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The Perennial Garden Tier

Modern view of perennial and pool garden.

The portion of the garden just south of the Cherry Tree Walk is usually known as the Perennial Garden. It was part of the original James Greenleaf design of the Italian style garden, which was subsequently altered by Robert Cridland (the last garden designer employed by the Vanderbilts) into a perennial garden.

Its main visual feature is a reflecting pool framed by curved brick walls and arbors and featuring a white Italian marble statue of an “odalisque,” a member of a harem, dipping her toe into the water.  The statue was the work of Italian sculptor Antonio Galli and was purchased in Florence in 1911.  She is affectionately known as "Barefoot Kate", a nickname attributed to Vanderbilt's last head gardener, Alex Knauss.  The pool and statue are by far the most photographed scene in the garden.

In front of the reflecting pool are a series of beds and borders filled with perennials which provide an ever-changing canvas of color beginning in spring, continuing especially into summer and extending well into the fall. The beds are designed to mirror each other and the FWVGA continues to work on their design and plantings.  


"Barefoot Kate" casting her spell over the pool garden

Click on a photo below to see slide show of garden photos.

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