Giving Back

Founder of Greenwood Gardens in Short Hills Publishes New Book

Peter and Sofia Blanchard speaking at a Greenwood Garden event sponsored by the Millburn/Short Hills Chamber of Commerce in April 2016. Credits: Jonathan Sym

SHORT HILLS, NJ - Greenwood Gardens, a public garden in Short Hills, is delighted to announce the publication of founder Peter P. Blanchard III's new book, Greenwood: A Path to Nature and the Past. The public is invited to a book signing and talk by Mr. Blanchard on Wednesday, June 29 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. There is no charge for this event, but registration is required: please RSVP via email to smurphy@greenwoodgardens.

Mr. Blanchard has written a delightful history of an extraordinary place of natural beauty, including the stories of the Day and Blanchard families who shaped the Greenwood we enjoy today. Peter grew up as an only child at Greenwood, then called The Greenwoods. Out of his devotion to this extraordinary place, and in keeping with his father’s wishes, Peter and his wife Sofia decided to preserve Greenwood Gardens in perpetuity, for the delight and enjoyment of the public. With energy, creativity, and love for Greenwood Gardens’ unique history and landscape, they continue to lead the revitalization of the unique treasure.

Comprised of twenty-eight acres of gardens, meadows, and woodland, with eleven historic buildings constructed between 1912 and 1950, Greenwood Gardens remained in in private ownership for more than a century. With guidance from the Garden Conservancy, the Garden officially opened to the public in spring, 2013.

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“Peter’s book will enhance the enjoyment and facilitate the experience of visitors to this ‘secret garden,’” says Greenwood Gardens Executive Director, Liz Johnson. Filled with vintage and contemporary photographs, the book provides an overview of the Gardens, their history, and mission. In addition, Mr. Blanchard has included a delightful collection of personal anecdotes from his life growing up at Greenwood.

Peter P. Blanchard III is the author of three long-range land conservation studies published by the Trust for Public Land and New York City Audubon: Buffer the Bay Revisited (a review of unprotected open space fringing Jamaica Bay, 1992), The Century Plan (presenting 100 conservation sites on Barnegat Bay (1994) and An Islanded Nature, (a study of remaining natural areas in Western Staten Island (2001). Peter is also the author of We Were an Island; the Maine Life of Art and Nan Kellam (University Press of New England, 2010).

A portion of the proceeds from the sales of Greenwood: A Path to Nature and the Past will support Greenwood Gardens. The book is available for sale at the Garden for $20.

Greenwood Gardens is open to the public Saturday through Tuesday, from 10:00 am until 4:00 pm. To learn more about Greenwood Gardens and its educational programs, go to or call 973-258-4026.

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