I hesitated to post this as the first glimpse of the gardens as it is walled in and somewhat hidden in the middle of this vast 72 acre estate. It is, however, right behind and just to the south of the manor house. While the English Garden itself is very large, the walls limit the view of the rest of the estate. I was afraid that it might make the whole 'gardens' term seem overkill. Let me assure you that this is only one of several gardens and the best place to begin.
You enter from a path called Pleasure Drive that winds from the front of the house all the way around the rear of the grounds and comes full-circle back in front. The entrance cottage is a short distance from the terrace outside the music room pictured in yesterday's post.
This is the placard at the right as you walk in.
This bas-relief poem is featured at the left as you walk through the entrance cottage. There are benches at the left and the right allowing visitors to be seated in the shade.
There is also a little alcove on the west side of the garden. It has a circular bench and grated window-openings that overlook Pleasure Drive as it winds around to the back.
Due to the early date (the estate had only opened the day before), the reflecting pool was empty. The pool is surrounded by rows of vintage plants: peonies, lilies, ivies and daisies to mention a few. One brick path wraps around the pool connected by steps at North and South ends to another brick path between the flower beds.
The North end of the reflecting pool is home to the 1916 bronze sculpture of The Water Goddess.
The time and care in building and restoring this secret garden is evident in each vine and in each paver. Every step you take through the English Garden at Stan Hywet is a reminder of simpler times. I can imagine Gertrude Seiberling and guests taking afternoon tea here or maybe an afternoon rest. When you are inside the garden, the whole world disappears.