Spring 2009 Newsletter: Greenwood Gardens in Short Hills, NJ

Aerial photo of the Gardens by Jerry Hall
Photo by Jerry Hall

Sycamore Alley photo by John Hall
Photo by John Hall

Cascade photo by Ken Druse
Photo by Ken Druse

Cascade photo by Ken Druse
Photo by Ken Druse

Tennis House photo by Joy Yagid
Tennis House photo by Joy Yagid

Greenwood Tea House ca 1924
Greenwood Tea House ca 1924

Ceiling of the Tea House photo by John Gulbrandson
Ceiling of the Tea House photo by John Gulbrandson

With this issue we introduce a new feature. Each season we will highlight one of our favorite gardens. We start with our neighbor Greenwood Gardens, a hidden gem just 20 miles from Manhattan.

Greenwood Gardens is a 28-acre public garden in Short Hills, New Jersey, nationally significant for its beauty, history, and design. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it is a time capsule of New Jersey's gracious past and a haven of tranquility in the busy New York metropolitan area. Greenwood Gardens combines formal gardens, open meadows, woodlands, and pasture. Surrounded on all sides by protected parks and wilderness, its sweeping views create a sense of solitude and serenity.

The gardens were in their prime during the 1920s and 30s, with stone pavilions tucked discretely behind plantings, shady grottoes decorated with Rookwood tiles, and sunny lawns surrounded by beds of peonies, iris, and mixed borders.

This Arts and Crafts styled garden was creatively modified during the 1950s with an overlay on the original garden structure. Today, Greenwood is working to preserve the character and historic landscape of this former private estate.

Greenwood Gardens is entering into an exciting time of progress and transition. The Phase One Restoration will begin in May 2009 to make the gardens safer, more inviting, and much more available to members and the visiting public. Upon completion, visitors will experience original circulation patterns designed by William Renwick in 1914 and garden beds filled with color as they were through the 1930s.

During the restoration, Greenwood remains open for guided tours and educational programs. Visitors will find hundreds of tulips blooming in the teahouse garden and enjoy the fragrance of lilacs in full flower.

Tours of Greenwood are available every Thursday at 2:00 p.m. and the first Saturday of each month at 10:00 a.m. For more information about Greenwood Gardens, please visit www.greenwoodgardens.org.



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