Greenwood Gardens

10 March 2023

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Home Notes from the Garden

A Woman Ahead of Her Time

A Woman Ahead of Her Time

Adelaide Childs Frick Blanchard, who called Greenwood home from 1949 until the time of her death in 1956, was a unique and accomplished woman.

In honor of Women’s History Month, we honor Adelaide by republishing an article the late Peter P. Blanchard III, our Founding Chairman, wrote about his mother for Greenwood News Spring 2016.

Adelaide Frick Blanchard (1915-1956)

by Peter P. Blanchard III

Many individuals, no longer living, have made their mark on the landscape of Greenwood Gardens. Just as we acknowledge that Greenwood persists today only because of a team effort of its board, staff, volunteers, and friends, so the Gardens were founded by team efforts both in the Day and Blanchard eras.

I don’t remember my mother, Adelaide, at all well. She passed away in 1956, when I was five years old. My recollections center on brief golden moments, when she chased me through a sprinkler system; guided me in lawn mowing with a miniature mower made of wood and introduced me to the newly born lambs, frisking under heat lamps in the barn. But her warmth, support, and love certainly permeated my earliest years and persist today in the realm of my subconscious.

I certainly remember aspects of Adelaide’s life as relayed to me by my father, Peter P. Blanchard Jr. A key theme was her independence and rebelliousness from an early age. Growing up in Roslyn, Long Island she was a spirited girl who tended to “buck” expectations. When “coming-out” parties were the norm for young ladies of a certain background, she steadfastly declined the opportunity. As depicted in the photographs and home movies (!) from the era of World War I and the Roaring Twenties, she enjoyed a happy and active existence as the oldest child of Childs and Frances S. Dixon Frick with her three siblings: Frances, Marsie and Clay. At her Roslyn home, Clayton, (now a county park) she took part in innumerable games and outings with a general outdoor focus. Her mood appears to have been at times pensive, at times happy, but she was never far from a smile. My own interpretation of her childhood is that she was rough and tumble, something of a tomboy.

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Adelaide Frick Blanchard and Peter P. Blanchard III circa 1953.