Virtual American aristocracy, the Rockefeller family is synonymous with great wealth, extraordinary philanthropy, and exceptional stewardship of unspoiled landscapes. In their private world, the Rockefellers have created extraordinary gardens, two at Kykuit in the Hudson Valley and a third in Seal Harbor, Maine. At Kykuit, built by John D. Rockefeller Sr., are the expansive Italian-style garden, now enhanced with a collection of modern sculpture installed by Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller, and the little-known walled Japanese garden, also brought to life by Governor Rockefeller. His mother, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, was the force behind the garden at the Eyrie, the family summer retreat in Maine. She collaborated with noted designer Beatrix Farrand to design a walled garden inspired by Asian aesthetics at the perimeter but filled with traditional perennials and borders.
Photographer Larry Lederman has captured the beauty of these gardens in all seasons, focusing on the geometry of the designs and the processional approach and tour through the space and capturing the color and light that animates it.
Text by Todd Forrest of the New York Botanical Garden and Cynthia Altman of Kykuit provides expert commentary on the design and plant materials.