Explore ELsong Gardens

By Tanya M. Shlosman

“Father loved to relate to our friends that the building of the formal garden was Emy-Lou’s new song: so, we named the home and garden ELsong.”

Photo courtesy of Biedenharn Museum

The beautiful ELsong Garden at the Biedenharn Museum & Gardens was once home to chickens and duck ponds, but in 1939, Joseph Biedenharn allowed his daughter, Emy-Lou to transform the space into a botanical oasis.

After some time of “excavating, grading, digging pools, building high walls; hanging a balcony of iron from the tree tops, and placing another hanging balcony out iron our garden living room; transplanting grown cypress trees and water oaks, draping moss, and piping lights and music”, and finally five Italian iron statues, ELsong Garden was complete.

Photo courtesy of Biedenharn Museum

The garden danced with a variety of fragrances and colors from the dogwood, crabapple, oriental magnolias, wisteria trees, Salman pink waves of azaleas, white tulips, purple anemones, violets, and tomatoes, Mr. Biedenharn loved his tomatoes.

ELsong brought a significant amount of joy to Joseph Biedenharn who once said to Emy-Lou, “Daughter, there is lifting up when you watch the rhythmic wonder of nature freshen the earth with each new sunrise.”

Photo courtesy of Biedenharn Museum

The magical garden also brought joy to all those who visited ELsong and continue to visit today. A young girl, from Girl Scout Troop Eleven, who visited ELsong many years ago wrote a poem about the beauty she saw:

The Garden

There’s a fountain sparkling bright,
Which has tiny drops of white,
There are vines on the wall,
And statues gray and tall,
There are roses white and roses red,
And different flowers in every bed.
There’s a little passage that leads out,
It also has a flower sprout.
There are bells so gay
That tinkle all day.
There’s a balcony trimmed so beautifully.
It’s nearly as high as the tallest tree.
It’s the prettiest garden I ever have seen.
It looks like it’s made for a king or a queen.

By Lucylu Turpin

steps 2 (Jpeg)-- Spencer Lee
Photo by Spencer Lee

The Biedenarn Museum & Gardens is open Tues. thru Sat. from 10am to 5pm. Free parking is available on three sides of the museum. The main parking area is located on Speed Avenue near the main entrance to the Coke Museum. Tour information, maps and tickets are available at the Museum Store located inside the Coke Museum. An unloading zone for buses is also located on Speed Avenue directly adjacent to the Coke Museum. Adults $6 Students $4 (Under 12 years old) Annual Pass $20 (a great bargain) Tickets may be purchased in the Museum Store, located in the Coke Museum building, at 2000 Riverside Drive (the corner of Riverside Drive and Speed Avenue).

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