The Garden Restoration

Not only is the landscape at Bellefield historically significant, it is a testament to the efforts of a dedicated group of modern gardeners and the stewardship of the National Park Service at the Roosevelt-Vanderbilt National Historic Site.

Acquired by the Federal government in 1976, Bellefield is an elegant 18th century house remodeled by famed architects McKim, Mead and White for Thomas and Sarah Newbold. It now serves as the regional headquarters for the National Park Service, which manages three sites in Hyde Park: the adjacent Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Eleanor Roosevelt’s Val-Kill, and the Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site.

The Garden at Bellefield in its early splendor in 1929

Federal budget constraints led to a long period of disrepair in the garden. Then in 1994, the Beatrix Farrand Garden Association was chartered by the National Park Service to spearhead the revival of this outstanding American garden. Early support came from the National Park Foundation, the Garden Conservancy, and the Garden Club of America, which twice named Bellefield as first runner-up for its prestigious Founders Fund Award.


The restoration has resulted in a stunning display of perfectly composed borders - pink; white; blush, cream and grey; and mauve and purple - set off by vine-traced walls and clipped hemlock hedges.


The garden gates replete with the elaborate Arts & Crafts style hardware have now been fully restored by Eagle Scout, Danial Heslin based on Farrand’s original plans housed in her archive at University of California at Berkeley.