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SPRING ARRIVES AT GREENWOOD Spring is the season of rebirth and renewal. At Greenwood, it is the signal to ready our site for public visitation. Paths are cleared of errant twigs and leaves, shrubs and trees are pruned and new plants are added to the gardens. Our volunteer docents are invited to take a refresher session on conducting garden tours and our Visitor Services Department organizes its materials while setting up the Visitor Center in anticipation of serving guests. It’s always an exciting time for all members of the staff and this year, there is an added element of expectation. Planning has been underway since last fall to make changes to our site, now and into the future, which promise to enhance your experience of the garden. By next year, we will add a new parking lot adjacent to the Carriage House, along with a redesigned
entry sequence that will begin once you drive through the gate. A design for the restoration of the garden’s main axis, including the D-shaped pool, croquet lawn, Garden of the Gods and staircases, is taking shape and is also expected to be completed in 2020. And, thanks to the methodical work of our Horticulture
2019 HOURS STARTING THURSDAY, MAY 2 Wednesdays, Thursdays & Fridays 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Last tickets sold at 4:00 p.m. Please note: Once the work begins, we may need to revise our schedule, so check our website greenwoodgardens.org and Facebook page frequently for the latest updates.
Committee, you will begin to see whole areas of the garden revitalized with new plantings of all textures and colors that will pay homage to the histories of the Day and Blanchard families, as well as the Greenwood of today. With these plans in mind, the gardens will be open on a different schedule. We couldn’t make improvements to our site without the enthusiasm and generosity of our donors, members and volunteers! Thank you on behalf of Greenwood’s entire Staff and Board of Trustees for your treasured support! Happy Spring!
Abby O’Neill Executive Director
IN THE GARDEN PHOTO BY VICKI JOHNSON
SON IA U YTER H O EVEN , H E A D OF H ORT I C U LT U R E
Claytonia virginica, (or spring beauty, above) have naturalized throughout the London Plane Allée creating a patchwork of color every spring that rivals the elegant mottling bark of the Platanus x acerifolia. Spring beauties are woodland ephemerals – they charge into action in the spring with the mission of capturing sunlight before the tree canopies leaf out. Spring beauties have a knack for naturalizing – meaning
they reliably come back year after year and multiply in an informal manner throughout the landscape.
Spring beauties offer pollinator parties in
Claytonia grows from deep underground corms that look like miniscule potatoes and proliferate from offsets and seeds. The seeds are hydrophilic, which means they must not dry out. Consequently, seeds must be sown immediately after harvest.
attract honeybees, mason, cuckoo, Halictid
A Piece of History Comes Home The colorful ceramic tiles and ornaments that adorn many of our iconic features date back to the establishment in the 1920s of the site’s original Pleasant Days estate by former owner Joseph P. Day. Commissioned by this wealthy New York real estate magnate, the pieces were created by artisans at the renowned Rookwood Pottery Company. Following the Great Depression, Day was forced to sell his Short Hills home and in subsequent decades, many prized garden ornaments were auctioned off. When local resident Arlene Pomerantz read an article about Rookwood a few years 2
ago, she remembered attending an auction in a “fairy tale cottage” on the former Day estate with her aunt Greta Skolnick, who purchased a beautiful Rookwood ceramic plaque at the sale. The colorful piece held a place of honor in the Skolnick home for many years. On March 20 of this year, Greta’s son, Steve Skolnick, and his cousin Arlene, presented the beautiful piece of Rookwood to Peter P. Blanchard III, Founder of Greenwood, in memory of Steve’s parents Greta and Sheldon Skolnick. We are delighted to welcome back “Greta,” as the piece is known, to her original home!
April when bees are looking for nectar and pollen. Their dainty white star-like flowers and Andrenid bees as well as a whole host of other pollinators. Once the flowers are gone, the strap-like foliage continues to grow before it also disappears for the long dormant season ahead.
Greenwood’s Other Garden ARTH UR T. VA N D ER BI LT I I , T RU ST E E
With the donation of a stunning collection of antique botanical prints by anonymous friends of Greenwood, another remarkable garden has bloomed, this one inside the Main House. The collection is displayed on the walls of the two restrooms off the front Hall, and on the walls up the back staircase. The oldest of these dates to 1755, and most are from the early 1800’s, the Golden Age of Botanical Art. This was the period when British exploration of the Pacific led to the discovery of thousands of plants unknown in Europe. Live specimens were brought to England where botany as a hobby became a status symbol among the wealthy, leading to the creation of conservatories, both private and public. Rare specimens were bought and sold by collectors for huge sums.
Most of the prints are English, with a handful from France. Talented botanical illustrators painted watercolors of each specimen, which were then etched onto copper plates, from which prints were made, then laboriously hand-painted. “Intended for the Use of such Ladies, Gentlemen, and Gardeners as wish to become scientifically acquainted with plants they cultivate,” prints were often bound together and sold to collectors. Now these beautiful botanical illustrations — their colors as vibrant as they were over 200 years ago—may be enjoyed by Greenwood’s visitors. It was this same process of illustration which captivated the famed ornithologist and artist John James Audubon as he set
A plant native to the west coast of the U.S. and formerly known as Nuttallia malviflora is now known as Sidalcea malviflora.
out to create his “Birds of America”. Some of Audubon’s birds have begun to populate Greenwood’s outside restroom. But that is another story.
PETER’S J O U R N A L: P E T E R P. B L A N C H A R D I I I , FOU NDE R & NAT URA LIST
Haircuts for the Hedges
This painting seeks to capture one of the exacting chores at Greenwood: holding shears while on a ladder supported by his son, Ed Wallendjack* is poised to perform a precarious endeavor - the annual trimming of swamp maple hedges. These hedges continue to line the interior of the Farm Allée, two rows of London plane trees descending from the Cascade toward the Reservation. Long a part of European gardens, allées consist of two parallel rows of trees forming an avenue or “avenir” in Latin, which translates “to come” and invites arrival at a landscape feature. The Farm Allée is one of five at Greenwood. Whether serving as a visual path or a screen, allées are dynamic, living structures, responding to light, weather and the passage of the seasons. * One of three Wallendjack brothers who maintained Greenwood from the late 50’s to the mid 70’s.
Join Peter for an exploration of
From my childhood and into young adulthood, I delighted in exploring the bridle paths and network of narrow foot trails of South Mountain Reservation. During my explorations, drawing and sketching were ways of deeply observing and communing with Nature. On occasion, I sketched or painted what I observed in my father’s garden.
THE ALLÉES OF GREENWOOD Sunday, May 19 10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Please register online at greenwoodgardens.org or phone 973.258.4026.
—From Greenwood: A Garden Path to Nature and the Past by Peter P. Blanchard III SPRING 2019
NONPROFIT ORG. U.S. POSTAGE
UNION, NJ PERMIT NO. 376
Board of Trustees Elaine Becker Peter P. Blanchard III Sofia Blanchard Nancy Dougherty Geralyn Hagemann Tim Hartman Henry P. Johnson Cynnie Kellogg Louise Moos Andrew W. Permison Lezette G. Proud Arthur T. Vanderbilt II Carl R. Woodward III 274 Old Short Hills Road • Short Hills, NJ 07078
Visit greenwoodgardens.org to learn about upcoming programs and events CONNECTING PEOPLE WITH NATURE IN AN HISTORIC GARDEN OASIS
Advisory Board Co-Chairs Arthur T. Vanderbilt II Carl R. Woodward III James Barrett Jane Barrett Ceyan Birney Kathleen Bourke Ruthi Byrne Michael Catania Patti Donovan Peter Kellogg Susan Lowry Janine Luke Lynn Magrane Marta McDowell Pat McGinley Mary McNett Linda Nortillo Maureen Ogden Marilyn Pfaltz Stephen Sanborn
Pictured: Trish Lister, Vicki & Stephen Sanborn, Judy Yarnell.
OUR DEDICATED VOLUNTEERS ARE VITAL TO OUR SUCCESS! Their talents, resources and unflagging energy enhance everyone’s experience at Greenwood Gardens. We have launched a new monthly feature, Volunteer Focus to celebrate and share the many ways individuals help make Greenwood Gardens a very special and unique public garden. You can find our Volunteer Focus on our Facebook and Instagram pages.
Greenwood Gardens is endorsed by the Garden Conservancy, a national, nonprofit organization founded to help preserve America’s most exceptional gardens.
JOI N US ON J U N E 6 TH FOR GREENWOOD GARDENS’ ANNUAL
Funding for the restoration of Greenwood Gardens has been made possible in part by the Garden State Historic Preservation Trust. DESIGN: JANA POTASHNIK, BAIRDESIGN, INC. FRONT COVER PHOTO: VICKI JOHNSON
PHOTOS BY STEPHANIE MURPHY
Please visit our website for more information.
TO BENEFIT THE GROW GREENWOOD FUND HONORING PAT TI D ONOVAN greenwoodgardens.org
EARLY SPRING 2019