Fabulous Christmas trees inspired by the publication A Garden for All Seasons: Marjorie Merriweather Post’s Hillwood are the centerpiece of Season’s Greetings at Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens this holiday season.
Festive décor, virtual workshops, and a virtual Russian winter celebration, inspired by Hillwood's annual festival, add to the Christmas splendor.
Christmas Trees on Display
The beauty and botanical bounty of Hillwood’s gardens permeate the holiday décor that adorns the entire estate. When the visionary Marjorie Merriweather Post purchased Hillwood, she planned and created a garden paradise, shaping a setting with a diverse and verdant array of trees, shrubs, and plants to offer something to see in all seasons. Post designed the 13 acres of formal gardens to extend from the house in a progression of outdoor rooms, encouraging an intuitive flow. The trees on view in the mansion highlight the seamless integration of the gardens with the exquisite collections in the mansion. As the lush gardens burst into bloom and flourish with growth, so too do the Christmas trees, each inspired by a particular season.
The mansion entry hall warmly welcomes visitors with the colors of fall. Reds, rusts, golds, yellows, and oranges reflect Hillwood’s place as a leaf peeper’s paradise. This bountiful season comes to life with a tree featuring mostly natural objects, such as leaves, mums, pumpkins, and gourds. Post loved chrysanthemums, and over two thousand dominate the formal gardens each fall, now finding a home on this abundant tree. Taking its cue from the bright colors and renewal of the season, spring arrives in the French drawing room as the tree overflows with peonies and tulips. Post enjoyed color, ensuring every part of the garden at Hillwood beckoned with vibrant splendor, as they continue to do today. Soft pinks, peaches, and whites complement the room, emulating the calming and welcome sanctuary of the spring gardens. Summer, the season at Hillwood for colorful annuals, brightens the dining room, as the large tree bursts with color. Vivid blossoms and tropical plants abound, seen in the bright dahlias, cockscombs, and snapdragons that reflect the plentiful cutting garden, which Post grew to source the ever-present arrangements on view in the mansion. A winter-inspired tree, featuring whites, silvers, and purples, enhances the pavilion. Winter reveals the elegant bones of the garden, and everything on the tree is something grown at Hillwood, from verdant kale and magnolia leaves to intricate branches and the cool snow that blankets them. Orchids—Marjorie Post’s favorite flower—join glass bulbs on this tree to add an elegant touch.
In the visitor center, bright greens, pinks, and reds greet guests upon arrival as a glittering tree takes inspiration from the gemstones on view in the special exhibition Natural Beauties: Exquisite Works of Minerals and Gems. Diamonds and glass ball ornaments add a shiny and elegant flair.
Holiday Programs and Workshops
The family highlight of the holiday season at Hillwood is undoubtedly the Russian Winter Festival, hosted virtually this year. Grandfather Frost and the Snow Maiden are on hand for this celebration of the holidays in old Russian style. Lively music and festive dances add to the holiday fanfare.
Hillwood's gardens reveal another aspect of their ever-changing beauty during the holiday season. Conifers such as the blue atlas cedar and false cypress show off their evergreen boughs, while holly and witch hazel provide bright spots of color. Virtual floral design workshops provide the opportunity to craft a one-of-a-kind holiday decoration to enliven the home.
Throughout the season, the museum shop is a favorite destination for holiday shopping. With dozens of unique items inspired by the life of Marjorie Merriweather Post, in addition to clothing, books, ornaments, and home décor, Hillwood's shop offers distinct gifts for everyone.
The delightful Merriweather Café is the perfect complement to a day celebrating the holidays at Hillwood. Warm up with seasonal specials and hand-crafted food and beverages served in the gracious manner of Post.