The garden was not to be distinctly Italian nor French nor English. It was to be Yaddo.
– Katrina Trask, 1905
Please note: Our Yaddo Gardens are currently closed, and we do not have a reopening date at present. As such, we are not scheduling weddings, tours or photo shoots at this time. Please find updates and information about Yaddo’s response to Covid-19 on our News page.
Spencer Trask gave the Yaddo 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 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 nineteenth century. Both gardens have fountains.
The Trasks stipulated that the Yaddo Gardens be open for the enjoyment of 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. 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.