I will arise and go now,
and go to Innisfree.
W.B. Yeats, “The Lake Isle of Innisfree” (1888)
Recognized as one of the “world’s ten best gardens,”* Innisfree is a powerful icon of 20th century landscape design. Over 50 years in the making, it is largely the work of landscape architect Lester Collins, FASLA (1914–1993), with important contributions by his client, the artist and teacher Walter Beck. Innisfree merges the essence of Modernist ideas and traditional Chinese and Japanese garden design principles with a nuanced reading of its glacial landscape. The result is a distinctly American stroll garden on 185 acres surrounding a large, shimmering lake — a sublime composition of rock, water, wood and sky.
*Rory Stuart, What are Gardens For? Experiencing, Making and Thinking About Gardens (2012)