Reopening Our Gardens!

April 18, 2022

Celebrating Yaddo’s return and our Annual Summer Benefit

We’re back! Yaddo is delighted to announce the reopening of our Gardens to the public after more than a year of pandemic-related closure. Our garden volunteers will return over the next weeks to join Yaddo’s Facilities team in preparing the gardens for visitors. The official reopening date is Monday, June 6, 2022.

After carefully considering how best to ensure the health of our artists and staff, while still fulfilling our crucial mission of supporting artists, we reopened the residency program in February 2021 with closed pods for predetermined periods of time. We implemented a successful Covid-19 testing protocol for staff and guests that resulted in Yaddo being able to remain Coronavirus-free throughout the year. The reopening of our historic Gardens is the next step in our path back and will coincide with a poetry event in the Gardens on the weekend of June 4th and 5th which will be free but require advance registration.

Yaddo’s Board Co-Chairs, Peter Kayafas and Janice Y.K. Lee announced the reopening and said: “As we move into post-pandemic life, let us remember that in very real ways, art saved us. We listened to music, read books, watched television shows and were comforted by beautiful works of art. As we all know, the creation of art does not happen in a vacuum and the process needs constant support and tending—not unlike gardens, in fact.” And Yaddo President Elaina Richardson agreed, noting: “We’re well aware of how much the Gardens at Yaddo mean to our community and to generations of visitors who come to them for solace, picnics, and often to capture the most significant moments in their lives, such as weddings and family photographs. We look forward to seeing our Garden Volunteers who do such a remarkable job and to welcoming everyone back as we celebrate Yaddo’s Return!”

Spencer Trask gave the formal Gardens 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, which are the only part of the Yaddo grounds open to the public, are situated on lower and upper terraces divided by a pergola. The lower part, which includes the Rose Garden, is more manicured, 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.

Typically, the Gardens are among the most popular attractions in Saratoga Springs and receive over 60,000 visits annually. We are deeply appreciative of our volunteer club, the Yaddo Garden Association, as well as the students in the area BOCES program, for their efforts.

The Gardens at Yaddo will be open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on weekends from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. For information about tours, please visit our Gardens at Yaddo page.

And the excitement of Yaddo’s Return will continue on June 23rd when the Annual Summer Benefit will be held in the Mansion and on the Great Lawn.

We look forward to welcoming everyone to our sanctuary during public hours and for the benefit and hope you’ll join us in celebrating Yaddo’s Return!