Blithewold's Site History
The Enclosed The Bosquet The Wellhead The North Garden
In developing the site history and considering how Blithewold relates to other historic properties of the era, a number of themes have emerged.
Blithewold has a rich legacy, which has evolved over time. While features from the past 120 years are most evident, the underlying layers from more than 400 years of continuous land use can still be traced on the land. New owners have shaped the property to meet their own needs, just as fires and hurricanes have created dramatic transformations. New gardens were created, plantings have matured and new programs have been developed to serve its changing mission from private to public enjoyment.
Unlike many estates of the period, where earth was moved and forests were planted to shape Nature to the tastes of its owners, landscape gardener (who sometimes referred to himself as a landscape architect) John DeWolf and Bessie Van Wickle McKee subtly transformed the natural topography and vernacular landscape structure at Blithewold that date to Colonial times. Some landscape features, such as the Enclosed Garden, appear to have been in place since the mid-19th century, before it was purchased by the Van Wickles. Bessie’s vision of creating “an estate in which new beauties are constantly revealed, and the perfect accord between architecture and grounds is ever apparent” remains in evidence today.
Thursday, March 27
Lords, Ladies, & Mummies: The Story of Highclere Castle, the Real Downton Abbey* Talk & Tea with Curt DiCamillo
Wednesday, April 02
- Wednesday, April 30
Friday, April 04
(Mar 07, '14)
Since Kris is off this week I decided I would double up on posts and change the format a little bit. Below are an assortment of cones (and one non conifer). Can you give all 7 common names (or scientific for bonus points)? Try to identify them all, and if you can’t; then […]
A Trip to New Orleans
(Oct 01, '13)
Have you ever marveled at the different ways men and women see historic sites? Here at Blithewold, Docents have to be prepared to answer very different questions from visitors. Marjorie Lyon, herself, was well aware of this disparity, and in … Continue reading