festival. I was blown away not only by the Peonies but also by the majestic scenery, architectural details and sheer mass of the plethora of horticultural beauty (that’s a mouth full). What are Linwood Gardens? It is an historic, private estate that was created by William H. Gratwick II and is still owned by the family.
This weekend is the last weekend for the Tree Peony Festival, but there are Open Garden Days and Summer Workshops available during the summer season. The information is on their website: https://www.linwoodgardens.org/history.
Here is a small taste of the history of Linwood Gardens from the same website:
“William Henry Gratwick II, from Buffalo, created Linwood Gardens as a country home in the years between 1901 and 1910. Architect Thomas Fox designed portions of the Summer House and all the original garden areas.
In 1933, William H. Gratwick III moved to Linwood with his family and set up the Rare Plants Nursery. The Japanese tree peony became a feature of the nursery and the gardens. As an artist, landscape architect, and horticulturalist, W.H.G. III contributed sculpture and new garden areas to the Linwood landscape. His wife, Harriet, directed a community music school on the property from 1947-1963. Linwood also hosted a wide variety of cultural activities during those years.”
William Gratwick III working with the Tree Peonies.
Lee Gratwick, W.H.G. III’s daughter, is now living at Linwood and is working to preserve the tree peony collection, the gardens and the summer house.
This is the view from the house.
This tree was one of the first things I saw on my tour. Even though it has died the family has not removed it. I can understand why it is like an amazing piece of art. Beautiful!
More spectacular scenery of the gardens
Looking at this I wonder if the architect knew that his design would eventually have trees large enough to perfectly frame the garden ahead or that the bushes to the left would become an archway leading to another garden. If that is the case, he must have been extremely talented!
The gardens were beautiful but the addition of architectual detail throughout takes it to the next level.
As you stroll through Linwood you come across other gardens. They may not be Peonies, but they are just as lovely in their own right.
Another natural archway leading to a gate. I think the gates are used as pauses to prepare your senses to be ready for the next treat in store for them.
I liked this unexpected site of flowers running rampant within the boxwood border. It adds a little whimsey to your experience.
I had never heard of “Snow In Summer” flowers but I love them now!
Linwood offers scavenger hunts for children. One of the things they need to find is the “old man in the tree”. Can you see him?
The chapel is yet another piece of history to be found.
I love the stonework and archways.
Even though the inside is stone it felt very warm and welcoming.
Here we are at the “Piece de Resistance”! The Peonies. Since I can’t really describe their beauty, I will let the pictures tell the story.
The Peony was in full bloom and as magnificent as expected!
I will definitely be returning next year. There was too much to take in for one visit.