“When I think of Marjorie Merriweather Post, many mantles come to mind: heiress, corporate director, art collector, philanthropist, and patriot. Gardener would not be top of mind; however, a fervent gardener she was.
Those who are so inclined to nurse a window box, till a tiny patch of soil, or plan and plot a vast landscape—that is, to garden on any scale—have a number of traits in common. One that links them all is that they are passionate and possessed of the urge to make change against often substantial odds.
Marjorie Merriweather Post was possessed of the optimism shared by gardeners, and it infused all that she did. Her focus and drive affected everyone in her many spheres—the social, the political, and the several hundred she employed at her residences. Her enthusiasm, her generosity, and the degree to which her personal radar missed no detail were all characteristics that elicit fond memories from family, friends, and loyal staff.
Marjorie missed nothing, forgot nothing, and did not suffer fools. Any professional in her employ only had to forget once not to take notes in a meeting. She would have been quick to follow up and remind or correct, “I thought I said . . .” You would not be remiss a second time.
Hillwood is essentially an offering of beauty to the general public from a woman who had not only the means to endow it but also, first and foremost, the heart, as she stated, “to share this with the rest of the world.” Marjorie Merriweather Post did not require a spade to create the garden at Hillwood. It was her vision, her generosity, and her determination that created it—her gift of a living, thriving work of art.” (From, Hillwood: A Garden for All Seasons, Foreword By Charlotte Moss, Rizzoli, 2020.)