osborn castle garden at cat rock

This week I want to share the amazing story and graceful beauty of the gardens at Osborn Castle.  With the help of remarkable photographer Scott Clark, I documented my recent visit.  The magic of our day culminated in the Castle owner letting me hand pick wild and farmed blooms from the estate to create two floral arrangements!  This post is for all of us who have ever dreamed of living in a fairy tale.  The best part?  This fairy tale has the wonderfully modern twist of being accessible and sustainable. -Sarah

The majestic Castle front.

Incredible view of the Hudson Valley.

Osborn Castle at Cat Rock is a stately mansion that was the weekend home of Frederick Henry Osborn and Margaret Schieffelin Osborn, the great-grandparents of current owner Frederick Henry Osborn, IV.  The Osborn family fortune was built over many generations, flourishing with 19th century railroad tycoon William Henry Osborn.  The 100-acre estate “Cat Rock” near Garrison, NY has remained in the Osborn family for over 150 years.

Cat Rock’s name came about as the result of frequent wildcat sightings on the property during the 1700s.  While the Osborns began building family mansions around the Hudson Valley area just after the Civil War, construction on Osborn Castle began on the hilltop in 1919.  Frederick and Margaret set about to create a raw, yet refined, country estate with bountiful gardens.

CLICK HERE for more images from Osborn Castle and two beautiful floral arrangements after the jump!

Wild blooming hydrangea that were planted by Margaret!

This arrangement is all wild blooms – including hydrangea, queen Anne’s lace, blueberries and raspberries.

Hank and his father have been working on restoration projects since 2007.

Current owner “Hank” (as he prefers to be called) and his four children are the 6th and 7th generations of Osborns to live on the estate.  Hank moved onto the property full time over 3 years ago with his young family to continue the historic preservation of the castle and gardens and to perpetuate the family tradition of environmental support of the Hudson River Valley.

Margaret Schieffelin, Hank’s great-grandmother, was descended from Supreme Court Justice John Jay and was the great-granddaughter of Cornelius Vanderbilt.  She was an accomplished painter, sculptor and gardener who partnered with famed landscape architect Ellen Biddle Shipman to design the Cat Rock gardens.  When Hank began the current garden renovations, he drew inspiration from Shipman’s original blueprints and was able to cultivate many heirloom plantings that have endured over the last century.

These flowers are from the cutting garden pictured above and include lilies, zinnea, cosmos and climbing roses.  Hank made this table himself from lumber on the estate!

Hank is extremely proud of the Osborn legacy of philanthropy and environmental conservation.  He has prioritized the education and engagement of his children with environmental causes.  Young Freddy is even a founding member of Garrison School Eco-kids!  Read more about the work of the Osborns in the Hudson River Valley on the Cat Rock website.

Emilia and her twin sister below, Maya, enjoy the charming swimming pool with an impressive view.

Freddy, like his father before him, is working to teach children about environmental preservation.

Hank and his brood have also begun sharing their stunning locale with the community, renting out the Castle and grounds for private and charity functions.  Osborn Castle has become one of the Hudson Valley’s premiere wedding and event venues and is ranked as a preferred “green” venue by the Green Bride Guide.  To learn more about having an event on the property, contact Hank.

These chairs feel like they are just waiting for our return.  I plan to come back every season to see what the gardens have to offer…

Flowers: Sarah Brysk Cohen

Photography: Scott Clark


Beautiful pictures! My husband and I got married here last year and it was absolutely gorgeous despite the rain.


Amazingly beautiful. Lucky you to have been there and enjoyed the views. Thanks for sharing with us at home. :)

christine aldinger

took my breath away what a romantic place

stacee groff

I want those arrangements in my house…NOW! beautiful work.


My friends got married here! It was a gorgeous wedding, the view was amazing and the grounds are beautiful. Thanks for sharing with those who haven’t been there!


I’m in total awe of this property, I really hope that I visit it one day to live the fairytale dream myself!


Beautiful site and story and flowers and photographs! How wonderful that one can bring that feeling back to our homes with the lively floral arrangements. Whew! Thank you Sarah from Blossom & Branch.


beautiful & great photography- What sort of camera was used? Please?


What a garden! What a pool! What a view! I don’t even have a balcony here :-(
And all those flowers must smell sooo good!

Adrienne Nutter

I just designed wedding invitations, programs, and menu cards for a couple getting married here! I can’t wait to see their wedding photos.


Love the shots of Hank and his beautiful children — so refreshingly different than the usual ‘lord of the manor’ images we’re used to seeing. Love the fact that this generation of the family is so committed to the principles of eco-preservation and accessibility that their openness and warmth shine thru. Thanks for giving us such a wonderful resource!

Pat Wood

I used to Live in Garrison NY and I knew Mr amd Mrs Fred Osborne. My Fatherinlaw worked on the estate for many years and lived on Cat Rock Road. It was so nice to go back and see the wonderful job you are doing with the flower gardens.

Mona Wilson

Hi Hank, I was your mother’s roommate at Bryn Mawr – would love to get hold of her. Mona Wilson

Grace Bonney

hi mona

you may want to contact the osborn team directly- most older posts like this don’t get checked by the subjects that often.