Blithewold's Site History 

                The Enclosed                                     The Bosquet                      The Wellhead                               The North Garden

PRIMARY THEMES

Previous Page

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.

Next Page

    From Our Blog

  • Sight for sore eyes (Mar 27, '15)
    Winter’s mess has me craving tidiness (I understand the whole spring cleaning thing now and have gone a little nuts clearing surfaces at home) and its palette of whites, greys, browns, and bronzy greens has made my eyeballs hungry for super-saturated rainbow colors. You too? I had both wishes fulfilled during one dark, rainy day yesterday. Betsy and I […]
  • The littlest things (Mar 20, '15)
    Pretty soon only the biggest bonanzas of blooms and armfuls of harvests will knock our socks off but right now, on the first official day of spring, it doesn’t take much to get us excited. Any evidence of the growing season, no matter how small, is huge. Especially considering there’s snow in our forecast today (ugh-gain), piles of old stuff jammed in […]
  • Thaw (Mar 11, '15)
    Suddenly it seems like it won’t be too long before we see the ground again… Fingers crossed. Is winter on its way out of your garden too?
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail
List icon Sign up for Our E-Newsletter
Email Newsletters you can trust

Blithewold