Sunday, May 17, 2009

Sayen Gardens, more hectic than expected

Yesterday I had a couple of hours' free time, owing to the generosity of HS who stayed with HP and helped him with various tasks including keeping track of the big golf tournament, the Sybase Classic, a NJ big event on tv, and I sallied out to various places to play.

First stop: the thrift store where I scored a wonderful Irish linen apricot colored jacket, perfect fit (amazing in view of my steep weight loss over the last weeks of crisis) dry cleaner's tags still on it, and found out it was half price, and a cotton hiking hat. All for the damage of about three dollars....

Then for the spring visit to Sayen Gardens, a well kept secret and wonderful location not far from here. It was a private home for most of the 20th century, the house being only a pretty modest kind of bungalow deal, but the garden, not very big but wonderfully gardened and sculpted and made to look like many many acres of winding paths, lovely shrubs, sitting places, a gazebo (about which more in a minute), a pond with water plants and fish and other wildlife.

It's amazingly beautiful. When the original gardening family members died, if I have the story right, the family simply opened the place to the general public, and the gardens and house continue to be tended.

You can book the house for weddings and other parties, and people wander about all the time on the grounds taking pictures and just sitting and enjoying an oasis in the middle of the Trenton action. Well, Hamilton Square to be technically accurate, but Trenton tells more people where it is.

So I thought I'd wander around on this cloudy warm day, watching birds, taking pix to show at home, and generally have a peaceful time. Not knowing that there were not one but TWO weddings taking place at the same time in this tiny place!

The gazebo where I planned to sit and watch the fish was draped in white tulle, many little white chairs in rows there, LOUD music very reminiscent of the Godfather blasting away, guests beginning to arrive, hobbling in their best shoes on the endless gravel paths. Then I though oh well, I'll take another walk instead, and ran right into the wedding party organizing ....the bride busily assembling candles and candlesticks on the tables.

Then I thought, hm, no place to walk, I'll just withdraw. and found my way to the parking lot, the only exit, a kind of covered bridge thing, very pictureskwee, totally mobbed with -- the other wedding party trying to pose for pix! they let me through then decided they'd better find another location.

I heard the bride say, oh, I know, there's a lovely gazebo near the water and she picked up her train and veil, and started in a brisk march, followed by bridesmaids, like a high speed wedding processional, in the direction of -- the other wedding! I just wondered what was going to happen when they encountered the other party. Holy Gridlock, Batman.

But I couldn't resist a picture of them hotfooting across the parking lot, among cars coming and going, bridesmaids in the seafoam green required dresses complete with butt bows, and they would never be able to wear them again, you'd never put these on except to please a bride..

So what was planned as a peaceful and renewing afternoon turned into a Laff Comic Relief Riot. For me, at any rate. History does not record what the two brides had to say about the day.


  1. Oh, that made me laugh. What a mess!

  2. LOL!!! Life happens most while you're making plans for it!

  3. Lovely photos, Liz, and fun bride battle set up :O) The most fun and serene wedding I've attended had no brides at all, and we wondered if that was the key :OD Glad you were able to get away.

  4. Hi..I just came across your photos. I book events for Sayen House and sometimes in May, June and July we have 10 different bridal parties in the gardens at once taking photos or having ceremonies. If someone reserves a gazebo, they rent it for an hour. For photos we ask that everyone works together in the various locations. I hope you'll come back and visit...maybe during the week since Saturdays and Sundays are so busy during the summer months. Great photos!

  5. Lovely place, needs better keeping and some serious paint on the arch in back of the house and little fountain near pond, and siding and gazebo in back of house needs serious power wash, especially when your paying to rent these areas. It was my first visit today 4/21/11 the entrance where fist gazebo stunning and very clean but as you enter the arch entrance that where work needs to start. I say this in a kind way because it is beautiful just needs a little more TLC....


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