Monday, June 25, 2007
Old Westbury Gardens
Old Westbury Gardens
71 Old Westbury Rd
Old Westbury, NY 11568
On Saturday I went over to Long Island and visited a two gardens. Now I remember why I usually take the Bridgeport to Port Jefferson Ferry as the traffic was a nightmare. I must have been in 10 different slowdowns and 2 or 3 major jams. When I finally got onto the island and made to Old Westbury Gardens all was forgotten. From the moment I pulled off the road I was amazed at the huge Linden Tree allée (it is the driveway, which is slightly curved to give an infinite look) and things just got better after that. I spent most of the afternoon wandering around shooting pictures and enjoying the beautiful day. I would have to give this place a 9 on a scale of 10. The only reason I wouldn’t give it a 10 was it was a little lacking in the shrub and perennial collection. The other thing is I don’t think it had an irrigation system (I might be wrong about that) and it lacked a certain lushness that I like. Overall it was nicely set up and the allées in the back and front of the house were amazing. You just don’t see that too often in the U.S. Please don’t get me wrong on the rating, it is a wonderful garden that is well taken care of.
I think the walled garden was my favorite as this is probably the most intensely gardened spot. There was a nice collection of David Austin Roses, probably more than I had seen in one place before and a good mixture of perennials and a couple of nice annuals. The water garden at the end was simple but elegant. The rose garden was small but had a good selection of shrub and climbing roses. The lakeside trail was interesting and had some nice features and trees and a nice bridge. The lake itself was the strangest color I have ever seen. At first it was a turn off but later I thought it looked pretty unusual. I didn’t go inside the house but it looked really big and well maintained.
:lol; Since I was carrying both my D70s and Karen’s D80 people kept asking me if I was a professional photographer. I guess I did look geared up. It was fun because it was a way to open a conversation with people. I had the Sigma 17-70mm on the D70 and the 60mm macro on the D80 so it was the best of both worlds for me. I wanted to try some more landscape shots so I was using the D70 a lot. Having the two cameras solved the problem of switching lenses and getting dust inside the camera. The Sigma has a Circular Polarizer on it and that was good as it was really sunny out. So when I was asked if I was a pro photographer I would answer no that I was a professional gardener and that of course invited more conversation. I had a lot of people asking me if I would take their picture with their camera and I am always happy to oblige. Does this happen to anyone else? I must have used 5 different cameras, including a couple of, gulp, gasp, ……. Canons (just kidding). I usually try and set the people up with the best chance of getting a nice shot for their memories. One person said “This is going to be the best picture of us ever” and that just cracked me up laughing. I just shot the picture on ‘auto’ and moved on chuckling to myself.
Back to the coal mine today. It is going to be a hot week after a few very cool nights (I think last night was a record).