FROM O U R EXECU TI V E D I R EC TO R
MOVING FORWARD WITH OUR COMMITMENT TO SERVE AS A COMMUNITY RESOURCE FOR ALL At this writing, the Coronavirus has taken center stage as a major health threat. Though Greenwood remains closed to the public while renovations continue until our planned re-opening this fall, we take this threat very seriously. We will continue to monitor its impact on our site, programing and most importantly, the health and wellbeing of visitors and staff. Please watch for regular email, website, Facebook and Instagram updates. We remain hard at work readying our historic site in two major ways: First, our renovation projects are moving along at a steady clip. The parking lot is approximately 70% complete, with portions of the paving, planting, sidewalk and ticket booth remaining. In the Main Axis, cement has been poured for the renovation of the
D-shaped pool and work has begun on the staircase between the Reflecting Pool Terrace and Croquet lawn. Second, the planning continues - and planting is beginning - for extensive garden renovations. A key area of focus is the Forecourt oval (see page three for more details.) The two languishing holly trees have been removed in preparation for a new design harkening back to the Day era. To assure the success of this new installation, we consulted soil scientists who recommended replacing the soil to improve quality and drainage.
classic garden teak bench or chair you can inscribe with a special message. For more information on this special opportunity, turn to page three. Greenwood Gardens is a community resource for all. With continued support from you, our generous volunteers, members and donors, we can continue to fulfill our mission of connecting people with nature in an historic garden oasis in both good times and in challenging times. Wishing you a healthy and peaceful spring,
And, weâ€™ll be adding more seating throughout our renovated garden as a means for friends and visitors to commemorate Abby Oâ€™Neill loved ones. If you are interested, please consider supporting the purchase of a Executive Director
PETER’S J O U R N AL: P E T E R P. B L A N C H A R D I I I , CO-FOUNDE R & NAT URA LIST
THE GEOLOGY OF GREENWOOD GARDENS ASSERTS ITSELF In late fall, Greenwood Garden’s attempt to build a new parking lot east of the Carriage House met with unexpected and unyielding opposition. As a private swimming pool, old tennis court and soil were being removed, contractors ran hard up against the ridge line of an ancient lava flow known as the Second Watchung Mountain. The bulldozers were encountering basalt - a bedrock resulting from the intrusion of molten magma during the Triassic period, some 280 million years ago. The Watchungs, including South Mountain to the east, share with the Hudson River Palisades the same origin - volcanic activity during the earliest age of the dinosaurs. As part of Greenwood’s Phase II restoration, a determined assault was made on the exposed rock. A giant machine resembling a pile driver was brought in to crush the rock prior to removal. When
broken apart, the basalt - normally tan on the outside due to oxidation, reveals a bluish grey interior. Despite the need for more parking, this natural feature—the only exposed bedrock at Greenwood— deserved a better fate. Greenwood decided to save the ancient rock outcrop as a powerful reminder of the garden’s geologic foundations and as a reminder of the very basis of the garden’s existence. Were it not for the steep topography of the Watchung Mountains (South Mountain attaining a height of some 500 feet above sea level, while Second Mountain is some 50 feet lower), this area would undoubtedly have been lost to development long ago. The steepness of the grade not only protected the landscape but challenged and inspired Joseph P. Day and James Renwick to create a terraced garden on a mountainside.
JOIN OUR AWARD-WINNING TEAM OF VOLUNTEERS! Volunteers are highly valued members of the Greenwood team
PHOTO: NEW JERSEY STATE LIBRARY
EAGLE ROCK ALONG THE CREST OF THE FIRST WATCHUNG MOUNTAIN C.1907. GREENWOOD’S SMALL OUTCROP ON THE SECOND WATCHUNG MOUNTAIN IS OF SIMILAR AGE AND ORIGIN, BUT ON A MINUTE SCALE.
We depend on volunteers to assist in the gardens, lead tours as docents, help with administrative duties, conduct research, organize events and much more. In recognition of their dedication and invaluable contributions, the Greenwood Gardens’ Green Team received the 2018 New Jersey State Governor’s Jefferson Award for Public Service, as did long-time Green Team members, Katie and Mark Bliss, in 2019. If you are interested in being part of an energetic and knowledgeable team, contact us so that, together, we can endeavor to put your special interests and talents to work for our mutual benefit! CALL 973-258-4026 OR WRITE TO INFO@GREENWOODGARDENS.ORG.
PLEASE BE SEATED
PHOTO COURTESY OF COUNTRY CASUAL TEAK
“In this sequestered nook how sweet To sit upon my orchard seat And birds and flowers once more to greet ...” We’ve taken these lovely sentiments of poet William Wordsworth’s to heart. Greenwood is now accepting orders in support of the purchase of a limited number of graceful teak benches and chairs to enable the Greenwood community to commemorate loved ones for posterity and increase seating options throughout the garden. Each wooden piece comes with the opportunity to inscribe
a bronze plaque with your personal message. The cost includes the piece itself, inscribable plaque, transport, and maintenance. All donors will be acknowledged in our annual issue of Seasons devoted to Greenwood’s supporters. For more information, please contact Abby O’Neill, Executive Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
IN THE G AR D EN : SO NI A U Y T E R H O E V E N , H E A D OF HORT IC ULT URE
LOOKING TO THE PAST AS WE REDESIGN THE FORECOURT OF GREENWOOD’S MAIN HOUSE This exquisite image from the Day era c. 1920, with graceful evergreens surrounded by flowering rhododendrons and a naturalistic lawn, has inspired a new design for the oval garden in the Forecourt of Greenwood’s Main House. Commissioned to guide many of our garden bed renovations, Bill Noble, garden designer and former Preservation Director at the Garden Conservancy, has selected Hinoki cypress as the evergreen accent for the border with its open pyramidal form. A small grove of native dogwoods underplanted with a variety of small-leaved evergreen rhododendron will surround the cypress. The new lawn will feature graceful Pennsylvania sedge and the perimeter will pop with colorful flowering winter heaths.
DAY ERA FORECOURT
The native dogwood cultivar Cornus florida ‘Appalachian Spring’, a natural hybrid that was found growing in the wild on the Catoctin mountains in Maryland at Camp David, the presidential retreat, was chosen for its disease resistance.
Society. This compact, evergreen rhododendron has demure, pale yellow flowers flushed with pink streaks. Her quiet colors calm the otherwise vivid colors of the border.
Rhododendron selections include ‘Mary Fleming’, hybridized by a resident of Ramsey, NJ and named after a former secretary of the American Rhododendron
Additional rhododendrons feature the prodigious hybridizing work of Ed Mezitt from Weston Nurseries in Hopkinton, MA. In the 1940s-50s, Mezitt began
hybridizing rhododendrons for disease resistance, cold hardiness, compact habits and extended bloom time. His renowned PJM hybrids were named after his father, Peter John Mezitt and a pink selection was named after his mother, ‘Olga Mezitt’. Once this border has a few years to settle in, a kaleidoscope of color will greet the visitor during the spring months. SPRING 2020
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 • 973.258.4026
Visit greenwoodgardens.org to learn about upcoming programs and events. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram. C ONNECTING PEOPLE WITH NATURE IN AN HISTORIC GARDEN OASIS
LEAVING A LEGACY
Advisory Board Co-Chairs Arthur T. Vanderbilt II Carl R. Woodward III James Barrett Jane Barrett Ceyan Birney Kathleen Bourke Ruthi Byrne Paul Ciraulo Patti Donovan Susan Johnson Peter Kellogg Theodor Kundtz Susan Lowry Janine Luke Lynn Magrane Pat McGinley Mary McNett Linda Nortillo Maureen Ogden Marilyn Pfaltz Peggy Shilling Greenwood Gardens is endorsed by the Garden Conservancy, a national, nonprofit organization founded to help preserve America’s most exceptional gardens.
Funding for the restoration of Greenwood Gardens has been made possible in part by the Garden State Historic Preservation Trust.
A generous donor has offered Greenwood a 10% cash match for bequests to Greenwood through the end of 2020. If planned giving is of interest to you and your estate, please contact Abby O’Neill, Executive Director, by phone at 973-258-4026, ext. 20 or by email at email@example.com.
DESIGN: JANA POTASHNIK, BAIRDESIGN, INC. FRONT COVER PHOTO: VICKI JOHNSON
EARLY SPRING 2019
Spring 2020 issue of Greenwood Gardens' Seasons