Yaddo was owned by Spencer Trask, a New York City financier and Katrina Nichols Trask, his wife, a published poet. Legend has it that the name "Yaddo" was suggested by four-year-old Christina Trask's charming mis-pronunciation of the work "shadow."
When all four of the Trask children died within a one-year span, possibly during a diphtheria epidemic, the heartbroken parents decided to form what became the Corporation of Yaddo, endowed in perpetuity to serve as a creative retreat for artists.
The buildings and cottages on the estate are only rarely opened to the public, in order to maintain "uninterrupted time to work, good working conditions, and a supportive community" for the residents.
Visitors are welcome to stroll the gardens, however, and enjoy the serene beauty of its flowers and fountains.
The Rose Garden is based on Italian classical gardens that the Trasks had seen in their travels abroad. There are four statues representing the Four Seasons, and a statue of a youth, "Christalan" which serves as a "memorial to the children of this house." Christalan represents youth, chivalry, and victory over mortality.
On the marble balcony, there is a sundial inscribed with a poem composed by Henry VanDyke, a friend of the Trasks:
"Hours fly, flowers die, New days, New ways pass by, Love stays."
To see some of the roses in the garden, please click below and visit my Flickr set The Rose Garden at Yaddo