The Gardens and Grounds

Locust Grove’s stately trees, rolling hills, and vistas from a bluff high above the Hudson River all combine to create a grand landscape garden that preserves much of the sense of place established by Samuel Morse more than 150 years ago.

Morse was strongly influenced by romantic 19th-century landscape garden design. At Locust Grove he found natural features that he used to frame views, create vistas, and provide comfortable settings in which to relax and enjoy the beauty of the landscape.

William and Martha Young brought a new vision to Locust Grove after acquiring the estate from Morse’s heirs in 1895. They began to purchase adjoining land and built scenic carriage drives along the Hudson River. Near the house, Martha Young expanded the formal gardens and today the Cutting Garden preserves her unique style and plant collection.

A kitchen garden provided fresh produce for the residents of the Locust Grove estate for over two centuries. Today, the restored kitchen garden provides a place for visitors to learn about the wide variety of vegetables and fruits grown on the estate over the past three centuries.

In 1975 Annette Innis Young, the last member of the Young family to live at Locust Grove, created a not-for-profit foundation to preserve the estate for “the enjoyment, visitation, and enlightenment of the public.” Her bequest included more than 125 acres of gardens and grounds.

Since that time the museum trustees have continued to expand the estate’s open space by acquiring much of the adjoining Southwood and Edgehill estates and today Locust Grove’s gardens and grounds cover nearly 200 acres.

Our historic buildings, modern exhibit galleries, elegant gardens, miles of hiking trails, and exciting public programs are available to visitors year-round.

Gardens c. 1900

Martha Young with the new sundial, 1904

Annette Young by the Geometric Garden, 1901.

Toolshed with peonies, c. 1920