Garden Transformation Underway
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Garden Transformation Underway

Garden Transformation Underway

The gardens are closed while we continue with exciting, major renovations of historic garden features and complete the construction of a new parking lot. These projects will continue through the winter and early 2020.

When completed, the new parking lot will allow us to accommodate 75 cars at any given time–tripling our former capacity. This project also included the addition of a more conveniently located ticket booth and the installation of a new rain garden that will absorb storm water runoff.

Read all about the new rain garden and renovations to the Main Axis below—and watch for future updates on Facebook, Instagram and here on our website.

Rendering of the new parking lot & rain garden
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When it Rains, It Pours

By Sonia Uyterhoeven, Head of Horticulture

While scientists report that rainstorms have become more intense, Greenwood Gardens is implementing creative and effective ways to deal with storm water management.

Following heavy rainstorms, wide streams of water flow from the higher elevations of Greenwood Gardens, flooding our driveway and creating a large pool at the base (west end) of the London Plane Allée. In 2015, Greenwood’s gardeners created a vernal pool in this spot, filling it with moisture loving perennials and shrubs that absorb water and attract a variety of pollinators. This spring, we expanded the vernal pool to include the slope at the top of the drive.

Over the past summer, a new rain garden, designed by landscape architects Robinson, Anderson and Summers, Inc., was installed at the top (east end) of the allée. This new feature is filled with iris, mallow, daylilies, ornamental grasses, winterberry, dogwood and more beautiful, moisture tolerant plants. Together with the enlarged vernal pool, this rain garden will help to minimize the environmental impact of rainwater runoff and increase the garden’s ability to temporarily hold and absorb storm water.

A view of the new rain garden looking toward the Main London Plane Allée.

Greenwood’s History Guides Garden Renovation

In late October, the renovation and revitalization of the gardens’ Main Axis began and will continue through the winter and early months of 2020. This project will transform the Reflecting Pool Terrace, Croquet Lawn and Garden of the Gods. We have taken great care to consult archival photographs from both the Day and Blanchard eras for inspiration and the new design aesthetic pays homage to the gardens created by these two families while accommodating modern needs and expectations. When completed, the garden will sparkle with renovated fountains, sculptures and borders refreshed with new plantings. Paths will be widened for ease of access and wooden benches will be placed throughout the Main Axis, inviting visitors to linger and feel restored by the rich sensory experience of gently moving water and serene views.

The circular beds surrounding the D-shaped pool will be floriferous, featuring colorful perennials, annuals and shrubs that celebrate the Arts and Crafts history of the Day era. The boxwood hedges crossing the heart of the Croquet Lawn will be removed and, in light of the boxwood blight affecting U.S. gardens, may be replaced if a disease resistant boxwood variety becomes available. The corner quadrants will harken back to the Blanchard era with flowering dogwoods and azaleas underplanted with drifts of perennials and flowering shrubs.

The Garden of the Gods Pool will feature an “emerald necklace” of naturalistic woodland plantings encircling the renovated fountain and bronze sculpture of a boy holding two geese. Flowering shrubs and perennials will add splashes of color amidst the rich foliar tapestry of deciduous and evergreen green shrubs.

Our goal, when the garden reopens in late 2020, is to re-affirm our vision of Greenwood as an enticing sanctuary in which to enjoy nature, beauty and history!

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Inspired by the formal gardens of the 17th and 18th century France, Peter P. Blanchard Jr., father of Greenwood Gardens' founder, created boxwood hedges across the Reflecting Pool Terrace and Croquet Lawn. With stately Norway spruce as a backdrop, his plantings of pink and white dogwoods and azaleas at the four corners shone every spring. Photo from the Greenwood Gardens archive, circa 1960s.