Discovering the Historic Gardens of Newport

Gardens Shine at the Newport Flower Show 2018Enjoyably coastal breezes, mild temperatures, sunny days, and luxury accommodations all add up to a fantastic getaway. Spring is an exceptionally beautiful time of year to visit Newport.  These spring months also bring stunning natural beauty, in the form of emerging buds and flowers at Newport’s famous gardens.  One such garden is the Blue Garden, which has its origins in Newport’s famed Gilded Age.

Additionally, in mid-June Newport hosts the Newport Flower Show, a general celebration of the many luxurious gardens around Newport.  As you start planning your next trip to Newport, don’t miss your chance to stay at one of the top 25 Bed and Breakfasts in the world, as recently rated by BedandBreakfast.com. Book your room today!

An Example of Historic Gardens in Newport

Like much of Newport, the Blue Garden is an extraordinary example of historic preservation and restoration.  Oiginally conceived and designed in 1913 by landscape designer Frederick Law Olmsted Jr., the design is classic in its proportions, and designed with one defining monochromatic theme. The use of only blue and purple hues is a hallmark of this garden, rightfully earning it the name the Blue Garden.  After the deaths of this property’s original owners, railroad titan Arthur Curtiss James and his wife, Harriett, the property, like many others from Newport’s Gilded Age, fell into disarray. The once-stunning Blue Garden didn’t begin its new life until 2012, when Mrs. Dorrence (dodo) Hamilton purchased the gardens, adjacent to her home, and began restoration work. The landscape architectural firm Reed Hildebrand took on the project, and restored the beautiful Blue Garden to its glory by  referencing the original plans from the Olmsted National Historic Site.

Though the Blue Garden is a private garden and not open to the general public, individuals involved in garden design, horticulture, historic preservation, or landscape architecture can visit by appointment on Thursdays at 11:00am or 2:00pm, from mid-June through mid-October. There’s also a wonderful book about the Blue Garden, written by one of the historians involved in its renovation.

Gardens Shine at the Newport Flower Show

Interest in the Blue Garden, and its preservation as a Newport landmark, is a reflection of the importance of horticultural design in our society, an interest that has continued since the earliest days of Newport’s Gilded Age. From June 22-24, join us in Newport for the 2018 Newport Flower Show. The 2018 Flower Show will feature special guest Martha Stewart, and is the perfect time to enjoy a variety of horticulture exhibits, garden displays, lectures and demonstrations, and so much more.  Tickets are available now.  This year’s theme for the flower show is “Cottages Smart & Historic Gardens in Newport, Rhode islandSmall,” which will be featured in the display garden at Rosecliff.

Other special gardens to visit while in Newport include the Green Animals Topiary Garden, the Blithewold Mansion, Gardens, & Arboretum, and the Samuel Whitehorne House & Garden. Another opportunity to visit some of Newport’s famous gardens is on the upcoming Secret Garden Tour, which will take place June 15, 16, and 17, 2018.

Garden lovers will also enjoy spending time in the Cliffside Inn’s formal gardens, which feature stone walls and walking paths, making a seamless connection between the buildings’ verandas and decks. Come celebrate the magic of gardens in bloom with us in Newport. Book a room at our luxury Bed and Breakfast today.