Wharton carefully planned the grounds of The Mount, which during her ownership comprised 150 acres of drives, woodlands, orchards, meadows, wildflower fields and formal gardens. Her niece, the noted landscape architect Beatrix Farrand, assisted by designing the maple-lined drive leading to the house and the elaborate kitchen garden that occupied the field in front of the stable. Wharton’s restored greenhouse still stands near the original gates.
The formal gardens around the house were designed by Wharton herself. Completely overgrown for many years, they now appear much as they did when the were new. At this time she was also writing her book Italian Villas and Their Gardens.
A broad Palladian staircase leads down from the terrace to gravel walks which descend to a lime walk of linden trees. The Lime Walk serves as a connecting hallway between the two major garden rooms.
To the right when facing away from the house, the walled garden is an Italian “giardino segreto”. Wharton completed this garden with the proceeds from her first best-seller “The House of Mirth”.
On the left, the French-style flower garden has eight boxwood bushes arranged around a pool with Wharton’s dolphin fountain. Over 3,000 annuals and perennials have been planted here to suggest Wharton’s design. The trellis-work niche was recreated from photographs.
I wish I had had more time to wander the grounds at The Mount. I never visited the greenhouse, the woodland and the walled garden but I did walk up the small mound where Edith’s beloved dogs are buried.
Reminded me of the little gravestones of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor’s pet pugs at Le Moulin de la Tuilerie.