Duke Gardens, Then and Now

Then

"I met Doris personally when I was a child on a class trip to Duke's and I'll never forget how sweet and kind she was!  I blurted out, 'It looks like HEAVEN in here!', and she replied, 'Yes, honey, it does look like heaven, doesn't it!'" J.S.



Then

'As for the plants there, [Executive Director Tim] Taylor said some may be used in the new gardens, though the concept will be different. Leftover plants will be donated to other botanical and display gardens, Taylor said. "We're not destroying anything." '  Interview with Newark Star Ledger, March 2008.

Then

"I can tell you that the night tour was many years ago.  What I remember most was the dramatic lighting. The key lights on the statuary gave them texture.  The "uplighting" from the floor made the trees seem even taller, creating a canopy that allowed you to forgot the glass overhead!  I always pictured Doris visiting her gardens at night without people around. Just taking in the fragrances in each distinctive room." G. F.

"I was there ... the night she invited Loretta Young... Doris Duke conducted the tour herself." E.G.


Then

"there are no plans to dismantle the figbar hedge; and nobody associated with Duke Farms stated that anything on the property will be either chopped down or left to die". Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Wall Street Journal, May 2008.

Then

"I have been bringing groups to visit these beautiful displays for over 30 years... On occasion we actually had a glimpse of Doris Duke, and once she engaged in conversation with a participant about the Tea Garden." E.K.

"A Gardener told me she remembers a 6-year old Caroline Kennedy, running through the raked sand so it had to be re-raked, and then escaping into the greenhouses inside the complex -  to the consternation of her secret service agents!" R.S.


Then

"After we got inside the greenhouse, we took off our heavy winter coats. After all the snow and ice, we enjoyed the humidity, the warmth and the Birds of Paradise.  The poinsettias, the English herb garden, the cacti, the orange blossoms - everything during our tour reinvigorated us. You can't imagine how it felt.... the snow outside... the sun inside.  The gardens were a jewel right there in our home town of Hillsborough." G.F.

Then

"It feels like a spiritual renewal seeing the beautiful colorful gardens on a cold winter day in New Jersey.  It is also a trip around the world in an hour.  What could be more consistent with Doris Duke’s spirit and personality?" A.R.

Duke Farms web site, 2008

In 1958, Doris Duke began to transform the New Greenhouse complex into the Greenhouse Display Gardens, which she opened to the public for the first time in 1964.

Doris Duke had long been personally involved in the construction, repair and remodeling of her properties, and she was directly involved in the physical design of the Indoor Display Gardens. Although she lacked specific botanical knowledge, she had a clear vision of the spaces and features she wanted to create. According to the New York Post, she designed all but one of the gardens, incorporating her interests in color, design and fragrance.

The Greenhouse Display Gardens reveal the interests and philanthropic aspirations of Doris Duke, as well as an appreciation for other cultures and a yearning for global understanding."

Now

Lot 831: Antique Continental white marble figure of Venus at bath
Condition: overall poor, both arms broken and lacking, old restoration to neck, arm and hair, numerous chips to drapery folds, pitting and weathering, numerous chips to pedestal, stains

Now

Doris Duke's American Desert Garden.


Now

Lot 836: Antique Italian white marble allegorical figure of prudence
19th Century, the draped female figure gazing into a hand mirror and grasping a serpent-entwined arrow Condition: overall fair, left hand damaged and missing thumb and pinky fingers, snake head damaged and lacking, stains, repair to mirror handle, cracks, stains and chips to base





Now

Lot 835: Pair antique patinated bronze lion's mask fountain heads
19th/20th Century, with boldly cast mane, unmarked, 19"h x 21"w x 6"d - Condition: overall fair, oxidation

Lot 839: Antique Baroque style carved white marble well head
19th Century, probably Italian, carved in high relief with full figured cavorting putti amongst grape cluster, approx. 30"h x 39"dia. - Condition: overall poor, abrasions, chips, one figure lacking head, approximately (15) missing limbs, losses to fingers and toes, hairlines


Dead, nondismantled figbar hedge in Doris Duke's English Garden.





Now

Doris Duke's Japanese Garden, showing former Tea House, 2009






Now

Lot 840: Antique Continental painted terra-cotta figure of Euterpe
19th Century, probably French, the classically draped female figure playing a flute, apparently unsigned, 68"h x 36"w x 21"d - Condition: overall poor, fingers damaged and lacking, stress cracking throughout, base cracked and broken, old restorations, chips




Now

Doris Duke's Tropical gardens, with view through to dead eucalyptus and marble screens of  Indo-Persian Garden.




Duke Farms web site, 2009

In 1958, Doris Duke began to transform the New Greenhouse complex into the Indoor Display Gardens, which she opened to the public for the first time in 1964.

The Indoor Display Gardens revealed the interests and philanthropic aspirations of Doris Duke, as well as an appreciation for other cultures and a yearning for global understanding.

The Indoor Display Gardens in the New Greenhouse closed in May 2008 in preparation for the creation of new environmentally-friendly gardens scheduled to open to the public in 2010 in the former Orchid Range.

Then and Now: photographs by V. Bedoya, P. Ross-Macdonald