When Marjorie Merriweather Post ruled Hillwood in the 1950s, she would throw an annual garden party the first week in May. With that in mind, there’s no better time to visit the Northwest estate, when the garden puts on its grandest show.
Post, heiress to a cereal fortune, saw her gardens as an extension of her mansion and made sure every inch outside was as impressive as the inside. Her eclectic grounds were also inspired by the estates she had called home before moving to Hillwood.
The grandiose greenery include a rose garden (designed by Perry Wheeler, who had a hand in the White House Rose Garden), an 18th-century-style French parterre — the formal low-growing garden with walls of English ivy, boxwoods and a water feature in the center, separated by gravel paths — and even a putting green.
Not to be missed is the Japanese-style garden. Perfect for a lovely stroll, the garden features a babbling brook and mimics a Japanese mountainside with pines, maples and azaleas.
--Amy Orndorff, April 20, 2012