TYRINGHAM – Ashintully Garden offers a picturesque setting for those daytrippers looking to relax and enjoy a bit of nature.
Less than an hour up Route 23 from Westfield, the public garden in Tyringham is part of the Trustees of the Reservation and is free for visitors. The name is a bit deceiving because when most people hear the word garden, they typically think of flowers and manicured flower beds. Ashintully is not that kind of garden.
Most of the flowers are actually weeds, such as Queen Anne’s Lace and Goldenrod. Tall grasses and wild weed-flowers comprise much of the property, but they add to the sense of nature.
Wide grass paths are mowed throughout the property, which includes a ½ mile walking loop that takes visitors from the shaded gardens that have a bit of a formal feel, through the open fields and into the ruins of the Marble Palace that once stood on the property.
There is a bridge and pond as well as sculptures throughout the 120-acre property. Stone rams, peacocks and pineapples greet guests, along with urns and other statuary.
There are plenty of spots to take in the beauty of the valley and the mountains to the north.
According to the Trustees website, “in the early 20th century, Robb and Grace de Peyster Tytus purchased 1,000 acres of land and built a Georgian-style mansion dubbed the Marble Palace—a name local residents supplied because of the way the pure white sand used for the stucco reflected the sunlight—on the brow of a hill. Two subsequent generations of the Tytus-McLennan family occupied the home. When contemporary classical composer John McLennan assumed ownership, he devoted 30 years to creating the gardens, an effort that paralleled his musical output and earned the Hunnewell Medal from the Massachusetts Horticultural Society in 1997.”
The Garden is open April – November from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.