The garden was not to be distinctly Italian nor French nor English. It was to be Yaddo.
– Katrina Trask, 1905
Please note: The private Gardens at Yaddo are open to the public Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Gardens will be closed October 2, 2022. On the following Saturdays—September 17 & 24 and October 22 & 29—Yoga sessions will be offered at 9:30 AM. All are welcome to attend, but you must pre-register. Otherwise, the Gardens will open at 11 AM on Yoga Saturdays.
Spencer Trask gave the Gardens at Yaddo as a gift to his wife Katrina in 1899. Though the Trasks consulted landscape architects and gardening manuals, the design was theirs alone. Here, as elsewhere on the estate, the Trasks showed themselves to be restless experimenters.
The Gardens are situated on lower and upper terraces divided by a pergola. The lower part, which includes the Rose Garden, is more formal, and reflects Italian and French Renaissance influences. The upper part, located above and beyond the pergola, is a woodland rock garden, a style that came into fashion in the late 19th century. Both gardens have fountains.
The Trasks intended to share the Gardens at Yaddo with the public. However, by the 1980s, harsh weather and episodes of vandalism—even theft—had taken a toll. In 1991, Saratoga Springs resident and Yaddo board member Jane Wait founded the Yaddo Garden Association (YGA). Under her leadership, the all-volunteer association brought the gardens back to life and raised funds to restore statuary and ornaments. The YGA remains a vibrant part of the Yaddo community.
Typically, the Gardens are among the most popular attractions in Saratoga Springs and receive over 60,000 visits annually. We are deeply appreciative of the YGA, as well as the students in the area BOCES program, for their efforts.
For news from the YGA, follow @yaddogarden on Facebook. To learn more about the Gardens, please consult the following articles:
Patti Croop, “Gardens of Delight,” Hudson Valley (1999): 27-29.
Theresa St John, “When a Child Names a Garden,” Historic Gardens Review (2016): 14-18.
Katrina Trask, “The Garden of Yaddo,” Country Calendar (1905): 708-711.