Greenwood Gardens

19 December 2023

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Greenwood’s Allées: Pretty Trees All in a Row

Greenwood’s Allées: Pretty Trees All in a Row

In a seamless fusion of art and nature, rows of trees, known as allées, have enchanted garden enthusiasts for centuries. The term “allée,” derived from the French word for ‘aisle,’ gained prominence in landscape design during the Baroque era. Allées, featuring trees of the same species planted at equal distances from each other, exude formality and charm. They draw the eye towards a focal point at their end, creating a structured and visually appealing effect reminiscent of cathedral architecture.

After 1949 when the property’s last owner, Peter P. Blanchard, Jr. and his wife Adelaide purchased it, numerous renovations were made to the landscape in keeping with the look and feel of a formal, English-inspired garden. Among the numerous boxwoods and evergreens planted at that time, the Blanchards introduced four distinct allées: The Main Allée, the Farm Allée, the Carpinus Allée, and an evergreen allée near the ponds.

The Main Allée, with its triple row of London plane trees, welcomes visitors as they enter Greenwood. These trees boast beautiful grey-green bark that naturally sheds to reveal lighter-colored bark underneath, creating a captivating visual experience.

Equally stunning is the Farm Allée, which gracefully spans from the Cascade on its western side to the Eagle gate on its eastern side. The view in either direction is nothing short of mesmerizing.

Despite its smaller size, the Carpinus Allée offers a cozy setting for observing the turkeys. A stone path runs through the center, flanked by benches on either side. The yellowish-orange foliage during autumn adds a striking touch, and the stone pathway imparts a unique architectural feel, especially when blanketed in snow.

Often overlooked at Greenwood is the evergreen allée, extending into South Mountain Reservation. This allée begins at a wrought iron gate nestled in the shade beside the ponds. Notably, this gate, designed by architects Carrière and Hastings between 1914 and 1915, originally adorned the New York City residence of Adelaide Childs Frick Blanchard’s family.

The allure of these tree-lined pathways invites visitors to step back in time, appreciating the beauty and history that Greenwood Gardens has to offer.