Garden of Earthly Delights

Greenwood Gardens Tour


I recently had a rare opportunity to take my staff and some local clients on a private tour of Greenwood Gardens in Short Hills, NJ, guided by Stephanie Murphy, the Gardens’ program manager. Stephanie started with a history of the estate and then led us through the grounds, pointing out the features of the design and ongoing efforts at restoration.

This 28 acre estate was created as a country retreat in the early 20th century for a wealthy New York family, and remained in private hands until 2003, when the owner decided to transform them into a public garden. (It was designated a nonprofit organization and is one of 16 gardens nationwide that is supported by The Garden Conservancy). The ambitious landscaping comprised several styles of garden design as well as a tea house, grottoes, fountains, and reflecting pools.

As with many grand estates, Greenwood had over the decades succumbed to neglect and disrepair. A lot of money was needed to bring it back to it’s original splendor, and it remains a work in progress. Most original structures are intact, but many are still in need of extensive restoration. Gardens need more than money; gardens also want to be populated with people. I encourage you and your friends to visit to this unique sanctuary, stroll the beautiful gardens, and in doing so you will be keeping the place alive and vibrant. for more information.


Formal gardens and woodland settings mingle throughout the estate.


Sculpture, decorative tilework and fountains punctuate the gardens.


Once a cascading fountain and reflecting pool, this is one of the areas awaiting funds for a much needed restoration.


Enjoying the tour!