Innisfree Garden
Millbrook, New York

The Point: Dragon Rock behind Owl Rock

Celebrate Innisfree’s 60th Anniversary as a Public Garden
Saturday, September 12, 2020, 5:00pm – 7:00pm

I will arise and go now,
and go to Innisfree.
— W.B. Yeats, “The Lake Isle of Innisfree” (1888)

Recognized as one of the “world’s ten best gardens,”1 Innisfree is a powerful icon of mid-twentieth century design. Over fifty years in the making, it is the work of landscape architect Lester Collins, FASLA (1914–1993), with important contributions by his clients, artist and teacher Walter Beck and gardener and heiress Marion Burt Beck. At its core, Innisfree is about the individual’s experience in nature. Inviting exploration and even contemplation, Collins’ sweeping landscape merges the essence of Modernist and Romantic ideas with traditional Chinese and Japanese garden design principles in a form that evolved through subtle handling of the site and slow manipulation of its ecology. The result is a distinctly American stroll garden — a sublime composition of rock, water, wood, and sky achieved with remarkable economy and grace.

At challenging times our parks and gardens remind us of hope and renewal. For that reason Innisfree Garden hopes to open May 2-3, 2020 for Daffodil Viewing, and on May 9, resume our regular schedule opening Wednesdays through Sundays plus legal holidays. However the Trustees of Innisfree Foundation are carefully monitoring both State and Federal guidance on COVID-19. In mid-April, based on current information, we will make a decision about opening in early May or not. Because President Trump and Governor Cuomo extended strict social distancing guidelines through April 30, Innisfree will not be opening as originally planned on April 25-26. Please revisit this page or our website for updates.

Spend a few meditative minutes at Innisfree in this video created for us by Paul Horton.

  1. Rory Stuart, What are Gardens For? Experiencing, Making and Thinking about Gardens (2012)