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Innisfree Garden

Millbrook, NY

"One of the hidden gems of the area, Innisfree is recognized as one of the “world’s ten best gardens.” Landscape architect Lester Collins created this Japanese “cup” or “bowl” garden with his clients, Walter Beck and Marion Burt Beck. This iconic garden merges Modern and Romantic ideas within the Chinese and Japanese principles in landscape design, creating a “distinctly American stroll garden.”

"A one mile walk around the lake and hundreds of exotic flora and fauna to see and always fun to find a frog or turtle on the side ready to take the plunge."

"From the moment I discovered this magical garden I was smitten. It’s the most peaceful place designed with Chinese and Japanese garden design principles — truly a treasure."


From the shortlist of Mieke Ten Have

Notes from the website:
Recognized as one of the “world’s ten best gardens”, 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.