flowersoutdoorsarah from blossom and branch

osborn castle garden at cat rock

by SarahB

This week I want to share the amazing story and graceful beauty of the gardens at .  With the help of remarkable photographer , I documented my recent visit.  The magic of our day culminated in the Castle owner letting me hand pick wild and farmed blooms from the estate to create two floral arrangements!  This post is for all of us who have ever dreamed of living in a fairy tale.  The best part?  This fairy tale has the wonderfully modern twist of being accessible and sustainable.

The majestic Castle front.

Incredible view of the Hudson Valley.

Osborn Castle at Cat Rock is a stately mansion that was the weekend home of Frederick Henry Osborn and Margaret Schieffelin Osborn, the great-grandparents of current owner Frederick Henry Osborn, IV.  The Osborn family fortune was built over many generations, flourishing with 19th century railroad tycoon William Henry Osborn.  The 100-acre estate “Cat Rock” near Garrison, NY has remained in the Osborn family for over 150 years.

Cat Rock’s name came about as the result of frequent wildcat sightings on the property during the 1700s.  While the Osborns began building family mansions around the Hudson Valley area just after the Civil War, construction on Osborn Castle began on the hilltop in 1919.  Frederick and Margaret set about to create a raw, yet refined, country estate with bountiful gardens.

CLICK HERE for more images from Osborn Castle and two beautiful floral arrangements after the jump!

Wild blooming hydrangea that were planted by Margaret!

This arrangement is all wild blooms – including hydrangea, queen Anne’s lace, blueberries and raspberries.

Hank and his father have been working on restoration projects since 2007.

Current owner “Hank” (as he prefers to be called) and his four children are the 6th and 7th generations of Osborns to live on the estate.  Hank moved onto the property full time over 3 years ago with his young family to continue the historic preservation of the castle and gardens and to perpetuate the family tradition of environmental support of the Hudson River Valley.

Margaret Schieffelin, Hank’s great-grandmother, was descended from Supreme Court Justice John Jay and was the great-granddaughter of Cornelius Vanderbilt.  She was an accomplished painter, sculptor and gardener who partnered with famed landscape architect Ellen Biddle Shipman to design the Cat Rock gardens.  When Hank began the current garden renovations, he drew inspiration from Shipman’s original blueprints and was able to cultivate many heirloom plantings that have endured over the last century.

These flowers are from the cutting garden pictured above and include lilies, zinnea, cosmos and climbing roses.  Hank made this table himself from lumber on the estate!

Hank is extremely proud of the Osborn legacy of philanthropy and environmental conservation.  He has prioritized the education and engagement of his children with environmental causes.  Young Freddy is even a founding member of Garrison School Eco-kids!  Read more about the work of the Osborns in the Hudson River Valley on the Cat Rock .

Emilia and her twin sister below, Maya, enjoy the charming swimming pool with an impressive view.

Freddy, like his father before him, is working to teach children about environmental preservation.

Hank and his brood have also begun sharing their stunning locale with the community, renting out the Castle and grounds for private and charity functions.  Osborn Castle has become one of the Hudson Valley’s premiere wedding and event venues and is ranked as a preferred “green” venue by the Green Bride Guide.  To learn more about having an event on the property, .

These chairs feel like they are just waiting for our return.  I plan to come back every season to see what the gardens have to offer…



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