Yaddo

The Gardens at Yaddo

Time, space, quiet—retreat to our rose garden.

Visiting

The Gardens at Yaddo will reopen June 10 and remain open through October 13, 2024.

Admission to the Gardens is free, and you may download this self-guided walking tour. We are no longer offering tours. Seasonally, the Gardens are open Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. as well as Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. On Saturdays and Sundays, please enter and exit through the East Entrance.

Our Gardens will be closed for the following holidays: Thursday, July 4; Saturday, August 24 (Travers Day); Monday, September 2 (Labor Day).

The roses begin to bloom in mid-June and reach peak season from about the third week of June through July, and then peak again in mid- to late-August. The rock garden is in bloom from mid-June through mid-September.

Limited parking is available at the entrance to our Gardens. Park only in the designated area, or your vehicle will be towed. Buses and coaches are not permitted.

All pets must be kept on a leash, and under leash control at all times. It is a city law to clean up after your pets. 

Prohibited: Loud noise including music from car stereos or personal devices; littering; fishing; venturing off marked paths and beyond the Gardens. Trespassing is never permitted.

The grounds of Yaddo, including our Gardens, are home to a privately funded, nonprofit retreat for artists. Our Gardens are the only area of Yaddo that is seasonally open to the public. We ask that you respect the privacy of our artists-in-residence during your visit. Thank you!

Yaddo Reads Lending Library

Last summer, we opened a micro lending library with books for children and young adults. The library features audio of book excerpts read by children. Bring your phone and a pair of headphones to hear stories read to you, or borrow a book. The Yaddo Reads Lending Library is available during Garden Open Hours.

Events

We’ve several events planned for the summer season in our Gardens at Yaddo. Yoga sessions will continue on select Sundays. We have a Wine & Roses series, with live music. And we are now offering The Nature of Art, occasional talks and readings exploring Yaddo and the region. Attend an event in the Gardens at Yaddo or come stroll by yourself during Open Hours.

Volunteering

The Yaddo Gardens are maintained by the dedicated volunteers of the Yaddo Garden Association (YGA).

Gardening is done from late-April to late October, on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings starting at 9 a.m. and finishing at noon. The best way to become a volunteer is simply to show up when there are volunteers there! Gardeners are put to work quickly. You can also fill out this volunteer form, and the YGA volunteer coordinator will respond.

Weddings

On Fridays, our Gardens will be reserved for wedding ceremonies. The maximum number of people who can be comfortably accommodated is 50. Receptions are not permitted, and there are neither restroom facilities nor an indoor alternative in case of rain. Due to the proximity of the Gardens to our retreat, sound amplification is not permitted.

The suggested donation for a wedding ceremony is at least $500.

To inquire about weddings, please fill out and submit this form.

Photography Sessions

Professional photography sessions may be scheduled during Garden Open Hours: Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., plus Saturday & Sunday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Parking is limited. The public may continue to enjoy the Gardens while the photography session takes place. The suggested donation for photo shoots is at least $150.

To inquire about photo sessions, please fill out and submit this form.

History

Spencer Trask created the Gardens at Yaddo in 1899 as a gift to his wife Katrina. 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 19th century. Both gardens have fountains.

The Trasks enjoyed sharing the Gardens at Yaddo with the public. However, by the 1980s, harsh weather and episodes of vandalism and theft had taken a toll. In 1991, Saratoga Springs resident and Yaddo Board member Jane Wait founded the YGA. Under her leadership, volunteers joined Yaddo’s grounds crew in bringing the Gardens back to life.