Yesterday we had a little excursion to a nearby estate. It was built by an eccentric millionaire in the 1890s, handed to family in 1946, and acquired by a public institution in the 1960s. It has 1500 acres of land that was mostly turned into woods (from prairie farmland) but there are a lot of nice formal gardens. Sparks and I had been there twice before, including last year to see the peonies, but getting into the house isn’t usually allowed unless you’ve paid several thousand dollars to reserve it for a function. Yesterday, happily, they were giving guided tours for $5 a person.
The Countess in me thinks it’s a nice little place; five good bedrooms upstairs and eight servants’ rooms, a couple of libraries and a couple of dining rooms off of a large hall, a conservatory and a nice staircase. Yes, I could live there.
And we walked through the gardens, too. After a few years of neglect they are being taken care of again. When we were first here in 2010 there weren’t nearly as many flowers.