My hubbie and I really enjoy visiting historic houses, so we’re always on the look out for new places to check out .Recently I discovered, just 20 minutes from me, is the Long Hill Estate with it’s magnificent Sedgwick Gardens. It’s in Beverly, Mass and being as I lived the first half of my life in the Boston area I can’t believe I never knew about this beautiful spot. Anyway, better late than never as they say!
Long Hill was the summer retreat of Ellery Sedgwick, the publisher and editor of the Atlantic Monthly Magazine. Mr. Sedgwick was instrumental in launching the literary careers of many writers, including Ernest Hemingway and Robert Frost.
In 1916 he purchased 114 acres of land in Beverly and on it built a reproduction of a federal style antebellum mansion he had seen in Charleston, S.C. When the original was abandoned he even purchased architectural details and had them sent by barge to Boston in order to incorporate them into his home.
The house is surrounded by beautiful gardens, which are the highlight of this property. Mabel, the first Mrs. Sedgwick, was an avid horticulturalist who had ambitious plans for the grounds. She created outdoor living spaces which are essentially individual garden rooms separated by gates and pathways.
Mabel died in 1937 and Mr. Sedgwick eventually married Marjorie, who also just happened to be a horticulturalist! Both horticulturalists with names beginning with M. I thought that was kind of interesting. What are the chances?
The second Mrs. Sedgwick continued with the care and maintenance of the gardens.
It was hot, humid and overcast the day we visited, so I had to wear something lightweight, and comfortable. Plus it had to be a floral print to complement my surroundings! I chose this 1970s sleeveless shirtwaist dress. I’m a huge fan of shirtwaist dresses. The style is timeless and this one has an elasticized waist band with front ties, which meant it wouldn’t be strangling my mid section when I went for a nice big lunch later.
Does anyone else plan their outfits around their eating habits, or is it just me?
I wore my Crown Vintage yellow peep toe wedge sandals, a 1960s tan tweed bag and my blue and green 50s thermoset bracelet.
Not only can you stroll through the various “garden rooms” but there is also a 1.2 mile hiking trail through woodlands, an apple orchard and a 2 acre organic vegetable farm, which I could not get pictures of because it started to drizzle and we had to run for the car!
I couldn’t help thinking what a perfect venue this would be for a vintage themed lawn party. A picnic or high tea with everyone wearing Edwardian or 1920s finery would be so much fun.
Below are some more photos of the stunning grounds. I’m always so thrilled to see places like this preserved for future generations to appreciate.
Till next time…..