Famous private botanical garden in Kingston up for auction

Heronswood Gardens - Contributed
Heronswood Gardens
— image credit: Contributed

KINGSTON — Heronswood Gardens, a 15-acre estate features a world-renowned private complex of botanical gardens that has played a pivotal role in introducing the U.S. to thousands of exotic plants gathered from remote regions across the globe.

The sale includes three residences, a two-story office and warehouse building, and assorted nursery facilities located on the property. The sale is being done under the direction of the estate’s owner, W. Atlee Burpee & Company, the largest gardening company in America. The gardens' founders, Dan Hinkley and Robert Jones, sold to W. Atlee Burpee in 2000.

Racebrook Marketing Concepts will sell the property via a sealed bid auction at a starting price of $749,000, which is a 58 percent reduction off the previously listed price of $1,795,000. Bids must be submitted by June 15.

Founded in 1987 by Hinkley and Robert Jones, and considered one of the finest and most diverse private botanical gardens in the United States, Heronswood Gardens features over 10,000 plants derived from over 7,000 taxa (genera and species), many of which were collected during expeditions to Central America, South America, China, Nepal, South Africa and other exotic locales by Hinkley, acclaimed horticulturalist and builder of the estate.

“The Heronswood Gardens sale is an opportunity for an investor or buyer to own a property that is highly regarded by the international horticultural community and is also attractive to anyone seeking to integrate these gardens into an updated 21st century estate,” said John J. Cuticelli, Jr., CEO of Racebrook.

“We hope to sell the gardens to someone who loves it as much as we do, and agrees to maintain the living work of art that spreads over these acres,” said George Ball, Chairman of W. Atlee Burpee & Company.

W. Atlee Burpee & Co. was founded in 1876, and is based in Warminster, Pennsylvania. It is the largest, most progressive seed company in the United States, offering seeds, garden plants and gardening supplies. Burpee leads the industry in vegetable, herb and flower introductions, and is credited for introducing the world to numerous breakthrough varieties.

Bids are due on June 15, by 1 p.m., delivered to the offices of Racebrook, Attn: Heronswood Gardens Project Manager, 150 North Wacker Drive, Suite 2222, Chicago, IL, 60606. For additional information on the auction and to view the property by appointment, call (800) 962-0931 or visit


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