May Magnificence at Old Westbury Gardens

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Enjoy the picturesque scenery of the walled garden at Old Westbury Gardens. (Photo by Kimberly Dijkstra)

When you’re on the grounds of Old Westbury Gardens, it’s hard to believe you’re still on Long Island. Walking through the many acres of formal and informal landscaped gardens, open fields and quiet woodlands, it feels as though you are on an English country estate, upon which the estate was designed to reflect.

Westbury House, the former country house of John and Margarita Phipps, will have limited access while the slate roof and terracotta cornice are restored. The project is expected to be completed in December.

May is a lovely time to visit—tulips are in bloom and everything is newly green. The schedule of events is also in full swing with outdoor programs and family activities. See what’s in store at Old Westbury Gardens this month.

Spring Plant Sale

Friday, May 3 through Sunday, May 5 • 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Purchase annuals and perennials, including many of the Gardens’ signature varieties and speak with master gardeners from Cornell Cooperative Extension Nassau County. Until 3 p.m., bring a half cup of dry soil from your garden to have it tested. Members can enjoy a preview sale and discount of 20 percent on Thursday, March 2, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Tai Chi

Wednesdays, May 1 through Oct. 30 • 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Instructor Linda Cafiero teaches this unique form of “moving meditation,” which calms the mind, relaxes the body and strengthens the spirit. Classes are designed for all experience levels. $18/session (includes admission); $8 for members.

Yoga in the Gardens

Thursdays and Saturdays, May 2 through Oct. 31 • 11:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Professional Kripalu Yoga instructor, Lorili Henry, leads students through a dynamic, yet gentle, flow of postures and conscious breathings. Participants must bring a yoga mat, yoga strap and towel. $18/session (includes admission); $8 for members.

Storybook Stroll

Saturday, May 4 • 10:30 a.m.

Listen to Winnie the Pooh and Some Bees by A.A. Mine as kids stroll through the gardens and, later, make a take-home craft. For ages 3-5. Return on June 1 for Susie and Her Shadow by Enid Blyton.

Balkan Fantasies

Saturday, May 4 • 8 p.m. concert; 7:30 p.m. pre-concert talk

Guitarists Darko Nikcevic and Srdjan Bulatovic perform works based on folk melodies from folk music and dances of Eastern Europe, including Hungary, Turkey, Montenegro, Serbia and Albania. Dessert reception to follow concert in the Barn at Orchard Hill. $30 per person; $25 for members, seniors and students. Advance tickets required.

Spring is in bloom at Old Westbury Gardens. (Photo by Kimberly Dijkstra)

Tree Dedication Ceremony

Sunday, May 5 • 1 p.m. (rain or shine)

Join contributors to the Tree Fund in dedicating a new tree.

Kids Mother’s Day Floral Workshop

Saturday, May 11 • 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Create an arrangement that Mom, Grandma or any special lady will be happy to display. Class size is limited so register in advance for either session. $15 includes materials and one adult admission; $12 for members. For ages 6-10.

Mother’s Day

Sunday, May 12

Honor Mom on her special day with a visit to the Gardens. All women, 18 and older, will receive a complimentary lavender plant (while supplies last).

Billy Goats & Brews

Friday, May 17 • 7 to 8:30 p.m.

Meet and greet goats, taste fresh cheese and learn the basics of dairy farming from Riverhead’s Goodale Farms. Then sample seasonal and year-round beers from Oyster Bay Brewing Company as sourced by Hicksville Beer & Soda. Ages 21 and over only. $30 per person; $27 for members. Includes bar snacks and beer flight. Advance tickets required.

Early Bird Walk

Saturday, May 18 • 9 a.m.

Celebrate International Migratory Bird Month with a walk guided by an educator from the Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary and Audobon Center. Bring binoculars. Suitable for all ages.

Flowering Trees and Shrubs Talk and Tour

Sunday, May 19 • 2 p.m.

Enjoy a walk to one of the Gardens’ often overlooked natural areas—the Temple of Love—and view Westbury House from across East Lake. Return to the South Lawn with the opportunity to walk to the Cottage Garden and Walled Garden.

Afternoon Tea and Garden Stroll

Wednesday, May 22 • 1 p.m.

Enjoy a full tea at Orchard Hill, featuring tea sandwiches, scones and desserts accompanied by a selection of teas. A seasonal garden tour led by a docent follows the meal. The Gardens will hold afternoon tea again on June 12 and 19. $45 per person; $37 for members. Purchase tickets in advance.

Kids Self-Guided Scavenger Hunt

Saturday, May 25 through Monday, May 27 • 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Investigate the wonders of nature and history’s mysteries. Fact finding hunts in the gardens uncover clues and solve riddles. Ages 8 and up.

Fidos After Five

Saturday, May 25 and Sunday, May 26 • 5 to 8 p.m.

On this dog-friendly weekend, bring your leashed pup, and make a return trip on Saturday, June 29 or Sunday, June 30.

Visit oldwestburygardens.org for more information and the most up-to-date schedule.

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