I'll admit that I am a dork at heart. But unlike most of my colleagues, I don't just geek-out about plants - books and American literature will induce the same type of nerdy enthusiasm. (And don't even get me started on plant books!) So when I found out that a new film was being made about The Great Gatsby, a book that I've read not once, not twice, but three times, I pretty much flipped-out. (And Leonard DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby was a huge bonus!) I was super-excited to see Gatsby's enchanted gardens, where "men and girls came and went like moths, among the whispering and the champagne and the stars" on the big screen. Did the exquisite gardens live up to the magnitude of greatness I had created in my head? Well, unlike the critics, I thought Baz Luhrmann's over-the-top directing did a great job of conveying the splendors and excesses of New York during the Roaring Twenties.Old Westbury Gardens is one of my favorites. Located in Old Westbury, it was the home of John S. Phipps, his wife, Margarita Grace Phipps, and their four children. John’s father was Andrew Carnegie’s business partner, and as such, he was heir to the US Steel fortune. Completed in 1906, the magnificent Charles II-style mansion sits amid 200 acres of formal gardens, landscaped grounds, woodlands, and ponds. It has been open to the public since 1959. Perhaps you have seen it yourself, because it has been the site of many films, including Cruel Intentions, Hitch, and Gossip Girl.
Another former Gold Coast mansion and now public garden has taken a different approach to a similar problem. Planting Fields Arboretum is located in Oyster Bay on Long Island and was the "country cottage" of William Robertson Coe and Mai Rogers Coe. William made his fortune in marine insurance and Mai was the daughter of one of the partners of Standard Oil.
|Planting Fields Arboretum pool|