Plainfield Garden Club

Member: Harding, Mrs. Edward (Alice Howard) '15

1919 Address: Terrill Road, Fanwood, NJ (Burnley Farm)

1922 Plainfield Garden Club directory lists Mrs. Edward Harding, Terrill Road as "Honorary Member"

1932 Directory* listed Mrs. Edward Harding as an Honorary Member, Fanwood.

*This particular directory is not dated, but seems to be from 1932.

In 1965, the 50th anniversary of the Plainfield Garden Club, Mrs. Edward Harding was listed as "Honorary Member" and deceased.

Alice Harding Obituary: April 18, 1938

Click to read actual New York Times Article: Alice Harding

Mrs. Edw. Harding
A Horticulturalist

Wife of New York Lawyer an Expert on Flower Culture – Dies in Plainfield

Won Honors in Europe

Decorated by Government of France in 1928 – Wrote About Peonies and Lilacs

Special to The New York Times

PLAINFIELD, N.J., April 17. – Mrs. Alice Howard Harding, horticulturalist, wife of Edward Harding, New York lawyer, died here today at her home, Burmley Farms, on Terrill Road, after a brief illness. A resident of Plainfield for thirty years, she had developed on her estate a garden of unusual size and beauty. She had a special fondness for peonies, lilacs and irises, and was a recognized authority on these flowers.

Mrs. Harding had exhibited her flowers in shows in this country, England and France, and in 1928 the French Government made her a Chevalier du Merite Agricole in recognition of her achievements in horticulture.

Borne in Keene, N.H., the daughter of Arthur and Sarah Kelley Howard, Mrs. Harding was educated by private tutors and abroad. In 1900 she married Mr. Harding who is a member of the law firm of Campbell, Harding, Goodwin & Danforth.

Mrs. Harding was a member-at-large of the Garden Club of America and a fellow of the Royal Horticultural Society of Great Britain. In 1928 she won a medal conferred by the American Peony Society. Her books include "Book of the Peony," "Peonies in the Little Garden," and "Lilacs in My Garden."

Also surviving is a sister, Mrs. Royal E. T. Riggs of New York. Funeral services will be held Tuesday at 3 P.M. in the Grace Protestant Episcopal Church.

From the Manual of the American Peony Society

harding, alice (Mrs. Edward Harding), was born in Keene, New Hampshire, and has resided for many years in New York City. Her country home and garden is at Plainfield, N. J. Mrs. Harding is an enthusiastic amateur, and while both the tree and herbaceous peonies have been the particular objects of her devotion for many years, she also specializes in the culture of iris and hybrid lilacs. Of all these specialties she has large and fine collections. Mrs. Harding is an Honorary Member of the American Peony Society, a Member-at-Large of the Garden Club of America, and a member of the American, Massachusetts, and New York Horticultural Societies. She has many international affiliations, being a member of the Royal Horticultural Society of England, an Honorary Member of the Soci6t£ Centrale d'Horticulture de Nancy, France, a Dame Patronesse of the Societ£ Nationale d'Horticulture de France, and has recently been made a Chevalier du MeVite Agricole by the Minister of the French Republic in recognition of her services to horticulture. Mrs. Harding is well-known to all lovers of the peony through the delightful books which she has written: "The Book of the Peony" in 1917, and "Peonies in the Little Garden" in 1923. The latter is particularly interesting and instructive to the novice, and for this book she was awarded a medal by the Soci6t6 Nationale d'Horticulture de France. Both books are beautifully illustrated and contain much information of value to the peony grower that cannot be found elsewhere. In 1918, Mrs. Harding offered a prize of one hundred dollars for the best new peony of American origin not then in commerce. This was won by E. J. Shaylor for the beautiful seedling which he named in honor of the generous donor of the prize. In 1922, Mrs. Harding, while in France, offered a prize to the Soci6t6 Nationale d'Horticulture de France for the best new French seedling. This was won by Emile Lemoine who named his seedling in Mrs. Harding's honor, "Alice Harding." Lemoine considers this one of his finest introductions. In June, 1928, the Directors of the American Peony Society awarded Mrs. Harding a Gold Medal for her two interesting and instructive books on peonies. Mrs. Harding has done much to increase the interest in peonies both in this country and abroad. Her address is Burnley Farm, R. D. No. I, Plainfield, N. J.

To read more, click:

Publisher's Notes on The Book of the Peony

Alice Harding wrote The Book of the Peony in 1917 and its smaller companion volume, Peonies in the Little Garden, in 1923. To this day, the two books remain the only ones that provide a comprehensive understanding of these magnificent and wonderfully varied flowers.

Mrs. Harding brought together in her garden at Burnley Farm in Plainfield, New Jersey, a world-renowned collection of both herbaceous and tree peonies. She believed in testing and evaluating the finest new peony varieties and maintained and propagated collections of the rarest and best varieties throughout her life. Her writing style is as engaging as a good novel and her voice as authoritative as an encyclopedia.

Mrs. Harding's horticultural expertise and work were widely recognized. A rose, an iris, two French hybrid lilacs, a tree peony, and two herbaceous peonies have been named in her honor. She gave numerous peonies from her own collections to botanical gardens in England, Scotland, Austria, Canada, Colombia, New Zealand, Australia, India, and South Africa.

This new edition comprehensively combines the most important elements of Alice Harding's two books. After a thorough introduction to peony appreciation, mythology, and history, The Peony focuses extensively on topics concerning the cultivation of both the herbaceous and tree peony, such as soil preparation and disease control. Roy G. Klehm, Director Emeritus of the American Peony Society, has written a foreword and appendices offering the latest information on modern hybrid varieties, mail order sources, and disease and pest updates, and has illustrated this combined edition with magnificent new color photographs.

Pertinent, historically signfficant, and fascinatingto read, Alice Harding's writings on the magnificent peony have yet to be duplicated. With interest in herbaceous and tree peonies at an all-time high, The Peony will be an invaluable resource for the serious gardener.

Industry reviews

Harding's two books, written in 1917 and 1923, remain the standard account of the peony, based on her testing and evaluating, propagation, and collection of both herbaceous and tree varieties in New Jersey. Here her information, focusing on soil preparation and disease control, along with her distinctive writing style, are supported by a modern forward and appendices of current information. Well illustrated with color plates. Acidic paper. Annotation copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or.

Mrs. Edward Harding

Alice Harding is listed on the Charter Membership roster for The Plainfield Garden Club, 1915.

"On Monday morning, April 15, 1915, at the invitation of Mrs. Henrietta B. Herring, nineteen women met with her in the Public Library to discuss organizing a Garden Club of Plainfield."

Paeonia suffruticosa 'Kinko' (Alice Harding)

Paeonia suffruticosa Hardy Tree Peony, USDA zones 4-9, Large silky flowers produced in early April in the Pacific Northwest bloom 10-14 days before our Herbaceous (Bush) Peonies.

P. suffruticosa 'Kinko' (Alice Harding) Able to stand "toe-to-toe" with the benchmark set by ‘High Noon' for color and beauty, ‘Alice Harding' is an all-time favorite dating back into the 30's. These beautiful, ruffled yellow, late blooming flowers, are held on compact shrubs clothed in medium to dark green foliage. Reaching 2 to 3 feet as mature plants, ‘Alice Harding' is perfect in the border as well as in your rock garden, easily finding a place with other smaller-growing shrubs or roses. These are single branch plants, 2 years from graft, the size we have found best for transplanting.

With a lingering sweet fragrance of varying intensity, similar to the scent of roses, Tree Peonies are perfect in the garden and for cutting individual blossoms to display indoors. These shrub-type plants have woody stems that remain above ground all winter, that only require light pruning to maintain form and shape. Wait until Tree Peonies have been established in the garden for two seasons before removing or shortening any branches. All peonies put down strong, heavy roots and need a deeply prepared planting hole in a well-drained area. Add a small amount of finished compost or well-rotted manure to amend soil while planting, then mulch each winter with an inch or two of more compost. Locate in full sun, if possible, protected from strong wind to prevent damage to individual blooms on the facing side. Summer and winter wind is not a problem, foliage and branches are quite sturdy. Light shade is acceptable in hotter climates, but low light conditions will reduce the bloom plus allow foliage to become too sparse on the darker side.

IMPORTANT: Plant with 4 to 6 inches of soil covering the graft, which means that much of your new plant will be below ground and will take at least five more years of growth for the branches to reach the average height listed. This is important to ensure you have a good network of "own roots" above the graft junction. Lack of bloom for plants that were planted too shallow (or odd leaves and blooms) generally means that the grafted top has died. About 50% of our 2-3 branch plants have a single bloom the first year of planting, but it is recommended that buds not be allowed to fully develop the first season and be removed to send energy into developing an additional root system.

(Container-growing and Spring planting) Potting your new plants in mid to late spring is recommended, especially if buds are beginning to break dormancy and your weather is unstable or if you are still renovating your garden. Use a 12 inch or deeper container and a good grade of commercial potting soil. Do not overwater, if new leaves begin to show signs of wilting, move to a shadier area, do not allow soil to stay constantly wet. Keep in light shade if weather is bright and sunny to reduce burning new foliage, then move to sunnier (not scorching hot) site after leaves have "greened" up well; transplant to permanent place in garden during fall and winter months.

Paeoniaceae x lemoinei 'Alice Harding'

Family: Paeoniaceae
Genus: Paeonia (pay-OHN-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: x lemoinei (le-MOY-NEE-eye) (Info)
Cultivar: Alice Harding
Additional cultivar information: (aka Kinshi, Kinko)
Hybridized by Lemoine (France); Year of Registration or Introduction: 1935

Tree Peony 'Alice Harding'

Alice Harding

A French tree peony, hybridized by Lemoine, in 1935.
Our plants are 5-6 yr. old., with 5 to 6 woody stems. Low growing, perfect for a smaller garden. Bright yellow flowers have a pleasing sweet, light lemon scent. Historically important as one of the parent plants used in creating yellow intersectional peonies
Double form, 6-7-inch flowers are downward and side facing on a plant that grows as a miniature tree peony, reaching to 30 inches tall. Space to allow 36 inches width. Current size shows a thick woody trunk base sprouting 5-6 branches. Good for a small garden or container growing.

Strong growing, compact shrub with numerous,fragrant blooms.

This tree peony will grow in USDA Zones 4-9.

Peony 'Mrs. Edward Harding'

P. lactiflora cultivar, introduced by Shaylor, 1918; double, white, midseason, approx. 24 - 36" (60 - 90 cm) tall, floriferous, fragrant

Also known as "Mrs. Ed Harding"; named for peony enthusiast and gardening author Alice Harding (wife of lawyer Edward Harding); beautiful flower of perfect form and delicate lacy quality; golden yellow stamens visible through many densely-packed white petals; good dark green foliage; best when staked
(Photo courtesy of

Peonies in the Little Garden by Alice Howard Harding

To see the original work, photos, drawings and to read the entire book, click:

The little garden at Vauvillers -- March 1919

Excerpt from Peonies of the Little Garden published 1923

We left Amiens one Sunday morning, passing Villers-Bretoneaux – where the Australian troops and some American engineers had made the stand that saved Amiens and the Western line – had gone through Hamelet, Hamel, Rayonvillers, Harbonnieres and Crepy Wood to Vauvillers. As the only woman in the party, I had been unanimously appointed in charge of the commissariat. It was noon when we reached Vauvillers. I chose a broken wall about fifty feet from the road as a good place on which to spread our luncheon. The car was stopped, the luncheon things unpacked, and we picked our way over the mangled ground to the fragment of wall. As I passed around the end I came upon two peony plants pushing through the earth. Tears brimmed. I could not control them. There had beeen a home and a cherished garden. As I stood gazing at the little red spears just breaking through the ground, a voice, apparently from the sky, inquired if Madame would like a chair. Looking along the wall I saw a head of an old peasant woman thrust through a tiny opening. She smiled and withdrew, appearing a moment later with a chair. It was her only chair. She then brought forth her only cup and saucer and her only pitcher filled with milk, and offered us her only hospitality!

Joined now by her venerable husband, we listened to their story. The hiding of their few treasures, the burying of their bit of linen, their flight towards Paris, the description of the outrageous condition of the one room left for them to return to, made us burn with indignation. It was her little garden that the peonies grew. The fruit trees and shrubs were gone, the neat garden walks were blasted into space, the many precious flowers were utterly destroyed. When she found that Madame, too, loved les belles pixcunes, she urged me to take one of the only two roots she had left!

October 1925 The Atlantic Monthly

Graphics are limited almost exclusively to the advertisements, mostly to the large, full-pagers in the very front and the very back, hawking life insurance ("will they become more careful as they go through school?"), natural gas ("whose capacity for domestic service is as great as the number of American homes"), Listerine ("you, yourself, rarely know when you have halitosis"), and Zenith radios ("it costs more, but it does more"). The first 60 pages are devoted to book reviews and publishers' ads, and the names therein are a fascinating blend of the now-celebrated and the now-almost-totally-obscure: Virginia Woolf, Sherwood Anderson, Joseph Conrad, Anatole France, and Edith Wharton rubbing elbows with such non-luminaries as Gamaliel Bradford (author of Wives), Beale Davis (The Goat Without Horns) , and Mrs. Edward Harding (creator of "the best book ever written about the peony...a most important addition to our limited peony literature").

A Planting of Peonies at Burnley Farm

Photograph in the book Peonies in the Little Garden 1923

Iris 'Alice Harding'

Alice Harding
Cayeux, 1933

TB 36" M Y4L, Yellow self with purple-based foliage. From National Iris Gardens catalog for 1942: "Medium yellow. Closed standards and semi-flaring falls of medium yellow; bright orange beard. Strongly fragrant, large flowers on extra-good stalks. We have sold more of this variety than any other yellow."
French Dykes Medal 1933.

Iris 'Alice Harding'

ALICE HARDING (Cayeux R. 1933). TB, M. Iceberg X Evolution. Dykes Medal (F) and Harding Prize 1933, AM AIS 1927. Cayeux et LeClerc 1931

Iris 'Alice Harding'

Alice Harding, co-founder of the American Iris Society

American Iris Society

Founding meeting was at 11 the morning of January 29, 1920

Many people instrumental in founding the AIS came from the world of Peonies. In addition to those mentioned were Bertrand Farr; Mrs. Edward Harding, author of a recently published book on the subject; and Professor A. P. Saunders, a chemistry teacher at Hamilton College in Clinton, New York, who edited the Peony society's Bulletin and who was to take the minutes at the meeting on January 29. All were personally interested in irises as well as Peonies, of course, but there was also a perception that they might do for the iris what had been done for the Peony earlier in the century when Mr. Farr and others, working closely with Cornell University, had planted trial gardens at Ithaca and, over a course of several years, sorted out the egregiously muddled names so that the genus could be vigorously promoted to the horticultural public. A lot had been learned through that process, and it was thought that much the same sort of thing could, and should, be accomplished for the iris. Indeed, as A. P. Saunders recorded that day, Dr. A. C. Beal, head of the Department of Horticulture, brought to the meeting "a plea to establish at Cornell a trial garden of the Society, and after long discussion on this matter it was turned over to the Board of Directors with directions to cooperate in every way possible with Cornell, but to establish the complete collection at Bronx Park." Professors Saunders and Beal, along with Robert Sturtevant, who was elected the AIS' first Secretary, were also responsible for drafting the final version of the "constitution", which provided for six Regions with vice presidents. The first RVP of the Eastern states, including their host New York, was B. Y. Morrison.

Syringa vulgaris 'Alice Harding'

Height: 10 feet

Spread: 10 feet

Sunlight: Full

Hardiness Zone: 2a

Other Names: Common Lilac

Group/Class: French Hybrid Lilac


A stunning lilac with flowers in the softest ivory pink that emerge from lavender buds, dainty and exquisite; upright, multi-stemmed habit, very hardy, tends to sucker, ideal for screening; full sun and well-drained soil, allow room for air movement

Ornamental Attributes:

Alice Harding Lilac features showy panicles of fragrant white flowers rising above the foliage in mid spring, which emerge from distinctive lavender flower buds. The flowers are excellent for cutting. It has bluish-green foliage throughout the season. The heart-shaped leaves do not develop any appreciable fall colour. The smooth gray bark is not particularly outstanding.

Landscape Attributes:

Alice Harding Lilac is a multi-stemmed deciduous shrub with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its relatively coarse texture can be used to stand it apart from other landscape plants with finer foliage.

This is a high maintenance shrub that will require regular care and upkeep, and should only be pruned after flowering to avoid removing any of the current season's flowers. It is a good choice for attracting butterflies to your yard, but is not particularly attractive to deer who tend to leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;

Alice Harding Lilac is recommended for the following landscape applications;

General Garden Use
Mass Planting
Plant Characteristics:

Alice Harding Lilac will grow to be about 10 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 10 feet. It tends to be leggy, with a typical clearance of 3 feet from the ground, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 30 years.

This shrub should only be grown in full sunlight. It is very adaptable to both dry and moist locations, and should do just fine under average home landscape conditions. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments.

This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America.

'Alice Harding' Lilac

'Souvenir d'Alice Harding'

syringa vulgaris
Double Classe1 Blanc

Description du Catalogue Lemoine n°212 1938
Panicules Plus Volumineuses que Mme Lemoine,Parfumés

Pas de description de 'The Lilac' sorti dix ans plus tard
Anecdote pour le cultivar
Monsieur Lemoine dédia plusieurs cultivars de genres différents à Mme Harding . Deux pivoines , une herbacée et l'autre arborescente avec la même dénomination ,et ce Lilas.Mme harding était surtout connu pour Les pivoines ,notamment pour son ouvrage ' The Paeonies' et des articles publiés dans 'La Revue Horticole' .Mais ce lilas reste un suprëme hommage car elle avait choisi elle-même cette nouveauté entre tous les semis de Nancy.

'Souvenir d' Alice Harding' Lilac

Syringa vulgaris 'Mrs. Edward Harding'

Produces masses of sweetly scented, large spikes of double carmine-red flowers in spring.

Lilacs in My Garden: A Practical Handbook for Amateurs

Harding, Alice. Lilacs in My Garden: A Practical Handbook for Amateurs. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1933.

Alice Harding received the prestigious Mérite Agricole from the French government–putting her in such disparate company as Louis Pasteur and Catherine Deneuve.

Introduced by no less a personage than the son of famed French breeder Victor Lemoine, Emile Lemoine, this volume is Harding's love song to lilacs.

Alice Harding Awarded Mérite Agricole

The Ordre National du Mérite Agricole (National Order of Agricultural Merit) is an order of merit established in France on 7 July 1883 by Minister of Agriculture Jules Méline to reward services to agriculture.

Its ribbon is Moiré pattern green (holders are said to "avoir le poireau", or "have a leek", in reference to its colour) with a red-orange stripe down each side - the stripes symbolise the presitigious institution of the ordre national de la Légion d'honneur. The Order has the ranks of knight (around 23,000 at present, including all living former ministers of agriculture), officer (5,000) and commander (400).

Victor Lemoine

Victor Lemoine (October 21, 1823 - December 11, 1911) was a celebrated and prolific French flower breeder who, among other accomplishments, created many of today's lilac varieties. As a result of his accomplishments, the term French lilac has come to mean all cultivars of the common lilac, regardless of their origin.

Lemoine was born at Delme, Lorraine, France, and descended from a long line of gardeners and nurserymen. After completing college, he devoted several years to traveling and working in the leading horticultural establishments of his time, notably at that of Louis Van Houtte in Ghent, Belgium.

In 1850 Lemoine established himself as a florist and gardener at Nancy, France, and by 1852 the Revue Horticole mentioned Lemoine's double flowered portulaca. In 1854 Lemoine produced the first double potentilla (Gloire de Nancy), and the first streptocarpus hybrids. It was about the same period that Lemoine turned his hand to fuchsias and introduced many varieties, including the double flowered hybrid Solferino. By 1862 he had introduced a white Spiraea callosa, in 1866 his Hydrangea paniculata grandiflora and the first genuine double-flowered zonal Pelargonium geraniums (Gloire de Nancy), and in 1868 the first of his hybrid weigelas.

The greatest of his creations, though, were undoubtedly his lilacs. Starting in 1870 Lemoine and his descendants (Émile Lemoine (1862-1942) and Henri Lemoine (1897-1982)) introduced over 200 new lilac cultivars. In 1876 he created the double French hybrids and hybridized the first Hyacinthiflora lilacs. However, his work was by no means confined to lilacs. During the last fifteen years of his life he produced excellent new varieties of astilbes, cannas, delphiniums, deutzias, gladiolus, heucheras, hydrangeas, pentstemons, peonies, and weigelas, as well as more modest efforts in chrysanthemums, dahlias, bush honeysuckles, montbretias, phloxes, saxifrages, and spiraeas.

Lemoine was the first foreigner to receive the Victorian Medal of Horticulture of the Royal Horticultural Society. He also received the George R. White Medal of Honor from the Massachusetts Horticultural Society.

He was a father in law to Émile Coué.

Emile Lemoine

The Garden Magazine May 1917 pages 232-233

Syringa vulgaris 'Mrs. Edward Harding'

Syringa vulgaris 'Mrs Edward Harding'
Variety or Cultivar:'Mrs Edward Harding' ~ 'Mrs Edward Harding' is a deciduous shrub with heart-shaped leaves and fragrant, double flowers that emerge purplish red in spring, fading to deep pink by early summer.

Cultivation:Grow in fertile, moist, well-drained soil. Does well in chalk but dislikes acidic soil. If in full sun, mulch to retain soil moisture.
Awards:RHS AGM (Award of Garden Merit)
Suggested uses:Beds and borders, City, Cottage/Informal, Low Maintenance
Soil types:Chalky, Clay, Loamy, Sandy (will tolerate most soil types)
Soil drainage:Moist but well-drained, Well-drained
Soil pH:Alkaline, Neutral
Light:Full Sun
Aspect:North, South, East, West
Exposure:Exposed or Sheltered
Hardiness:Hardy (H4)

Syringa vulgaris 'Mrs Edward Harding' is:Deciduous
Flower:Reddish pink, Dark-purple in Spring; Dark-pink, Reddish pink in Summer
Foliage:Dark-green in Spring; Dark-green in Summer
Fragrance:Flowers are very fragrant.
Ultimate height (m):4
Ultimate spread (m):4
Time to maturity:10-20 years

Quote from The Little Garden and The Peony

Peonies have been featured in art and literature for generations. They have graced Silken fabrics, been hand painted on exquisite porcelain, and been a favorite subject of artists in general. Garden literature abounds with references to the peony. In The little Garden and the Peony, Mrs. Edward Harding writes, "In March of 1919, I had the opportunity to see the battlefronts of Europe. A sadder more appalling vision of destruction never was. Town after town leveled to brick and dust. We stopped for lunch when we reached Nouvillers. I chose a broken wall near which to spread our luncheon and there near the wall I came upon two peony plants pushing through the earth. Tears brimmed. I could not control them. Here had been a home and a cherished garden."

Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation

Hunt Institute
for Botanical Documentation
A Research Division of Carnegie Mellon Univeristy
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Hunt Institute specializes in the history of botany and all aspects of plant science and serves the international scientific community through research and documentation. To this end, the Institute acquires and maintains authoritative collections of books, plant images, manuscripts, portraits and data files, and provides publications and other modes of information service. The Institute meets the reference needs of biologists, historians, conservationists, librarians, bibliographers and the public at large, especially those concerned with any aspect of the North American flora.

HARDING, ALICE HOWARD, ca.1846–1938.
Correspondence with nurseryman Emile Lemoine (1862–1943) concerning peonies.
Location: 1 small green box, 2 folders shelved.
HI Archives collection no. 161.

Correspondence with floriculturist Alice Howard Harding (ca.1846–1938) concerning peonies. Location: 1 box, 2 folders shelved. HI Archives collection no. ... - Cached

January 21, 1894 Gay Times at Lakewood

New York Times January 21, 1894

Family Geneology of Edward Harding

Barnard College in 1917 and from Cornell Medical College
in 1920; Alice Harding, the daurrhter of Williain F. and
Catharine Hart Harding, born, 18, 1866, on
October 36, 1897 married • Henry Martyn Kneedler of Phila-
delphia, who is head of the Lennox Mills; and Edward Hard-
ing, born May 3, 1873, who is living in New York with a
residence at Plainfield, N.J. ("Burnley Farm")* married,
but without children. Mrs. Edward Harding is the authoress
of "The Book of the Peony". She was Alice Howard, the
daughter of Arthur and Sarah Kelley Howard. She was
married October 12, 1909. She is a member of the Author's
League of America, Woman's National Farm & Garden Associa-
tion, Massachusetts Horticultural Society, the Garden Club
of America, Royal Horticultural Society of Great Britian,
Dame Patronesse Societe Nationale d Horticulture de France,

The New York Botanical Garden

Archives & Manuscripts, Mertz Library

Wild Flower Preservation Society of America Records (RA)

Correspondence 1920 -1929 Alice Harding

In 1901 Olivia and Caroline Phelps Stokes presented three-thousand dollars to the New York Botanical Garden designated as the Olivia E. and Caroline Phelps Stokes Fund for the Protection of Native Plants. A monetary prize was established soliciting essays that would encourage a public dialogue regarding the preservation of both native and wild plants.

A portion of the Stokes Fund was earmarked for use as the Wild Flower Preservation Society of America in 1902 under the founder, Elizabeth Gertrude Knight Britton. Britton remained a driving force behind the organization until the mid-nineteen twenties.

The Society was incorporated by the state of New York in April of 1915.In addition to Elizabeth Britton, the Society's directors included Robert A. Harper, Arthur Hollick, Marshall A. Howe, and Norman Taylor. According to the certificate of incorporation, the goals of the organization were to encourage the preservation and protection of native plants, promote the enactment of laws furthering such preservation, organizing local societies, and to publish, print and disseminate literature to educate the public.

After 1924, the scope of the Society was restricted to the state of New York. Following this change of focus, in 1933 the Society was officially dissolved, as it was determined that the society's mission was being carried on effectively by the Garden Club of America, various state federations of garden clubs, and by the Wild Flower Preservation Society which had been established in 1925 in Washington, D.C. The remaining assets of the Society were turned over to the New York Botanical Garden to be added to the principal of the Olivia E. and Caroline Philips Stokes Fund.

Scope and Content
Records consist primarily of Britton's correspondence with local wild flower preservation groups in the United States. Prominent correspondents include Alice Owen Anderson, Margaret E. Allen, Edward Fuller Bigelow, Emma Lucy Braun, Thornton Waldo Burgess, Henry Chandler Cowles, Fanny Day Farwell, Charles Frederick Millspaugh, Percy L. Ricker, and Edgar T. Wherry. Also included is a small amount of correspondence conducted by Charles Louis Pollard, 1902-1903.

The collection includes materials on the history of the group, it's constitution, minutes, Stokes prize essays, articles written by Elizabeth Britton, club lists and literature, and promotional posters and buttons highlighting the WPFSA mission.

'Alice Harding' Rose

Medium yellow Hybrid Tea.
Registration name: Alice Harding
Bred by Charles Mallerin (France, 1937).
Introduced in United States by Jackson & Perkins Co. in 1937.
Hybrid Tea / Large-Flowered.
Golden-yellow. Strong, honey fragrance. Large, double (17-25 petals) bloom form. Blooms in flushes throughout the season.
Height of 2' to 30" (60 to 75 cm).
USDA zone 6b through 9b (default).
United States - Patent No: PP 202

'Alice Harding' Rose

Full text of American Rose Annual

Hybrid Tea Rose 'Alice Harding'

Introduced in the United Kingdom in 1962, Royal Highness is a large, light pink rose with a very strong fragrance and glossy dark green leaves, blooming between spring and fall. It won the All-America Rose Selections (AARS) Award in 1963. Royal Highness is available for sale commercially, in nurseries and online.

Hybrid Tea Rose
Royal Highness is a hybrid tea rose by classification. In the 1960s, other outstanding hybrid tea roses introduced included the velvety red Mister Lincoln, the orange Fragrant Cloud and the snow white Pascali. The first and original hybrid tea rose was La France, introduced by Jean-Baptiste Guillot of France in 1867. La France was also light pink with large blooms and a strong fragrance.

Modern Roses
Horticulturists categorize hybrid tea roses like Royal Highness as "modern roses" to differentiate them from the earlier generations of tea roses that belong to the classical class of "old garden roses." Hybrid tea roses generally exhibit between 25 and 60 petals. Royal Highness generally exhibits between 40 and 45.

The breeder of Royal Highness was Wilhelm Kordes II (1891 to 1976) of Germany. The "American Rose Annual 1977" refers to Kordes as "the grand old man of rose breeding." He was the oldest son of Wilhelm Kordes I, who established a nursery, Wilhelm Kordes & Sons, in Elmshorn in 1887. By 1920, the nursery specialized in the breeding of roses in Sparrieshoop. Kordes roses are the products of years of research and stringent testing in terms of color, size, form, vase life, disease resistance and fragrance.

Role in World History
The historic Peace rose, ivory-yellow with pink edges, is one of the parents of Royal Highness. Its breeder was Francis Meilland of France, who hybridized the Peace rose in 1935. It was not known as the Peace rose at first, but rather introduced in 1942 under the name Mme A. Meilland to honor the breeder's mother. In Germany, its name was Gloria Dei and in Italy, it was Gioia. Introduced in America in 1945 as Peace, this rose fittingly marked the end of World War II. It won the AARS Award for 1946, the only winner that year. Besides Royal Highness, other descendants of the Peace rose include Garden Party and Princesse de Monaco.

Other Parent
Virgo (Virgo Liberationem) is the other parent of Royal Highness. Its breeder was Charles Mallerin of France, who introduced this large-flowered white hybrid tea rose in 1947. Virgo is a mildly fragrant rose.

June 12, 1921 New York Times Article on NYBG Peonies

IRIS GARDEN, SET OUT LAST YEAR, THRIVING; New Addition to Botanical Resources of Bronx Park a Success, Says John C. Wister.HAS ABOUT 600 VARIETIESPlants Are Gift of American Iris Society, Which Will Use Beds for Experimental Purposes.

The Iris Garden, set out last Summer in the New York Botanical Garden in Bronx Park is thriving well, its blooms reveal. The plants were not expected to bloom extensively this year. The President of the Iris Society, John C. Wister of Philadelphia, who inspected ... Click here to read more: Mrs. Harding of Plainfield, NJ

Alica Harding iris description from Presby Memorial Iris Garden's archives

a tall bearded iris, the Alice Harding iris was awarded the Dykes Memorial Medal in Paris in 1933 as the finest iris of the year. A magnificent large primrose-yellow self, with a deep orange beard. The flowers are of perfect form and heavy substance and smooth satiny texture, om tall, well-branched stems.

This was obtained from the publication The History of the Plainfield Garden Club 1915 - 1965 by Victoria Furman

This was obtained from the publication The History of the Plainfield Garden Club 1915 - 1965 by Victoria Furman

This was obtained from the publication The History of the Plainfield Garden Club 1915 - 1965 by Victoria Furman

What is in a Name? by Anner Whitehead

What's in a Name?
Alice Harding
- Anner Whitehead, VA,
with the assistance of Dorothy Stiefel, Mike Lowe, and Clarence Mahan Please,

The first decades of this century saw an intense interest in the improvement of many perennial garden plants through hybridization, and the strong and widespread belief among connoisseurs that excellence was achievable, that progress was being made rapidly, and that new information should be shared among themselves, and with the general public. Plant societies were formed to these ends, among them the American Iris Society, and popular books and articles were written to make sophisticated information readily available to persons of all social strata and walks of life. Among those actively involved in these endeavors was Alice Harding, who was interested in several genera, including tulips, mock oranges, and hemerocallis. Like so many of the founders of the American Iris Society, including Bertrand Farr and John Wister, she was especially fond of peonies, and it is in regard to these that she is most often remembered as a pioneer

[photo from National Iris Gardens catalog for 1942]

Alice Howard Harding was born in Keene, New Hampshire and was educated by private tutors and abroad. She married Edward Harding, a prominent New York City attorney, in 1900, and a few years later they established their country home and gardens at Burnley Farm in Plainfield, New Jersey. These gardens were of "unusual size and beauty" and there she grew collections of rare and superior varieties of many flowering plants. While Alice Harding enjoyed the means to garden on an indulgent scale, she was not an indiscriminate accumulator. She was a knowledgeable, practical, and observant gardener who believed that only the most excellent plants had a place in her garden and each new season carried the potential for greater delight In 1926 she observed

"One of the most interesting phases of gardening is the yearly improvement of material by selection. A dispassionate judgment, a firm resolve, and an unfaltering hand are needed in this work....This year the list of good varieties in my pile of discards was almost appalling. Yet there are better ones left, and next year I shall rejoice exceedingly."

She did not, however, presume newer introductions were invariably superior. Each was scrupulously evaluated, and her opinions were her own. For example, she did not care for the lax standards on the popular irises LENT A WILLIAMSON (Williamson '18) and LORD OF JUNE (Yeld '11), and said so She retained proven plants and propagated her favorites assiduously, just as she eagerly anticipated the blooming of each new arrival. However, not everything was as it should be, even in Plainfield in 1926.

"As for the new introductions which I try out each year, not all will be permanent residents of my garden. This is understood....Disappointments there must be, but there are also pleasant surprises. For example, a beautiful unknown variety of iris...appeared in the test bed this season. It is one of seven or eight plants labeled 'Asia' sent to me by various growers, each of which turned out to be something else."

© Iris City Gardens

Alice Harding is among the many fine historic irises Iris City offers.
Alice Harding, who was a Charter Member of the American Iris Society, also experimented with hybridizing. She raised a number of iris seedlings and registered six. These are CAROLINE CLEMENT ('29), ELIZABETH HOWARD ('34), COMMODORE FELLOWS ('34) NICOLE LEMOINE (34), TOPGALLANT fn d ]), and ARSINOE ('29). Interestingly, several of these are progeny of MOONLIGHT (Dykes '23). Earlier, she had awaited with great interest the arrival of MOONLIGHT'S famous offspring, W R. DYKES (Dykes-Orpington '26), which, she observed, promised "to be the nearest approach yet to the perfect yellow iris." Her ARSINOE is listed as a cross of BALLERINE (Vilmorin '20 ) and SOUV DE MME. GAUDICHAU (Millet ' 14), both of which she greatly admired. Although she sent at least one of her seedlings to Wisley for trial, she introduced none of her irises into commerce. Neither did she exhibit her plants, preferring instead to sponsor prestigious prizes in different genera for superior new seedlings raised by others. She also donated collections of peony cultivars from her garden to botanical gardens around the world so that they might be studied for climate tolerance. Mrs Harding's deep affection for the iris and desire to support new advances in that genus was reflected in her notably generous financial contribution to the First International Conference on Irises convened in Paris in 1922.

Alice Harding distinguished herself as an author. Her writing is clear, simple, authoritative, and charming. It reveals a practical and sensitive woman of great intelligence and wit. She published the seminal study of peonies. The Book of the Peony (1917), and then Peonies in the Little Garden (1923] a smaller book directed at the general reader. These have recently been reprinted under one cover by Timber Press, a testament to their enduring value. In appreciation of these books she was awarded the Gold Medal of the American Peony Society in 1928, and a medal from the Société Nationale d'Horticulture de France. She also wrote Lilacs in My Garden (1933), with a forward by her friend Emile Lémoine This last work was translated and reprinted in France. Another European friend was Miss Jekyll, and, as she tell us in an obituary she wrote for the Bulletin of the Garden Club of America, whose Garden Literature column she edited for several years, she was fortunate to enjoy a great deal of Dykes' company while in England a few months before his death. She encouraged him to visit America to lecture, but that was not to be.

Alice Harding identified herself modestly as one who "worked hard from the sheer joy of the work itself and without thought of reward," but, in addition to the honors noted above, she was made a Chevalier du Mérité Agricole of France and a Dame Patronesse of the Société Nationale d'Horticulture de France. The Horticultural Library at Nancy, France was named Bibliotheque Alice Harding in recognition of her many contributions So widespread was the esteem in which Mrs. Harding was held that at the time of her death in April, 1938 that two irises, two herbaceous peonies, one tree peony, two lilacs, and a rose had been named in her honor by some of the most respected hybridizers of the day. Not the least of these is the splendid golden yellow tall bearded ins in which many of us today continue to "rejoice exceedingly," ALICE HARDING (Cayeux '33), winner of the Dykes Memorial Medal of France.


Harding, Mrs. Edward, "A Few of the Newer Irises and Peonies of Proved Value " House beautiful, October 1926. p.428f

Harding, Mrs. Edward, Peonies in the Little Garden(Boston, 1923). Preface.

Harding. Alice, "William Rikatson Dykes" Bulletin, Garden Club of America, March, I926. p.78

Bulletin, Garden Club of America, May, 1938 p3 [Obiluary of A.H.]

Peonies: The Manual of the American Penny Society, 1928. Edited by James Boyd. p. 294f.

Peyton, George. "Alice Harding" Obituary American Peony Society Bulletin, March. 193'l. p 8

"Mrs Edward Harding. A Horticulturist" Obituary New York Times, April 18. 1938, p L: 15

Société Nationale d'Horticulture de France, Commission des Iris. Les Iris Cuitives: Actes et Comptes-Rendus de la ler Conference Internationale des Iris tenue à Paris en 1922. 1923, p 9

Bulletin, American Iris Society, Number I. June, 1920, p.25

[Reprinted from ROOTS, Vol. 13 Issue 1, Fall 2000]
Mr. Lemoine dedicated several cultivars of different kinds to Mrs. Harding - this lilac, two peonies, one herbaceous and the other a tree peony with the same name as this Lilac. Mrs. Harding was especially known for the peonies. This lilac remains a supreme homage because she chose this seedling herself.

[Lilac - 'Souvenir d'Alice Harding' Lemoine, 1938. Photo courtesy of Jean-Francois Gonot, who has a wonderful website about the lilacs of Victor Lemoine here. It's in French.]

The tree peony named for Mrs. Harding has luscious bright yellow double blooms. It is a Japanese variety and is also known as 'Kinko'.

[Peony - 'Alice Harding',
Photo courtesy of A&D Nursery in exchange for this link.]

Harding, Mr. and Mrs. Edw (Alice Howard)

1916 New York Social Register

Correspondence between Phyllis Alexander and Bernice Paglia, 2010-11-04

– On Thu, 11/4/10, Bernice Paglia <> wrote:

From: Bernice Paglia <>
Subject: Re: Plainfield Garden Club
To: "Phyllis Alexander" <>
Date: Thursday, November 4, 2010, 12:06 PM

Here's one link (not sure which ones you already have). The New York Times obit is available by purchase only. There is also one at this link:

You have to scroll down to her name.
I wasn't sure how much of this information you had amassed.
Now that you have a street number, you can check in the Tax Assessor's office where they have maps and deeds. If I get a chance I will look also. It is on the second floor of City Hall. Once you have the block and lot, you can check the maps that are in a large file to the right of the counter.
Good luck!

On Thu, Nov 4, 2010 at 11:54 AM, Phyllis Alexander <> wrote:

Thank you for the tips about Alice Harding. I checked yesterday, and found the census report for 1920. Alice Harding was born in Keene, New Hampshire and was married to Edward Harding, a lawyer. Their address is listed at 165 Terrill Road, so that must have been Burnley Farm. Now I'm interested in finding more biographical info. about her; how did she get to France in 1917? She must have been some lady! Do you have a link to the NY Times obituary for 1938?
Many thanks for any help you can give us!

– On Thu, 11/4/10, Bernice Paglia <> wrote:

From: Bernice Paglia <>
Subject: Re: Plainfield Garden Club
To: "Phyllis Alexander" <>
Date: Thursday, November 4, 2010, 11:31 AM

Hi Phyllis,
It was nice to see everyone working so hard to bring something of beauty to Plainfield.
Your question about Alice Harding got me thinking. I'm wondering whether the Union County Engineering department would have maps dating back to the 1920s and '30s. Mrs. Harding received one of her most prestigious honors in 1928 and passed away in 1938, according to a New York Times obituary. Early maps have the owner's name on plots of land - wondering whether that was still the practice in the 1930s. If her address was RD 1, Plainfield, it would have been on the west side of what is now Terrill Road, as the other side is Scotch Plains. Perhaps through your contacts with the county you can ask about whether such maps exist.
Best regards,

On Thu, Nov 4, 2010 at 11:20 AM, Phyllis Alexander <> wrote:

Hi Bernice,
It was great meeting you "in person" yesterday at the garden. Your article on the planting was excellent, with beautiful photos. Weren't we lucky with the weather! Now let's hope for beautiful daffodils in the spring.
Phyllis Alexander

Biographical Sketch

– On Thu, 11/4/10, Bernice Paglia <> wrote:

From: Bernice Paglia <>
Subject: Re: Fw: Hardings in France 1919
To: "Phyllis Alexander" <>
Date: Thursday, November 4, 2010, 1:22 PM

The tax assessor's office finds no listing for 165 Terrill Road. However, as changes took place in Plainfield, many street numbers changed. The main thing is the 100 block of Terrill Road would be at the north border, where there are now several townhouse complexes. It makes sense that a farm would be close to the Green Brook.
As far as Alice herself, do you have her maiden name? She my have come from a prominent family that visited France. There are also lots of clues in the various plant societies that knew of her work.

2010-11-04 Rutgers Library reply

– On Thu, 11/4/10, Bonita Craft Grant <> wrote:

From: Bonita Craft Grant <>
Subject: About the Historical Society of Plainfield
To:, "Stephanie Bartz" <>, "Bonita Craft Grant" <>
Date: Thursday, November 4, 2010, 11:16 AM

You might wish to contact the Historical Society of Plainfield, if you have not already done so. They may be able to provide the precise location of Burnley Farm. The Chang Library at Rutgers does have one of her books on peonies but it is currently checked out.

We will check our uncataloged trade catalog collection for peony catalogs. Several of her works are available on the used book market and we will order those for Special Collections. They may well have information and/or photographs on the location of the farm.

Biographical sketches of Harding reprinted online from the American Peony Society describe her country home and garden in Plainfield. If you have not already done so, you might check the city directories for Plainfield for the years when she was writing (ca. 1917-1923) for an address.

If we find additional information, we will get back to you.

Bonita Grant

– Bonita Craft Grant, New Jersey Bibliographer
Special Collections and University Archives
Rutgers University Libraries
169 College Ave.
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Phone: (732) 932-7006 ext. 369
Fax: (732) 932-7012

NY Times Obituary for Alice Harding

Here is a link to NYTimes obit. for Mrs. Edward Harding. Her funeral was held at Grace Episcopal; maybe she's buried in Hillside.

| April 18, 1938
MRS. EDW. HARDING, A HORTICULTURIST; Wife of New York Lawyer an Expert on Flower CultureDies in Plainfield WON HONORS IN EUROPE Decorated by Government of France in 1928-Wrote About Peonies and Lilacs
Mrs. Alice Howard Harding, horticulturist, wife of Edward Harding, New York lawyer, died here today at her home, Burmley Farms, on Terrill Road, after a brief illness. A resident of Plainfield for thirty years, she had developed on her estate a garden of unusual size and beauty. She had a special fondness for peonies, lilacs and irises, and was a recognized authority on these flowers.

To read more of the obituary, click: Mrs. Edw. Harding

Washington State University Archives

Collection of Women in the Hi Archives

Harding, Alice Howard1846(?) - 1938


Correspondence, mss., photographs

misc. items 161

September 1920 Some of the Newer Peonies by Mrs. Edward Harding, GCA The Bulletin

Some of the Newer Peonies

Within the last two or three years, so many new, or newly-introduced,
Peonies have been put upon the market, that the amateur
who is striving to collect only the best varieties is somewhat dazed.
He asks himself which of these much advertised and high-priced
Peonies are really equal to the fine ones already known, and upon
which he shall expend bis sometimes limited garden money.
Unless one is a veritable peony maniac, unable to rest until he has
every variety of which he hears, the purchase of roots costing from fiveto fifty dollars apiece is a matter worthy of some thought.
I have not tried out all the new varieties myself. Some I shall
never purchase, at any price. Some I would not care for either in exchange or as a gift. Others are so lovely and desirable that I consider them worth the high price demanded.

Ouite as important as the beauty of the flower is the habit of
growth of the plant. Such virtues as strength and erectness of stem
and general robustness are necessary in the make-up of a high-class

Weakness of stem is a most annoying defect. One much talked
of Peony-Jubiltehas this serious imperfection. The flower may or
may not appeal. To my mind it is much over-valued and is inferior
to Pasteur, which in fact it somewhat resembles. Paskur costs
about two dollars. Jubilee is being widely, one may say clamorously,
advertised at twenty-five dollars.
Another expensive Peony which suffers from a weak stem is Elisabeth
Barrett Browning. True, the flower itself is lovely and fragrant,
but twenty-five dollars seems a large price to pay for a Peony with such
a drawback. One vower frankly statesin hi';catalogue that the stems
are loneand weak. But in theothercatalo-m es which I haveexamined . .
there isno mention of the fact.
From the same originator who gave us Elizabeth Barrett Browning,
comes Frances Willard. This peony is a distinct acquisition and a
delight. It has strong stems, erect habit of growth. splendid foliage
and exquisite flowers.
The Cherry Hill Nurseries are putting out a number of seedlings,
some of which have proved to be excellent. Pride of Essex and
Nymphaea have already won high praise. Prafe of &sex, much the
type of Lady Alexandra Duffh,a s immense flowers, strong stems, good
erect growth and blooms freely. It is classed by one of the best judges
of Peonies in America, Mr. A. H. Fewkes as "extra good." NyfnpJMea
is a charming loose-petalled flower of creamy white, and of large size.
These two Peonies, I think, are deserving of a place in a carefully
selected list. Several more of the Cherry Hill seedlings promise
The Peony Cherry BW, however, has never seemed to me to be
worth the price asked for it, which is thirty dollars. It does not appear
superior in any way to Adolphe Rousseau-which costs only a dollar
and a half.
Mr. Shaylor's best seedlings are fine indeed. Mary Woodlmry
Shaylw is of dwarf habit but nevertheless extremely lovely. It has
been divided too often and too closely by the trade for the good of the
stock. In my garden, the roots of this variety are allowed to stand
longer than usual between the times of division, in order to give them
a chance to recover. I note that the price has recently jumped from
twenty-five dollars to forty dollars. It is to be hoped that the increased
demand wilt not mean a further minute division of the stock.
Georgians, Frances and Rose Shayh are all beautiful and have
proved, with me, to he strong growing and free-blooming.
Mr. Shaylor's wonderful new Peony, Mrs. Edward Hording,
is in truth all that the descriptions claim for it. And while one
hundred dollars is a large price, yet this Peony is superb as well as
scarce. The warm ivory hue of the bloom, the large size and heavy
texture of the petals, the floriferousness, the richness of foliage the
size and strength of the plant, make it much sought after.

Shtyhr's Dream, costing fifty dollars, seems expensive when one
knows that it is almost a single. It is a channing bloom when it first
opens, but as the flower gets older the extremely reilexed petals cause
it to lose much of its beauty.
Mrs. C. S. MinofÑ Peony which has recently appeared in a commercial
list-is "rare" in more than one sense. The plant is rather
dwarf, but a strong wholesome grower. I have had this variety in
my garden for some time, and before I had it I knew it in a friend's
collection. The flowers are large and the colouring is fine. The
guard petals are a soft pink-rather a mauve pink-and melt into a
good full center of deep cream. The petals are large throughout.
The exquisite tinting, fine form, and the quality of lasting well make
this Peony a most lovely cut flower.
Among the Peonies a little older but not yet commonly known are
two French varieties of especial charm: Suielk and Souvenir de
Louis Bigot.
Suzrtte has a brilliant colouring and a striking individuality of
form. It makes one think of some of the water lilies with sharp
pointed petals-for example Nymphaea Xanzibwiensis. It has
such an expression of liveliness and energy that upon seeing -. it one
smiles invoiuntarily.
Souvenir de Louis Bigot is of a colour which almost rivals the pink
of Widler Flam. Rare in colourinr, lovelv in form. and of rood
habit, this Peony and Suzelle are among my treasures of distinction.
Here, then, are a few of present interest. There are many others
which are still, so to speak, on the "test block." Of some my opinion
is not final, some I do not want at all, some I am watching with
interest. Out of the number, several will eventually be judged fit to
hold their place beside the finest French ones which have set so high a
It is unfortunate that the amateur must so often buy and try out
these expensive varieties, unaided. Naturally the originators want to
sell, and at as high a price as possible. From them we shall not hear of
defects. But it seems neglectful of the amateur's interests for the
American Peony Society to have decided that "all new varieties must
be judged on the exhibition table, as it was not deemed practical to
follow up their various traits in the field."*
It is very clear that unless awards on such a basis at shows can be
supplemented by reliable outside information as to the "various
traits in the field," the collector is not fairly equipped to make a wise
selection. And d a v e a t Emptor!
Â¥Extrac from account of business session at Annual mettiw of A. P. S. at Readin#. rqio.

An adjacent article:
New American Peony

Enthusiasm for the Peony is at a high point in the United States.
The choicest Peonies of France, long the leaders in the field, have been
imported and propagated extensively. In addition a number of
American growers, both professional and amateur, have been bending
their efforts to the development of new varieties of merit and beauty.
This energy is stimulated by the increasing number of fine private
collections and the numerous exhibitions held in various parts of
the country. Large prices for roots are being paid by the interested
amateurs, and substantial prizes are being offered for seedlings of real
Mr. E. J. Shaylor of Auburndale, Mass., has devoted many years
to the careful hybridisation of these plants. He has bred a number
of remarkably fine varieties, notably Georgians Shylor and Mary
Woodbury Shylor. His new Peony Mrs. Edward Hording (1918) is
the finest American Peony yet produced. It was exhibited at Cleveland,
Ohio, June, 1918, in competition for Mrs. Harding's prize of
$iw offered for the best new Peony of American origin not yet in commerce.
The vrize was not taken until the third year after it was
The beauty and distinction of this Peony caused a sensation, and
won the prize for it. Small divisions of this variety command $100
apiece, the highest price yet paid for a herbaceous Peony. One enthusiastic
Canadian collector, determined to possess this wonderful
flower, paid Mr. Shaylor $100 for a root, and then paid the Canadian
Government $25 customs duty and $7.^0 war tax for the privilege of
importing it.
Mrs. Harding, whom this Peony is named after, is a noted amateur,
and has one of the finest collections of Peonies. She is the author
of The Book of the Peony.
The fame of this flower has spread rapidly, and many Peonylovers
who have not seen it are asking for a clear and full description.
The following description is authentic: Peony Mrs. Edward Harding
(Shaylor, 1918). Large, globular white flower, without any red lines
or marks. The white is a warm creamy ivory tone. Petals very large
throughout the flower, outside petals or guards measuring about 3
inches. Lateral blooms have an occasional anther hidden deep in big
petals. Stems are strong and stiff. Foliage large, dean, strong dark
green. Buds are enormous. Entire plant is tall (about 40 inches),
erect, robust, free-blooming and strikingly beautiful.

ELINOR SMITH in The Garden.

September 1922 edition of the GCA The Bulletin, Mrs. Edward Harding, Board of Editors

In writing to Officers of the GARDENCL UBO F AMERICAw,i ll
MEMBER CLCTS please remember to send such letters to THE
GARDECNL UBO F AMERICAB,a nkers Trust Building, 598 Madison
Avenue, New York.
This is the address of the Executive Office of the
Garden Club of America. Hereafter all communications in
regard to change of address, non-receipt of Bulletins,
resignations, new members, etc., should be sent to this office.
It is essential that Garden Club of America be used in addressing
any communication.
No communications in regard to the subjects mentioned
above should be sent to the Editor but articles for publication,
suggestions, questions and comments upon the subject matter
of the Bulletin should be addressed to The Editor, Mrs. T. H.
B. McKnight, 44 Thorn Street, Sewickley, Pa.
An addressograph has recently been added to the equipment
of the CLUB which will insure accuracy but which at the same
time demands accuracy on the part of our members. As hitherto,
the May, July and September issues of the BULLETINw ill he sent
to-summer addresses, the November, January and March issues to
winter addresses. For other changes of address a charge will be
made to cover the cost of addressograph plates.
Extra copies of the BULLETINt,o take the place of those lost
in the mail, will be sent out from the Secretarial office instead
of by Club Secretaries.
The Executive Office will also supply Non-Member subscrip.
tion blanks upon application. The cost of such subscriptions is
$2.50 and each must he endorsed by a member.
It is essential in writing to the office that you give your full
name and address and also the name of the Club of which you are
a member.
Board of Editors
Secretares-oKaol MRSH. A&~LDI. PUTT
The Gardener's Mwellany MRS. ROBERT C. HILL
E K P T O NL,.I ., and 969 P- Are.
G0,devs Literature MRS. EDWARD HARDING
Nttvi and Views MRS. HOWARD KNAPP
W M F l m w P m t m c i m
LAKEF ORESIT=,. , and 1520 ASTORS T.,
Garden Pests and Remedies MRS. BENJAMIN WARREN
Special Plant Societies
SHOT Him, N. J.
Special Correspondent
Cbe Garden Club
of amerita
September. 1922 No. 7 (New Serif)
Honorary President
President I-it Vice-Preddml MRS. SAMUEL SLOAN MRS. JOHN A. STEWART, JÈ.
fiecretarv 3rd VhPreJKfmt MRS. HAROLD I. PUTT MRS. SAMUEL H. TAFT
Libram',? 4th Vice-Preinltnt
Asnitant Editor MRS. ROBERT C HILL
"You do not know that one can have the feelings of a mother
for trees and plants and flowers; you do not know that a garden
is a kingdom where the Prince is never bated and where he
enjoys all the good he does. Your Paris garden gives you no
idea of d l such happiness. It is only a highway leading to your
summer-house; you know none of your trees and you cut off their
heads or arms or legs without thinking.
You will see things differently when you know, as I do, that
trees have feelings and perceive good and evil."
The Chevalier de Bcmffler to Mme. de Sabran.
Lorraine, 1778.

Mrs. William Morrell '41 Yearbooks 1958-1959; 1953-1954; 1960-1961; Program 1963-1964; List of Founding Members

Correspondence to and from the Hunt Insitute for Botanical Documentation, Carnegie Mellon University

Subject: Re: [Fwd: Subject: Alice Howard Harding]
From: "Angela Todd" <>
Date: Tue, January 4, 2011 3:17 pm
Priority: Normal
Options: View Full Header | View Printable Version | Download this as a file | View as HTML | View Message details

Dear Folks:

Your query has made its way to me in the Archives before the holidays.
I do apologize for the delay; I am newly a lone arranger, and thus am
slower than usual these days.

The Alice Howard Harding collection consists of photographs,
correspondence, a scrapbook and manuscripts. A DRAFT of a finding aid
for the collection is attached. As you'll see, it would be quite a job
to photocopy everything. But we do provide such services, and you
should check our service charges page here for details:

I should have more biographical citations to send your way shortly (I
hope). Our biographical register database is undergoing some updates
and I need to get some kinks worked out before sending citations along.

Do get back to me if you'd like me to copy sections of, or a sampling
from, the collection.

All best,

Angela L. Todd
Archivist & Senior Research Scholar
Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation
Carnegie Mellon University
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
FAX 412-268-5677

Hunt Inst wrote:
> ––– Original Message –––
> Subject: Subject: Alice Howard Harding
> Date: Thu, 11 Nov 2010 12:21:06 -0600 (CST)
> From: Plainfield Garden Club Information <>
> To:
> Dear Sir/Madam:
> We see in your archives a listing for Alice Howard Harding and her
> correspondence to French horticulturist Lemoine.
> Mrs. Harding was a founding member of the Plainfield Garden Club and we
> are currently researching her contributions to American horticulture. If
> possible, we would love to see this correspondence and could it be scanned
> and sent?
> This link is all the research we have accumulated so far:
> Any assistance you could offer would be very much appreciated.
> Sincerely,
> The Ladies of the Plainfield Garden Club
> founded 1915

Finding Aid for Alice Harding: Hunt Institute For Botanical Documentation

25 October 2004


Alice Howard Harding: Correspondence with Emile Lemoine
Concerning Peonies
Archives 161
One box, two oversized folders

Content Note

This collection consists of correspondence between American horticulturist Alice Howard Harding ( –1938) and French horticulturist Emile Lemoine (1862–1943), along with photographs, manuscripts, and other miscellaneous material. The correspondence refers to their successes in raising peonies. Harding also contributed substantial sums to the Société Centrale Horticulture Nancy, and the award she received for this is described. Letters (ca.98 total) are arranged chronologically.

Key to abbreviations used below:
ALS: Autograph letter signed
TL: Typescript letter
TLS: Typescript letter signed

Box 1:
Portrait Photographs
Collected publications
Items re: Harding's Chevalier du Merite Agricole from the French government

Folder I: Correspondence 1917–1923

1. George Peterson to Mrs. Alice Harding (in scrapbook): TL, 17 September 1916
2. Emile Lemoine (E. L.) to Alice Harding (A. H.): ALS with translation, 29 June 1917
3. E. L. to A. H.: ALS, 22 August 1917
4. The Mohican Peony Gardens to A. H.: TLS, two pieces, 12 September 1917
5. E. L. to A. H.: ALS and bill of sale, 10 October 1917
6. E. L. to A. H.: ALS, 16 January 1918
7. E. L. to A. H.: ALS, 24 April 1918
8. E. L. to Edward Harding: ALS, 25 June 1918
9. E. L. to A. H.: ALS, 22 July 1918
10. E. L. to A. H.: ALS, 2 September 1918
11. E. L. to A. H.: ALS, 19 November 1918
12. E. L. to A. H.: ALS, 20 February 1919
13. E. L. to A. H.: ALS, 11 April 1919
14. E. L. to A. H.: ALS, 13 December 1919
15. E. L. to A. H.: ALS, 25 January 1920
16. E. L. to A. H.: ALS, 6 March 1920
17. E. L. to A. H.: ALS, 14 March 1920
18. E. L. to A. H.: ALS, 12 July 1920
19. Mrs. William Crawford to A. H. (in scrapbook): AL (first page only), 27 July 1920
20. A. H. to E. L.: TL (cc), 2 August 1920
21. E. L. to A. H.: ALS, 18 August 1920
22. E. L. to A. H.: ALS, 27 January 1921
23. E. L. to A. H.: ALS, 14 March 1921
24. M. G. Boulay to A. H.: ALS, 3 May 1921
25. A. H. to E. L.: AL, 29 May 1921
26. E. L. to A. H.: ALS, 31 July 1921
27. Director (signature illegible) to A. H.: ALS, 6 August 1921
28. E. L. to A. H.: ALS, 20 August 1921
29. E. L. to A. H.: ALS and bill of sale, 19 October 1921
30. E. L. to A. H.: ALS, 20 October 1921
31. E. L. to A. H.: ALS, 11 January 1922
32. E. L. to A. H.: ALS, 10 February 1922
33. E. L. to A. H.: ALS, 22 April 1922
34. E. L. to A. H.: ALS, 20 June 1922
35. A. H. to E. L.: TL (cc), 14 July 1922
36. E. L. to A. H.: ALS, 5 August 1922
37. A. H. to E. L.: TL (cc), 24 August 1922
38. E. L. to A. H.: ALS, 21 September 1922
39. E. L. to A. H.: ALS, 17 October 1922
40. E. L. to A. H.: ALS, 1 November 1922
41. E. L. to A. H.: ALS, 25 December 1922
42. A. H. to E. L.: TL (cc), 11 January 1923
43. E. L. to A. H.: ALS, 27 January 1923
44. E. L. to A. H.: ALS, 25 February 1923
45. A. H. to E. L.: TL (cc), 14 April 1923
46. E. L. to A. H.: ALS, 5 May 1923
47. T. Scherrer to A. H.: TLS, 9 June 1923
48. E. L. to A. H.: ALS, 2 October 1923
49. E. L. to A. H.: ALS, 3 December 1923

Folder II, Correspondence 1924–1930

1. E. L. to A. H.: ALS, 16 January 1924
2. Franklin Mead to A. H. (in scrapbook): TLS, 5 May 1924
3. Franklin Mead to A. H. (in scrapbook): TLS, 7 May 1924
4. E. L. to A. H.: ALS, 8 March 1924
5. A. H. to E. L.: TL (cc) and clipping, 7 August 1924
6. E. L. to A. H.: ALS, 26 August 1924
7. A. H. to E. L.: TL (cc), 5 pieces, 12 November 1924
8. A. H. to E. L.: TL (cc), 28 November 1924
9. E. L. to A. H.: ALS, 7 December 1924
10. Emile Nicolas to A. H.: ALS, 28 January 1925
11. A. H. to E. L.: TL (cc), 3 February 1925
12. E. L. to A. H.: ALS, 13 February 1925
13. E. L. to A. H.: ALS, 30 April 1925
14. E. L. to A. H.: ALS, 18 May 1925
15. E. L. to A. H.: ALS, 1 June 1925
16. E. L. to A. H.: ALS, 6 June 1925
17. A. H. to E. L.: TL (cc), 19 August 1925
18. E. L. to A. H.: ALS, 13 September 1925
19. A. H. to E. L.: Cable, 1 October 1925
20. A. H. to E. L.: TL (cc), 3 October 1925
21. E. L. to A. H.: ALS, 15 October 1925
22. A. H. to E. L.: TL (cc), 2 December 1925
23. E. L. to A. H.: ALS, 16 December 1925
24. E. L. to A. H.: ALS, 31 July 1926
25. A. H. Fawkes to A. H.: TLS, 10 August 1926
26. E. L. to A. H.: ALS, 10 November 1926
27. A. H. Fawkes to A. H.: TLS, 13 January 1927
28. A. H. to E. L.: TL (cc), 17 January 1927
29. E. L. to A. H.: ALS, 23 January 1927
30. Henry H. Suplee to E. Harding: ALS, 17 August 1927
31. Suplee to E. Harding: ALS, 19 August 1927
32. A. H. to E. L.: TL (cc), 30 March 1928
33. E. L. to A. H.: ALS, 2 May 1928
34. A. H. to E. L.: TL (cc), 10 August 1928
35. E. L. to A. H.: ALS, 26 August 1928
36. T. Boulay to E. Harding: TLS, 20 August 1928
37. E. L. to A. H.: ALS, 4 February 1929
38. E. L. to A. H.: ALS, 17 February 1929
39. E. L. to A. H.: ALS, 9 February 1930
40. E. L. to A. H.: ALS, 4 September 1930
41. C. Mallerin to A. H.: TLS, 22 December 1930

Folder III, Correspondence 1931–1951

1. A. H. to A. Nomblot: TL (cc), 10 February 1931
2. E. L. to A. H.: ALS, 21 February 1931
3. T. Gavig(?) and A. Nomblot to A. H.: ALS, 26 August 1931
4. A. H. to C. Mallerin: TL (cc), 15 November 1932
5. E. L. to A. H.: ALS, 20 September 1933
6. E. L. to A. H.: ALS, 20 September 1935
7. E. L. to A. H.: ALS, 13 December 1935
8. E. L. to A. H.: ALS, 14 February 1936
9. E. L. to A. H.: ALS, 2 pieces, 20 March 1936
10. E. L. to E. Harding: ALS, 1 June 1938
11. Baron J. Riston to H. C. Armstrong: TLS, 3 June 1938
12. E. Harding to Riston: TL (cc), 4 August 1938
13. E. Harding to E. L.: TL (cc), 4 August 1938
14. L. Smirnow to E. Harding: TLS, 4 September 1945
15. George Peyton to E. Harding: TLS, 21 March 1951

Folder IV, Portrait Photographs

1. Photograph in folder; notation "Nicole Lemoine 30 Jan. 1936." 14 × 10 cm
2. Photograph of three men in a peony garden; no notations. 25 × 20 cm

Folder V, Collected Publications

1. Cat., V. 1867. Lemoine, Nancy.
2. Text of a speech made in the Nancy Cathedral on the occasion of 4 July 1918
3. Bulletin of the Garden Club of America. 1922. N.s. 3.
4. Garden Notes (Van Wert). 1923. 12.
5. Bulletin, Société Centrale d'Horticulture de Nancy. 1924.
6. Bulletin, American Peony Society. 1929. 23(40).
7. Bulletin, Société Centrale d'Horticulture de Nancy. 1931. 22, suppl.
8. Cat. 57-B, Rex D. 1947. Pearce, Moorestown, New Jersey.

Items re: Harding's Chevalier du Merite Agricole

Signed document, 25 May 1928: Announcement to Alice Harding, conferring the decoration of "Chevalier du Merite agricole"

Signed document, 25 May 1928: Announcement to M. Nomblot of Alice Harding's decoration

Envelope 1 (Oversized):
13 photographs of live plants, annotated

1–3. Tree peony "L'Esperance," 25 × 20 cm (3 photos)
4. Peony "La Rosiere," 19 × 23 cm
5. Peony, 17 × 25 cm
6. Tree peony and iris, 23 × 13.5 cm
7–10. Tree peony "Souvenir du Maxime Corvu," 25 × 20 cm (4 photos)
11. Lilac "Alice Harding," 23.5 × 17 cm
12. Lilac "Alice Harding," 23. 5 × 17 cm
13. Peony "Walter Foxor," 22 × 14.5 cm

Envelope 2 (Oversized):
Five manuscripts
Harding's scrapbook, with various clippings concerning peony cultivation


1. Typed manuscript (unpublished): "(Herbaceous Peony History) in China and Japan." 5 June 1916. 3 pages.

2. Typed manuscript (unpublished): "Propagation." N.d. 3 pages.

3. Typed manuscript: "Paeonia Moutan Cultural Hints." N.d. 2 pages.

4. Autograph manuscript: "Prix de Madame Edward Harding." N.d. In French, 2 pages. Consists of guidelines for awarding this prize. Appears to be the hand of Lemoine.

5. Typed manuscript fragment: Notes on the introduction of the peony to France, by Jean Claude Michel Mordant de Launay and Jean Louis August Loiseleur-Deslongchamps. 1817. Herbier general de l'amateur. Vol. 2.

23 pages, 8 loose, 4 empty

Consists mostly of clippings concerning peony cultivation, notable new hybrids, and any mentions of Mrs. Harding. Also contains six letters (noted in correspondence listing for Box 1). Leaf size 30 × 25 cm.

Articles included in the scrapbook:

1. Author unknown. 1928. Mrs. Harding honored. [Hort.] Mass. Horticultural Soc. [[Yearbook of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society (1924–1961)?]]

2. Author unknown. N.d. Dividing peony clumps. Source unknown.

3. Ray, Cyrus N. N.d. Peonies grown successfully in the South. Source unknown.

4. Author unknown. N.d. Raising seedling peonies. Source unknown.

5. Author unknown. N.d. Practical points about peonies. Source unknown.

6. Author unknown. N.d. Care of seedling peonies. Source unknown.

7. Author unknown. N.d. Peony buds blast. Source unknown.

8. Author unknown. N.d. Dividing peonies. Source unknown.

9. Gowdy, Chestine. N.d. Getting acquainted with peonies. Flower Grower Monthly.

10. Author unknown. N.d. Removal of peony tops. Source unknown.

11. McKee, W. J. April 1925. Outstanding red peonies. Flower Grower Monthly.

12. Author unknown. June 1924. Planting peonies in spring. Popular Gardening (London).

13. Saunders, A. P. February 1933. Saunders' new hybrid peonies. Source unknown.

14. Auten, Edward Jr. N.d. Spraying peonies pays. Flower Grower Monthly.

15. Auten, Edward Jr. May 1925. Effective methods at blooming time. Flower Grower Monthly.

16. Auten, Edward Jr. April 1924. Disbudding peonies. Flower Grower Monthly.

17. Auten, Edward Jr. February 1924. Plant characteristics of different peonies. Flower Grower Monthly.

18. Saunders, A. P. July 1924. Growing the peony. Horticulture (Boston).

19. Donahue, T. F. N.d. Review of the 1925 peony rating. Bulletin, American Peony Society.

20. Wright, W. E. September 1926. Paeonies to plant now. Popular Gardening (London).

21. Author unknown. August 1924. Title unknown. Flower Grower Monthly. Pp. 329–330.

22. Auten, Edward Jr. April 1926. Seed-bearing varieties of peonies. Flower Grower Monthly.

23. Mead, Franklin B. March 1926. The single and Japanese peonies. Country Life (Garden City).

24. Saunders, A. P. March 1928. New strain of hybrid peonies. Horticulture (Boston).

25. Thacker, G. W. N.d. Propagation of peonies by banking up and budding. Source unknown.

26. Auten, Edward Jr. N.d. Propagating peonies by "jerking." Source unknown.

27. Fawkes, A. H. N.d. Rapid propagation of peonies. Flower Grower Monthly.

28. Garman, Grank B. N.d. A remedy for "Lemoine disease." Source unknown.

29. Author unknown. N.d. Vitality of peony pollen. Source unknown.

30. Henslow, T. Geoffrey W. 1924. Eve in her garden. In: Manual of Horticulture, New Edition. Kelway. [[could not find any additional information on this book]]

31. Long, Pope M. N.d. Peonies in the South. Source unknown.

32. Auten, Edward Jr. N.d. Trouble with peonies. Source unknown.

33. Author unknown. N.d. Blasting of peony buds. Source unknown.

34. Author unknown. March 1924. Fragrant peonies. Horticulture (Boston).

35. Auten, Edward Jr. September 1923. X-ray treatment for peony root-gall. Flower Grower Monthly.

36. Auten, Edward Jr. February 1925. Findings on X-ray treatment of peony roots for root gall. Flower Grower Monthly.

37. Saunders, A. P. July 1924. Growing the peony. Horticulture (Boston).

38. Auten, Edward Jr. N.d. Blind scraps of peony roots. Source unknown.

39. Author unknown. March 1926. The popularity of the peony. The Garden.

Twenty-fifth Anniversary of the Plainfield Garden Club by Lucy Von Boskerck

Twenty-fifth Anniversary of the Plainfield Garden Club by Lucy Von Boskerck

Research from Diane Genco

Local resident, Diane Genco, contacted the PGC to share with them research she has collected about the legendary Alice Harding.

Diane, an avid gardener and member of Westfield's Rake and Hoe Garden Club as well as on the board of Greenwood Gardens in Short Hills, became interested in Alice and her garden, Burnley Farm which has yet to be located along Terrill Road.

Perhaps Diane's greatest claim to fame has been her diligent work with butterflies, in particular the Monarch: Westfield Woman Brings Monarchs to Lift Childrens' Spirits

These letters are from the Fanwood Historical Society.

Diane also said she was very active at Rutgers Gardens and has found that the grounds have an 'Alice Harding Lilac Walk.' When she inquired at Rutgers about this Lilac walk and Alice, no one knew anything about how it came to be in existence.

From Wikipedia: Lilac Walks which mentions the Alice Harding Lilac Walk at Rutgers

Mrs. Edward Harding, Burnley Farm, Fanwood, New Jersey 14 September, 1925

My dear Mr. Clarkson:

I have your letter enclosing cheque for $25.00 in payment for one Martha Bulloch and one Currant Jap. Now that we have had a good rain, I shall dig and send these to you in two or three days. At the same time I will send the Iris Sib. Emperor.

In case Mr. Peterson cannot supply you with Le Printemps, Mme. Gaudichaue and the lovely Jap. Amanasode, I will let you have a root of each. Since your collection is to be so small, you ought to make it as distinctive as possible. The Japanese herbaceous peonies are entirely hardy under the conditions about which you enquire. Indeed, the herbaceous peony is far lovelier and more resistant to disease in a climate where it receives a good hard freezing each winter.

Yes, I have the tree peonies for which you inquire. Souv. de. Maxime Cornue is gorgeous, a big double flower of deep yellow with red at the base of each petal. It never fails to attract admiring attention in the garden. It is very free blooming, and is excellent as a cut flower. I often cut a choice bloom, and place it on a rather deep pewter plate. The effect is ravishing, and the flower lasts for days.

L'Esperance is an exquisite single yellow. I like it very much, but it is not as amazing a flower as Souv. de Max. Cornu, and the blooms are not so good for cutting.

Mme. Stuart Low has fresh red-pink double flowers, much the colour of newly cut water-melon.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Mrs. Edward Harding had a lovely emblem on her stationery.

14 September, 1925 page 2

It is a wonderful colour. Jeanne d'Arc is a most lovely free-blooming double salmon pink.

All of these are worth having, and with the exception of L;Esperance, I could let you have a plant of each, but you may not be willing to expend the amount they are worth. All are on their own roots, all are several years old and of a good size, and all have bloomed well in my garden so I know that they are true to name. I value the plants of Souv. de Maxim Cornus and Mme. Stuart Low at $50.00 each, and the plant of Jeanne d'Arc at $25.00. I hesitate to let them go at any price, for such stock is unobtainable, and even the tiny nursery plants of commerce are difficult to find.

Your letter of the 12th has just come. I can let you have La Fee, Le Printemps, Mrs. C. S. Minot and Mme. Gaudichau on the list you ask about. Also, I find I have an extra root of Grover Cleveland.

If you will let me know whidh ones you want, I can ship all at the same time, making the expressage charges less. I will make a note of price below.

Sincerely yours,

Alice Harding

Mrs. C. S. Minot . . . $50.00
Mme. Gaudichau . . . $10.00 – 5 – brillinat red decorative ??
La Fee . . . . . . . . . $10.00 – mauve rose ?? fragrant – 4 each
Le Printemps . . . . . $10.00 – pale yellow, exquisite flower keep well early when cut ???
Mme. Stuart Low (?) $20.00 pg. 22
Grover Cleveland . . . $2.00 – 1 – red– med. height uncertain bloomers
Fuyajo pg. 22

EDITOR'S NOTE: In 1925, $50 would be the equivalent of $622 in 2011. $20 = $249. $10 = $124

18 September, 1925

My dear Mr. Clarkson,

I am shipping your box of Iris Sibirica Emperor today, because it should be well rooted before the freezing weather comes. It is fine stock, and I am sending you generous pieces. You can divide each piece again if you wish to.

Your letter of the sixteenth came this morning, and I hereby acknowledge the cheque for $100.00. I will hold the peonies a little longer since you wish it. I will make some suggestions as to planting order as you ask, but with the exception of a few very tall ones like Martha Bulloch and La Fee, it will not matter much in what order you plant them.

However, what does cause me some concern is your statement that you are using a ton of Alphano Humus in that peony bed! Of course I do not know, and could not tell without seeing the conditions, but a ton of Alphano seems a tremendous amount to use. It holds water to such an extent that one must reckon with that characteristic when employing it. So while I cannot say exactly what you should do in this case, I feel I ought to warn you to be careful, and very sure that you are doing the right thing before consigning your valuabble peonies to a bed that may be over-moist and over-rich. I should be very sorry to have you lose them through rotting.

Sincerely yours,

Alice Harding

EDITOR'S NOTE: From a 1914 gardeners magazine: Alphano Humus

24 September, 1925

My dear Mr. Clarkson:

I am shipping your herbaceous peonies today, leaving out Martha Bulloch as you request. I am quite willing to send you the tree peony Jeanne d'Arc instead, and your cheque for $10.00 will cover the difference. The tree peonies have to be packed a little differently, and so they will come in a later box.

I am so glad you appreciated the Sib. Emperor. You will be delighted with it for it is a choice thing.

I wish you would examine the herbaceous roots which I am sending to you. You will notice that all the buds are of extraordinary size, and that there are several of these upon each root. Every root I have sent you should bloom well next year. And I am sending you a root of Iris Sib. Perry's Blue, just a small one. It is very choice.

Enclosed you will find the planting plan you sent, marked as I would suggest planting the roots.

Very sincerely yours,

Alice Harding

5 October, 1925

My dear Mr. Clarkson:

I have your letter of 2 October, and am very glad you liked the things I sent you. I could have let you have a l'Esperance, also that rare one Mme. Louis Henry, and also La Lorraine. I had to move them unexpectedly, and found I could have spared them. However, they are planted now, and I prefer not to take them up again. If you want them next year, let me know well ahead. I have not yet moved Mme. Stuart Low. If I may suggest, I think you are passing by something exceedingly choice, and a variety that is almost impossible to obtain. If you change your mind about wanting it, please let me know at once.

Tie up with straw the following:

Souv. de Maxime Cornu
La Lorraine (the yellow tree peony, not the herbaceous)
P, Lutea

Fuyajo and Ama-na-sode are herbaceous, and are not to be tied up.

I think you will have great joy from your peony hobby. The hobby and the plants increase together. I find each season that I have an added zest for my gardening, in which peonies play the greates part. I wish you all success with yours.


Alice Harding

1920 United States Federal Census page 1

1920 United States Federal Census page 2

1920 United States Federal Census page 3

1920 United States Federal Census page 4

Peonies, Outdoors and In

Arno & Irene Nehrling
drawings by Charlotte E. Bowden

Copyright 1960 by the authors

Diane: Here is an entry under public plantings (to see peonies) in this book. I picked it up at BBG's used book sale in Jan.

New Jersey (from Peonies, Indoors and Out)

Cedar Brook Park, Plainfield (Union County Park Commission)

Peony planting for over 40 years thanks to Mrs. Edward Harding. Just south of the Japanese iris, planted in fall 1939. Paeonia tenuifolia – single and double – with P. emodi, the lovely species from India, open the season early in May. A half dozen more varieties of species follow them.

In mid-May the small collection, about a hundred of the highest rated herbaceous peonies, is usually in full bloom during the last week in May or very often, the first week of June. These include all types.

This autumn, 1959, there will be planted a sizable new bed, made especially for a collection of Dr. Saunders hybrids, adding greatly to the interest and educational value of the Peony Garden.

Harriette Halloway, a guiding light in the project, received the distinguished service medal of the Garden Club of America for distinguished service in the field of horticulture and as an outstanding gardener, expert grower and authority on iris, daffodils and peonies.

Bruce Crawford Alice Harding Walk at

–––––––––- Original Message –––––––-
Subject: FW: Alice Harding Lilac Walk at Rutgers Gardens
From: "Bruce Crawford" <>
Date: Thu, June 2, 2011 8:36 pm

Dear Ladies,

Yes, there is an Alice Harding Lilac Collection or Walk at Rutgers Gardens.
The collection is at the edge of the shrub garden, bordering the road that
leads down to the Log Cabin. Most likely, people at Rutgers do not know of
Alice Harding, so it is an unknown to them. You are most welcome to come
down at any time.

I would actually like to better identify all the lilacs within this
collection, since many have lost their labels. Lilac bloom falls during the
end of the semester and finals, so it is tough to get students to identify
the plants. If someone would be interested in helping with this
identification, that would be most welcome!

We are always interested in learning more about Alice or members of your
club! Thank-you for reaching out and I hope you can come down soon.


Bruce Crawford
Director, Rutgers Gardens

––Original Message––
From: Info []
Sent: Thursday, June 02, 2011 10:54 AM
Subject: Alice Harding Lilac Walk at Rutgers Gardens

Dear Mary Ann:

It has come to our attention that within the large Rutgers Gardens complex
there is an 'Alice Harding' Lilac Walk with 'Alice Harding' lilacs – could
this be true?

Alice Howard Harding was a founding member of the Plainfield Garden Club and
within the last six months, we have cracked open very old archival boxes
(found in attics and basements) have begun to post our research on our

To find Alice's specific information click this link:

The person who told us about the area of the garden named for Alice said
that she inquired of many at Rutgers about Alice Harding and no one seemed
to know who she was . . .

We were also told that the walk was on the map, but we are unable to find it
on line. Would you have a map or link you could send us? I think several
members would like to trek to Rutgers to see the plantings.

In addition, if there is any interest in learning more about Alice or our
other illustrious members (!) please feel free to contact us at this
address. A handful of current members are Master Gardeners and we are on
the email list for Rutgers events, which we diligently post on our calendar.

Thank you –

The Ladies of Plainfield Garden Club

PS In addition, we are having an open house for the 84 year-old Shakespeare
Garden we maintain in Plainfield on Saturday, June 11th.
Please feel free to post and share the information attached.

Burnley Farm Stationery


Alice Harding (Mrs. Edward Harding) († 1938)

Plainfield, New Jersey

Biographical sketches

harding, alice (Mrs. Edward Harding), was born in Keene, New Hampshire, and has resided for many years in New York City. Her country home and garden is at Plainfield, N. J. Mrs. Harding is an enthusiastic amateur, and while both the tree and herbaceous peonies have been the particular objects of her devotion for many years, she also specializes in the culture of iris and hybrid lilacs. Of all these specialties she has large and fine collections. Mrs. Harding is an Honorary Member of the American Peony Society, a Member-at-Large of the Garden Club of America, and a member of the American, Massachusetts, and New York Horticultural Societies. She has many international affiliations, being a member of the Royal Horticultural Society of England, an Honorary Member of the Soci6t£ Centrale d'Horticulture de Nancy, France, a Dame Patronesse of the Societé Nationale d'Horticulture de France, and has recently been made a Chevalier du MeVite Agricole by the Minister of the French Republic in recognition of her services to horticulture. Mrs. Harding is well-known to all lovers of the peony through the delightful books which she has written: "The Book of the Peony" in 1917, and "Peonies in the Little Garden" in 1923. The latter is particularly interesting and instructive to the novice, and for this book she was awarded a medal by the Soci6t6 Nationale d'Horticulture de France. Both books are beautifully illustrated and contain much information of value to the peony grower that cannot be found elsewhere. In 1918, Mrs. Harding offered a prize of one hundred dollars for the best new peony of American origin not then in commerce. This was won by E. J. Shaylor for the beautiful seedling which he named in honor of the generous donor of the prize. In 1922, Mrs. Harding, while in France, offered a prize to the Soci6t6 Nationale d'Horticulture de France for the best new French seedling. This was won by Emile Lemoine who named his seedling in Mrs. Harding's honor, "Alice Harding." Lemoine considers this one of his finest introductions. In June, 1928, the Directors of the American Peony Society awarded Mrs. Harding a Gold Medal for her two interesting and instructive books on peonies. Mrs. Harding has done much to increase the interest in peonies both in this country and abroad. Her address is Burnley Farm, R. D. No. I, Plainfield, N. J.

Harding, Mrs. Edward, Fanwood, N. J. Author of The Book of the Peony–1917, and Peonies in the Little Garden–1923. Died 1938.

APS: History of the Peonies and their Originations (-1975):


The following varieties were registered by Mrs. Harding not long before her death. It is thought that none were ever released.

MANCHU PRINCESS (1929) - Single, early. White tinged coffee. Very large.

SEIHIN IKADA (1935) - Jap, midseason. Deep reddish purple guards with brilliant red petaloids edged and tipped warm deep gold. Carpels tipped red.

SHO-YO (1935) - Double, late midseason. Light or flesh pink growing creamy to the center with golden stamens in the center. The name is Chinese for Peony and literally means The Beautiful. Fragrant.

WHITE JADE (1935) - Double, midseason. Clear white with reflections of pale green jade in the center and a fine line of red on the edges. Globular flower. Fragrant.

YONG-LO (1935) - Double, midseason. Soft lilac rose becoming creamy rose at the center. Fragrant. Occasional red stripes and red spots.

YELLOW KING - Jap, early. Large pale pink guards, vivid yellow staminodes. A bery beautiful flower. This came from Mrs. Harding's garden, but she did not know its origin. It was not her seedling.

Breedings & Introductions

Manchu Princess
(Harding 1929)

Seihin Ikeda
(Harding 1935)

(Harding 1935)

White Jade
(Harding 1955)

Yong Lo
(Harding 1935)

Yellow King
(found in Alice Harding's garden)

July 10, 201 Update on Burnley Farm, Fanwood, NJ

––Original Message––
From: Bernice Paglia <>
Sent: Sun, Jul 10, 2011 2:26 am
Subject: clue to Burnham [sic Burnley] Farm

I came across an obit I had saved about Alice Harding's husband. She died in 1938 and he died in 1952. His obit mentions a "ward," Constance Hennen, who was a junior at Georgian Court in Lakewood at the time of Mr. Harding's death and who lived at Burnham [sic Burnley] Farm for 10 years. Her father was a prominent surgeon who died in 1941.

Anyway, she may still be around and she would be able to pinpoint the location of Burnham Farm She is listed in a 2004 Georgian Court annual report as Constance Hennen McEvoy, Class of 1953. Have you ever heard of this person? I am looking up more information.


Bernice Paglia
Blogging about Plainfield since 2005
Plaintalker II
Archive: Plainfield Plaintalker

––Original Message––
From: Bernice Paglia <>
Sent: Sun, Jul 10, 2011 2:33 am
Subject: Constance Hennen

Ooops, too late! She died in July 2010 in Waretown.
There still may be some way to track that location.

Edward Harding Harvard 1895. Alumni update 1915

Biographical Sketches


Born Philadelphia, Pa., May 3, 1873
Parents William White Harding, Catharine B. Hart.
School William Penn Charter School Philadelphia, Pa.
Years in College 1893 - 1895
Degrees A.B., 1895; A.M., 1896; L.L.B., 1898

I have been practising law in New York, first in the office of Carter, Ledyard and Milburn and later in a firm which I formed in 1909, composed of Douglas Campbell, John T. Pratt and myself, under the name of Campbell, Harding and Pratt. We havbe been quite sucessful in the practice of law. I have also been engaged in farming on my farm of 40 acres at Fanwood, N.J. Member: Harvard Club of New York, University Club of New York, The Recess Club, The New York Bar Association.

Wikipedia entry on Alice Harding Lilac Walk

A lilac walk is a type of display garden that shows off lilacs in a dramatic fashion, along a path. It may have many flowering plants that maintain the interest of passersby, but is used primarily to display a collection of lilacs in an arboretum, botanical garden, or park.

Father John Fiala wrote that long ago Lilac walks were created that had a collection closely planted along a winding path that were very beautiful when the lilacs bloomed but were not very interesting when they weren't flowering. He suggested that the lilacs should be inter-planted with trees and shrubs that had a succession of blooms and fruit at other times of the year and that different species of Lilac that flowered later could be used to extend the lilac season (Fiala, 117).

Such a walk whether winding so that new views of massed lilacs open as you work your way around the latest turn or long straight paths that reveal distant vistas of lilacs planted in masses can attract all year long as well as providing examples of good (and bad) companions for these plants in your own home garden.

Arnold Arboretum in Boston, MA has a Lilac Walk of many varieties planted along a road.

Highland Park, Rochester NY has a fine example of an older style Lilac Walk.

Rutgers University has the Alice Harding Lilac Walk.

Retrieved from ""

Lilac Walk at Rutgers Gardens

Rutgers Gardens
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
112 Ryders Lane
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Made up of a collection of speciality gardens geared to promoting and providing accurate information about the art of horticulture and the relationship between plants, human health and nutrition in the designed, as well as in the natural landscape. It includes:
Donald B. Lacey Display Garden - One of the most unusual and colorful displays annuals, tropicals, herbs and vegetables in NJ.
The Roy H. DeBoer Evergreen Garden - The evergreens are grouped by genus around the great sunken lawn, with a large weeping white pine serving as the focal point.
The Ella Quimby Water Conservation Terrace Gardens - A series of terraces demonstrating the sustainment of drought tolerant plants.
American Hollies - Displays an unusual collection of native evergreens.
Shrub Collection - Features the oldest collection of lilacs, both hybrids and species that were originally planted in 1927. Rain Garden - Displays attractive and environmentally sensitive additions to residential, commercial and municipal properties.
Rhododendron and Azalea Garden - This garden was designed as a garden community integrating small trees with a variety of shrubs – emphasis is on Rhododendrons and ground covers.
They also offer children's programs including group field trips, summer camp, and self guided tours. Open 365 days a year. Admission is free.

Rutgers Lilacs in Bloom in April

Lilac Walk at Rutgers

Bruce Hamilton's History of Rutgers Gardens

The Lilac collection is magnificent! Daryl told me they were very old. Do you have any information about them? JJ 5/17/04
The Lilac collection dates back to the Dr. Charles Conner era, the 1930's. One of our maps is labeled the Alice Harding Lilac Walk. Dr. Charles Wister, a prominent plantman who lived at Swathmore compiled a list of the 50 great lilac cultivars. Our collection has 30+ of the fifty great ones. They are showing their age. We have been renewal pruning them but if they are grafted on plain Syringa vulgaris understock we could lose the cultivar.

Lilacs at Rutgers

Lilacs at Rutgers

Jesper Harding, Edward Harding's grandfather

Harding was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and learned the printing trade from the publisher Enos Bronson and started his own business in 1818 at the age of 18. Eleven years later, in November 1829, he purchased the Pennsylvania Inquirer newspaper from John Norvell and John R. Walker. About the same time he began printing Bibles and became the largest publisher of Bibles in the U.S.

Initially a supporter of Andrew Jackson, Harding attempted to simultaneously support Jackson while also defending the directors of the Bank of the United States, which Jackson fiercely opposed. Harding later switched support (and his newspaper's editorial stance) to the anti-Jackson faction within the Democratic-Republican Party and in 1836 supported the Whig candidate William Henry Harrison for president. After this, Harding's newspaper became an advocate for the cause of the Whig party, until it was weakened by internal divisions in 1852.

Harding also manufactured paper at a manufacturing plant in Trenton, New Jersey. Harding merged the Pennsylvania Inquirer with the Daily Courier in 1839, and for a while the paper was known as The Pennsylvania Inquirer and Daily Courier. In 1845, it was called The Pennsylvania Inquirer and National Gazette.

Jesper Harding retired from publishing in 1859, succeeded by his son William White Harding, who changed the paper's name to the present Philadelphia Inquirer in 1860.

Another son, George Harding, became a patent lawyer and argued several cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.

The History of the Philadelphia Inquirer

Edward Harding's father, William White Harding

William White Harding (born in Philadelphia on November 1, 1830), Jesper's son joined his dad in the printing and publishing business in 1855. William assumed the reigns as Publisher of the newspaper in 1859. It was he who changed the publication's name to the Philadelphia Inquirer the next year (April 1860). However, Jesper didn't go out to pasture. President Abraham Lincoln appointed him "Collector of Internal Revenue." The Hardings, by the way, were no direct relation to 20th Century President Warren G. Harding.

The Westfield Leader Edward Harding obituary January 17, 1952


SCOTCH PLAINS – funeral services for Edward Harding of Burnley Farm, Teitill road, retired New York lawyer, were held Friday mornlne in the Higgins Home for Funerals, Plainfield. Interment was in Hillside Cemetery, Plainfield.

Mr. Harding died last Wednesday at his home. Born in Philadelphia
in 1873, he was the son of Catharine Hart Harding and ] William Harding. He was educated at Harvard and had lived at Burnley Farm since 1905. Until about a year-and-a-half ago, when he fractured his hip, he was active with the Wall street law firm of Campbell, Harding, Goodwin, and Danforth.

At one time Mr. Harding was director of the English Speaking Union and in later years was a director of the American and British Commonwealth Association. He was also a former chairman
of the executive board of the National Committee of Patriotic Societies. After World War I he attended the peace conference in

He was a member of the National Council of Boy Scouts of America, the American Club of London, the University Club, the Harvard Club, and the Recess Club of New York.

Mr. Hardlng's only immediate survivor is a sister, Mrs. Alfred Hennen Morris of New York. A ward, Miss Constance Hennen, who made her home at Burnley Farms for the past 10 years, is a junior at Georgian Court, Lakewood.

Mary Pickford–new-york.html

At the request of Edward Harding, chairman of the executive board of the National Committee of Patriotic and Defense Societies, the new Mary Pickford-Artcraft spectacle, "The Little American,‘ was shown at the Speakers' Training Camp last week at Chautauqua, New York. At this camp well known speakers from all over the country gathered together to receive instructions and training to help them in their tour of the nation to inspire patriotism and acquaint the public with the needs of the war." (145)

December 23, 1918––-100–211–-0mulvaney–


Received December 23, 1 a.m.

Great interest has been aroused in the peace terms suggested by the National Committee of Patriotic Societies in the United States, having a membership of 2,500,000. The terms, which were promulgated through the efforts of Edward Harding, a member of the New York bar, were directly influenced by Messrs. Hughes' and Massey's views of Pacific affairs. The terms are: –

Alfred Hennen Morris

Brother-in-law to Edward Harding

Alfred Hennen MorrisFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Alfred Hennen Morris
Born March 3, 1864
Wilmington, Delaware,
United States
Died July 9, 1959
New York City, New York
United States
Residence Throggs Neck, New York
Board member of The Jockey Club
Spouse Jessie Harding
Children John A. II (1892-1985)
Cora H. (b. 1893)
Parents John Albert Morris & Cora Hennen
Relatives Brother: David Hennen
Alfred Hennen Morris (March 3, 1864 - July 9, 1959) was an American businessman politician, and racehorse owner/breeder.

The son of Louisiana Lottery "king" John Albert Morris and his wife Cora Hennen, he was named for his maternal grandfather, Judge Alfred Hennen, of New Orleans, a Justice on the Louisiana Supreme Court.

In 1889, he married Jessie Harding of Philadelphia, the daughter of William W. Harding who had owned the Philadelphia Inquirer newspaper. [1]

Alfred Morris finished out his term as a member of the New York Legislature in 1893 [2] and in 1900 was appointed a school commissioner for Manhattan and The Bronx by Mayor Robert Anderson Van Wyck. [3]

[edit] Thoroughbred horse racingHis father was a prominent figure in Thoroughbred horse racing who owned Morris Park Racetrack in The Bronx, New York. Alfred Morris and brother David, owned, bred, and raced a number of successful Thoroughbreds. Among their major racing wins were the 1898 Belmont Stakes with Bowling Brook, and the 1899 Kentucky Derby with Manuel.

When Philip J. Dwyer, Treasurer of the Monmonth Park Association, resigned on August 3, 1893, Alfred Morris took over the management of the troubled racetrack. [4] Aflred Morris served as Vice-Chairman and steward of The Jockey Club from 1942 to 1947.

[edit] ReferencesApril 15, 1907 New York Times article on the Morris brothers involvement

New York Times April 9, 1917 Committee of Patriotic and Defense Societies to Enlist Both Men and Women

Edward Harding on the Executive Board

September 6, 1917

Lafayette day national committee. Lafayette day exercises in commemoration of the double anniversary of the birth of Lafayette and the battle of the Marne: September 6th, 1917.–hci/page-4-lafayette-day-exercises-in-commemoration-of-the-double-anniversary-of-the-birth–hci.shtml

The arrangements for the exercises at Union
Square were in charge of Mr. Edward Harding, Chair
man of the Executive Board of the National Committee
of Patriotic and Defense Societies.

Article by Edward Harding New York Times May 5, 1918

A Pressing Need in Order to Win the War, and a Practicable Plan Despite the Objections Advanced

Alice Harding Lilac Walk at Rutgers Gardens

2011-09-27 Rutgers Gardens with Bruce Crawford
Tucker Trimble, Director of Zone IV of the GCA, Mandy Zachariades, President, and Susan Fraser trekked to the Rutgers Gardens off Ryders Lane in New Brunswick to discover the possiblity of bringing the Zone IV Meeting attendees to the gardens on May 9, 2012.

Without a doubt, all agreed the gardens would be a perfect destination. Not only was Bruce very knowledgeable about all things botanic, but he was extremely enthusiastic and personable. And perhaps most importantly, there is a very old gnarly Lilac Walk named for Alice Harding, a founding member of both the PGC and the GCA.

There was so much to see and learn, but here is a small sampling.

To view the photo album of the visit, click here

As you turn into a main artery of the garden, bordered on the left by massive 160 year-old Oak trees, the Lilac Walk, with massive lilacs, forms a tunnel on the right.

Alice Harding Lilac at Rutgers Gardens

The 'Alice Harding' Lilac Walk at Rutgers Gardens
Bruce, who has been in charge of the gardens for six years, had wondered who Alice was and was happy to learn more about her through our website archives.

Alice Harding Lilac Walk at Rutgers Gardens

Alice Harding Lilac Walk at Rutgers Gardens

The 'Alice Harding' Lilac Walk at Rutgers Gardens
Bruce Crawford, head of Rutgers Gardens, explained that the Lilacs need to be tagged and identified and his hope is that members within Zone IV can help with this project. He also wants to make the walk more of a destination for visitors. We can only imagine how fragrant the tunnel of Lilacs is in late April - May. Bruce said the bloom lasts for three weeks.

In this photo, Bruce explained that tags like this list the cultivar of the plant. The second number on the tag denotes the year it was donated to the garden. The first number denotes the actual number of the plant dontated that year. So this Lilac was given to Rutgers in 1933 and was the 40th plant donated to the garden that year.

Alice Harding Lilac Walk at Rutgers Gardens

Admidst the Lilacs
Bruce Crawford, Mandy Zachariades and Tucker Trimble
Rutgers Gardens

Alice Harding Lilac Walk at Rutgers Gardens

One of Alice's lilacs
This lilac was donated by Alice Harding. Although Bruce said record keeping at the gardens is scarce, they did have a list of the Lilacs that were donated by Alice. They are:

Mrs. Edward G. Harding, Plainfield, NJ April 16, 1932
19 - 32 2 Syringa Carmen
20 - 32 1 Syringa Charles Joy
21 - 32 1 Syringa Condorcet
22 - 32 1 Syringa General Pershing
23 - 32 1 Syringa Jean Bart
24 - 32 1 Syringa La Tour D'Auvergne
25 - 32 1 Syringa Marcrostachya
26 - 32 1 Syringa Marceau
27 - 32 3 Syringa Olivier de Serres
28 - 32 1 Syringa Paul Hariot
29 - 32 1 Syringa Viviano-Morel

Bruce said that these are "newer" tags and probably the actual shrub was propagated from the original. However, some of the Lilacs have the original old metal tags still attached.

NOTE: The third number indicated the number of shrubs given to the garden.

Alice Harding Lilac Walk at Rutgers Gardens

A lilac
Bruce said that some of the Lilacs have formed large clumps and need to be reigned in, but of course he wants to identify them first.

Other lilacs seem to be growing on a single stem. Bruce explained this is most likely due the fact they were grafted onto Privet trunks

Alice Harding Lilac Walk at Rutgers Gardens

October 8, 1932
Mrs. Edward G. Harding, Plainfield, N.J.

30 - 32 1 Syringa Charles X
31 - 32 1 Syringa Katherine Havemeyer
32 - 32 1 Syringa LaVallee [sic] Lavaliensis
33 - 32 1 Syringa Mme. Casimir Perier
34 - 32 1 Syringa Mme. Francisque Morel
35 - 32 1 Syinga Paul Hariot
36 - 32 1 Syringa President Loubet
37 - 32 1 Syringa Reaumur

Alice Harding Lilac Walk at Rutgers Gardens

An "original" Alice
Behind the "newer" tag, the older one was spied.

Syringa 'Condorcet' donated by Alice on April 16, 1932 – only one plant.

Alice Harding Lilac Walk at Rutgers Gardens

The 'Alice Harding' Lilac Walk
Behind the collection of Lilacs is a very impressive shrub garden

Alice Harding Lilac Walk at Rutgers Gardens

- Alice Harding, The Book of the Peony, 1917

I shall try to fix firmly in the mind of the peony lover
the proper time to begin planting:
it is September 15th at 9 A.M.
(I do not believe in hurrying through breakfast).

Greenwood Gardens

Initial post 18 SEP 10 byLouis Bauer
I have read Alice Harding's two books on the peony and her lilac book, and would like to know anything about her garden and personal life. She gardened and distributed plants from Plainfield, NJ. As director of horticulture at Greenwood Gardens in Short Hills, NJ, I am using Alice's favorite plants to represent the original plants in our historic garden, which has no historic plant records. A little personal information about Alice Harding would aid interpretation of this idea.

Hillside Cemetery

October 20, 2011
Photo by S. Fraser

Courier News articles on Hardings

Harding Edward 1/9/1952 Obituary
Harding Edward J., Jr. 11/22/1929 News
Harding Edward J., Jr. 1/2/1932 News
Harding Edward J., Jr. 7/24/1940 News
Harding Edward J., Jr. 10/5/1940 Obituary
Harding Edward J., Sr. wife Julia 7/3/1937 News
Harding Edward J., Sr. 10/30/1937 Annotation death
Harding Julia A. 7/3/1936 News
Harding Julia A. husband Edward J., Sr. 6/29/1937 News
Harding Julia A. 4/10/1947 Annotation death
Courier News Index: H 19 of 80
Last Name First Name Relationship Date Source Data Item Type
Harding Louis Richard 3/21/1932 News
Harding Louis Richard 12/8/1932 News
Harding Louis Richard 11/11/1933 News
Harding Louis Richard 12/1/1933 News
Harding Louis Richard 8/5/1936 News
Harding Louis Richard 10/8/1936 News
Harding Louis Richard 1/20/1937 News
Harding Louis Richard 3/2/1937 News
Harding Louis Richard 10/7/1939 News
Harding Louis Richard 10/9/1939 News
Harding Louis Richard 1/13/1944 News
Harding Louis Richard 12/27/1949 Obituary
Harding Louis Richard 12/30/1949 News
Harding Louis Richard n.d. News
Harding Louis Richard n.d. News

Alice Harding Iris the Gift Plant for the GCA Zone IV Meeting

GCA Zone IV Plans a Visit to the Alice Harding Lilac Walk

New York Times October 23, 2011

Paid Notice: Deaths
Published: October 23, 2011

RIGGS–Elizabeth, 88, PhD, formerly of Placitas, NM; Stony Brook, NY; Captiva, FL and Aix-En-Provence, France. Loving mother to Royal E. T. Riggs II and Elizabeth Riggs. Survived by her sister Shirley Porter and brother William Plume. She was an inspiration to all who knew her.

NOTE: Alice Harding's 1938 lists Mrs. Royal E. T. Riggs as her surviving sister.

New York Social Register

Riggs MIM" Royal E T (Elizabeth B Howard) Uv.

Alice Harding Iris Garden at Burnley Farm

Taken from photocopied pages of an illustrated book the Courier-News published. In Anne Shepherd's archives

Garden Club of America's The Bulletin November 14, 1923

Book Review

Peonies in the Little Garden. by Mrs. Edward Harding
Atlantic Monthly Press. Price $1.75

Mrs. Harding has given us a timely hook of appreciation and
cultural instruction. It is the third of The Little Garden Series,
just published by the Atlantic Monthly Press and prefaced by
Mrs. Francis King. It should be read and treasured by everyone
who believes in "the fitness of planting something long-lived
in every big or little garden."
Mrs. IJarding will arouse a flower conscience in her readers.
The book has become available at a time when the newly awakened
conscience may be tenderly solicitous for the long abused
and neelected Peonies and there will be a reformation in planting
and protecting them this season.
Led by a vanguard of landscape architects and garden designers,
many of ushave erred in planting Peonies & emphasesin
beds or borders crowded by annuals and other plant material
that require manure and conditions detrimental to the health
and life of this aristocrat of perennials.
I can bear witness to the complete reformation of one
gardener-reader who has developed a Peony sanctuary and has
replanted her collection to the glory of next year's flowering
season and to the prodigious improvement of her garden. Mrs.
Harding has tried all sorts of Peonies and when they prove unfit,
acrording to her high demands, they are ruthlessly discarded.
"We are safe in following her advice, and in being as grateful
for the sum of her experience as she is for "the degree of taste
and restraint of selection" indicated by the French growers.
We have here the scale of points used by the American Peony
Society in judging. To some of us who love Peonies and are
ignorant, but who are following a distant gleam of hope that we
may show our Peony beds with intelligence and even exhibit
with complacency, that scale is written in letters a foot high with
a blighting interrogation after each point. A study of Mrs.
Harding's book brightens the gleam and gives us a sure path to
follow. The cultural direction8 are clear and positive.
Restraining advice is given to commercial growers and also
to over-generous,, joyous gardeners (of whom Mrs. Harding is
chief). Pier descri~tionso f nlants and .c. roun. s have the com~ellinc
quality of beauty-loving enthusiasm. The illustrations arc
mainlv of sulbiwts taken from 31rs. Hardinc's iranlrn at l3urnlev arm, an wood, Sew Jersey, and posed by her to the best
possible advantage of the black and white medium. The written
picture adds the color.

Josephine K. Laflin
Lake Forest Garden Club

Plainfield Public Library Archives

Peonies in the Garden has a inscription that reads:

To business that we love we rise betime, And go to 't with delight.

Mrs. Harding
13 January 1918

The quote is from Shakespeare,
Antony and Cleopatra: IV, iv

Plainfield Public Library Archives

Jan 10 1952

Harding Rites Tomorrow

Scotch Plains – Funeral services for Edward Harding of Burnley Farm, Terrill Rd., retired New York lawyer, will be held at 10 a.m. tomorrow in the Higgins Funeral "Home for Funerals, " Plainfield. Interment will be in Hillside Cemetary, Plainfield. Mrs. Harding died yesterday (Jan. 9, 1952) in his home.

Born in Philadelphia
Mr. Harding was born in Philadelphia May 3, 1873, the son of Catharine Hart Harding and William Harding. He was educated at Harvard and took his A. M. there in 1896 and his L. L. B. in 1998. He married Alice Howard of Keene, Vt., on Oct. 12, 1909. She died Apr. 17, 1938.

Mrs. Harding, well known in horticulture socieities, was once decorated by the French government for her accomplishmnets in this field. She was the author of books and articles on the subject and her lilac and peony plantings are still thriving today at Burnley Farm.

. . . fractured his hip, he commuted regularly to his office in New York. He was active until then with the Wall St. law firm of Campbell, Harding, Goodwin and Danforth.

Mr. Harding's legal connections included prominent persons all over the English-speaking world. A visitor at Burnley Farms last summer was the Hon. J. B. Chandler, lord mayor of Brisbane, Australia.

At one time he was director of the English Speaking Union and of late years was interested in the American and British Commonwealth Association and a director. He was also one-time chairman of the executive board of the National Committee of Patriotic Societies. After World War I he attended the Peace Conference in Paris.

Scout Council
He was a member of the National Council of Boy Scouts of America and held membership in the American Club of London and the University Club, the Harvard Club and the Recess Club of New York.

His only immediate survivor is a sister, Mrs. Alfred Hennen Morris of New York. A ward, Miss Constance Hennen, who made her home at Burnley Farms for the past 10 years is a junior at Georgian Court, Lakewood.

Plainfield Public Library Archives

Plainfield Public Library Archives

Edward, Harding, Lawyer, Dies

Edward Harding, 80, a retired New York lawyer, died this morning (Jan. 9, 1952) in his home a Burnley Farm, Terrill Rd., Scotch Plains. He was teh husband of the late Mrs. Alice Harding, horticulturalist and authoress, and the brother of the late Horace Harding, New York banker for whom Horace Harding Blvd. on Long Island was named.

Mr. Harding was associated with the former law firm of Campbell, Harding, Goodwin and Danforth, 44 Wall St., New York, prior to his retirement. He had been ill for two years. He was born in Philadelphia and was a graduate of Harvard University and Harvard Law School. He was formerly active in Boy Scout fundraising work and was a member of the Harvard Club of New York.

His late wife was given the Order of Merite Agricole by the French government in 1928 for her work in horticulture. She was author of several books on horticulture. Mrs. Harding died in 1928.

Mr. Harding is survived by one sister, Mrs. Alfred Hennen Morris of New York; and several nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be held in the Higgins "Home for Funerals," Plainfield, at a time to be announced later.

Jan -9, 1952

Plainfield Public Library Archives

Plainfield Public Library Archives

Plainfield Public Library Archives

Jul 24, 1940

Edward J. Harding

Plainfielder Named to U.S. Board

Edward J. Harding, formerly of Plainfield, managing director of the Associated General Contractors of America, has been named to Construction Advisory Committee of the United Stated Army and Navy Munitions Board.

This was annouced today by the Assistant Secretary of the Navy Lewis Compton, formerly of Metuchen, who are joint chairmen of the munitions board.

Other members of the Construction Advisory Committee include: Col. John P. Hogan, president of the American Society of Civil Engineers who will serve as committee chairman; Alonzo J. Hammond, president of the American Engineering Council.

Also, E. P. Palmer, past president, Associated General Contractors of America; Malcom Pirnio, general chairman, Construction League of America; Stephen F. Vorhees, past president, American Institute of Architects.

Duties of teh committee will be to advise with the Army and Navy Munitions Board in connection with plans for the national defense program. These plans primarily relate to industrial constructions necessary to support a war effort. In the analysis of these plans, due consideration will be given to the entire construction needs of the country, both civil and military, it is said.

Through the committee it is desired to present to the construction industry the probable war load and to prevent the overloading of that industry in any particular area. Committee will also work in close cooperation with the Advisory Commission to the Council of National Defense.

Mr. Harding, who was born and educated in Plainfield, is the son of Mrs. Edward J. Harding Sr., 16 Laramie Rd., and the late Mr. Harding. He is married and has two children, a son, Edward J. Harding Jr., and a daughter, Anais. His present home is in Silver Springs, Md., outside of Washington, D. C. Mr. Harding is a member of the Plainfield Lodge 885, BPO Elks.

Mr. Harding has studied construction problems in every state in the union. He was associated with McAdoo Tunnels in New York as paymaster for 15 yeras and during the World War he served as manager for James Stewart & Co., Washington, D. C., on of the largest contracting firms in the United States.

He was one of the original members of the Associated General Contractors of America at its formation in 1918. He served as its membership manager for many years and then was appointed assistant general manager before being named managing director.

Mr. Harding has a brother, Louis R. Harding, 16 Laramie Rd., sergeant-at-arms in the Fourth Judicial District Court, this city; and two sisters Miss Grace M. Harding, 16 Laramie Rd., and Miss E. Catherine Harding, who resides with Mr. Harding and his family in Silver Springs, Md.

Plainfield Public Library Archives

Plainfield Public Library Archives

Plainfield Public Library Archives

Plainfield Public Library Archives

Horace Harding

Horace Harding Playground

62 Dr Bet. 97 and 98 Sts

Acres: 1.37

This text is part of Parks' Historical Signs Project and can be found posted within the park. Horace Harding Playground
This playground, located in the Queens neighborhood of Rego Park, is named in honor of Horace J. Harding (1863-1929), banker and businessman extraordinaire whose influence greatly impacted many turn-of-the-century local and national institutions.

Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Horace J. Harding (1863-1929) entered the banking world at age 20. In 1898, he married Dorothea Barney and joined her father's firm. He soon became a senior partner of Charles D. Barney and Company. Shortly thereafter, Harding's meteoric rise shocked the financial world. He served as a director for a multitude of companies; among them are the New York Municipal Railways System, American Exchange Irving Trust, Bronx Gas and Electric, American Express, Continental Can Company, Public Service Corporation of New Jersey, Southern Pacific Company, United States Industrial Alcohol, American Beet Sugar Company, and the Wabash Railway. Harding was also an avid art collector and he served on the Board of Trustees for the Frick Collection.

Harding strongly supported the development of the Long Island highway system. As a landowner in Wheatley Hills, he persuaded other residents to accept the "great parkway plan" of Long Island State Parks Commissioner Robert Moses (1888-1981). Developed as early as 1924, the plan proposed a system of parks interconnected by scenic parkways. At his urging, residents accepted the Northern State Parkway, which connected Queens with Lake Ronkonkoma in Suffolk County. Harding also supported the construction of what would become Moses's Long Island Expressway. In 1929, New York State Road 25D, a future Long Island Expressway service road, was named Horace Harding Expressway in recognition of his support.

Horace Harding Playground is located on 62nd Drive, between 97th and 98th Streets in the Rego Park neighborhood of Queens. Prior to development, Chinese farmers had owned this land and formed an exclusive farming enclave in this area, growing produce for sale in Manhattan's Chinatown. In the 1920s, the Real Good Construction Company bought out these farms and built one-family row houses, multi-family homes, and apartment buildings.

In 1923, developers Henry Schloh and Charles Hausmann named the area "Rego Park," shortening the name of their construction company from "REal GOod." In the first half of the 20th century, Rego Park attracted Irish, German, and Italian immigrants. From 1970 on, the neighborhood's demographic shifted to Russian, Chinese, and Jewish residents, while enclaves of Indians, Iranians, Koreans, Colombians, and Romanian immigrants have added to the remarkable diversity of this community.

Parks, which acquired this property in 1961, jointly operates the playground with the Board of Education. The park opened as P.S. 206 Playground in 1967. In 1985, Parks changed the name to Horace Harding Playground in accordance with its proximity to Horace Harding Expressway. Mayor Giuliani has provided $160,000 for an upcoming playground renovation. Today, the playground offers park-goers numerous opportunities for recreation: a baseball diamond, two basketball courts, a volleyball court, a sandpit, wooden play equipment, and a sprinkler. The park features several concrete animal sculptures including a dinosaur, a turtle, and a porpoise.

1.374 acres

Plainfield Public Library Archives

Construction Outlook for 1932 Depends Upon Restoring Confidence

Ready to Serve
Edward J. Harding

Jan 2 1932

The following forecast is given by Edward J. Harding, managing director Associated General Contractors of America. Mr. Harding formerly lived in Plainfield.

Candidly facing the 1932 construction outlook, with neighter undue optimisim nor pessimism, the Associated General Contractors of America see for the coming year exactly what the country chooses to make of it. From all present indications the volume of wor for 1932 will depend largely upon what constructive action is taken to stimulate it.

Every day it can be more clearely seen that the premise of the program adopted by the Associated General Contractors last October, "Present conditions will not adjust themselves but must be adjusted," is a sound and vital fundamental. The restoration of confidence is imperative and utnil some genuine constructive move is made, confidence will continue to decline. The rate of construction contract award figures in the 37 states reported by the F. W. Dodge Corporation continues to hover under seven million dollars per calendar day as compated with 11 and 13 million per calendar day in 2930 and with 16 millions per calendar day in 1929.

If a measure of confidence is to be restored in 1932 and the Business index forced upward at least to the level of 1930, the contract award rate, as revealed by the Dodge figures, must be forced up and not allowed to drop below 13 million per calendar day. This can be done by a United attac on both the building and engineering construction fields.

The leadership for this attac however, hardly can be expected from individual efforts, but very properly may be furnished by the Federal Government itself as the logical solution to the national problem of business stagnation and unemployment. The field of nedded public construction is ast, including highways, public buildings, rebuilt slum areas, reclaimed waster lands, grade separations, farm to market roads and other new construction which eventually must be provided. If governmental agencies this year take the lead in supplyin their own construction needs, private construction undoubtedly will quickly follow and the wheels of industry once again will be humming in high gear.

There is no argument as . . . construction industry occ . . . at strategic point in . . . following the move . . . ness recovering. This is granted by all economists, leading public officials and business leaders. The argument that can exist concerns ways and means to maintain construction awardsa at a level that will secure the desired objective.

It seems certain that establishment of a Reconstructive Finance Corporation and a system of Federal Home Loan Discount Banks, as recommended by President Hoover, would ahve a very beneficial effect on private construction, not only through . . .litating the securing of capital for new construction, but by lending for much needed improvment in construction quality and methods of . . . The President's Confer . . Home Building and Home Ownership has . . . thought throughrough the nations . .. relati . . . housing facilities and it may be . . reawakening in . .a market with special att . . . to . . . .or average wage earner, may be developed.

The construction . . . . prepared to serve public . . .plane that ever before and will continue its . .integrity and responsibility during the . . year.

Plainfield Public Library Archive

Plainfield Public Library Archive

Plainfield Public Library Archives

note: in pencil someone was writing notes as to how this Edward Harding could be related to Alice Harding '15. Need to go back to archives to see if the relationship can be discovered.

Edward Harding
Is Promoted In National Firm

Announcement is made of the appointment of Edward J. Harding, formerly of Plainfield, as assistant general manager of the Associated General Contractors of America. The appointment comes after 11 years of work through all different ramifications of the associaton. Mr. Harding being one of the original members of the association at its formation in 1918, having served as membership manager form its inception.

Mr. Harding was born in Plainfield and was educated here. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Edward J. Harding, Sr., of 16 Laramie road, is maried and has two children, a boy and a girl. He is a member of Plainfield Lodge of Elks. His present home is in Chevy Chase, near Washington, D. C.

Mr. Harding has had the opportunity to studying construction problems in every State in the Union and has been in close touch with the construction program developed by the Federal Government.

Previous to his present business affiliations, Mr. Harding was associated with McAdoo Tunnels in New York for 15 years and during the World War acted in the capacity of manager for James Stewart and Company, one of the largest contracting firms in the United States.

The Associated General Contractors of America is the largest organization of its kind in the United States, having now one hundred seventeen offices throughout the United States and being represented in six hundred seventy-five cities and forty-eight states. The membership of this association did somewhat better than three billion dollars worth of work last year.

The Courier-News Friday, November 22, 1929

Plainfield Public Library

May 12, 2012 GCA Zone IV Meeting and Awards Luncehon

PGC Members Jeanne Turner, Patti Dunstan and Phyllis Alexander researched over 275 members chronicled on our website,, and chose the following ladies as "themes" for the luncheon tables:

Eight Notable Women of the PGC

June 2012 ENews Bulletin from the Garden Club of America

Off the Shelf...with Garden Writer Mrs. Francis King

During a recent visit to the Dogwood Collection at the National Arboretum in Washington, Library Committee member Charlas Wise (Amateur GC, Zone VI) stumbled upon this corner of GCA history. Mrs. Francis King was the founder and first President of the Woman's National Farm and Garden Association (1914) which established this garden in 1952. To Charlas, the Library Committee and the Garden Club of America she is recognized as the founder and first president of the Garden Club of Michigan (1911), a founder of the Garden Club of America (1913) and one of the earliest garden writers to address the design and planting of the smaller garden. A prolific writer and editor of McCall's Magazine, Mrs. Louisa Yeomans King was an active and early member (1914) of the Library Committee and a contributor to the Bulletin. She was a writer and editor of the nine volume The Little Garden series, 1921-1928 and other books in our Library, including The Flower Garden by Day (1927) with a foreword by her friend Gertrude Jekyll. Learn more about her and her literary accomplishments in the May 15-July 27, 2013 Library's Centennial Exhibition at the Grolier Club in NYC.

The Library Committee

Photo caption: Bench (see plaque insert) dedicated to Mrs. Francis King

Biography of Mrs. Louisa Yeomans King

June 23, 2012 Letter to the Garden Club of America Library Committee

Dear Library Committee,

Yesterday we received the most recent ENews bulletin and read with great interest the article about Mrs. Francis Yeoman King and her "Little Garden" book series. One of our founding members, and arguably the most illustrious member of the Plainfield Garden Club, was also a friend of Mrs. King and wrote a book for the series titled "Peonies in the Little Garden."

The first two books written in the "The Little Garden" series were written by Mrs. King. The third book was Mrs. Harding's contribution. You can see the entire "Peonies in the Little Garden" book at this link:

It is in the book, one of several written by Mrs. Harding, that we learn
of her incredible trip to France mere months after World War I ended and her discovery of small peony shoots surviving in the battlefields outside of Amiens, France. Mrs. Harding, a hybridizer of both peonies and lilacs, championed the French horticulturists and was given France's top honor, the medal, Merite Argricole.

You can read all the many accomplishments of Alice Harding on line at our website, The direct link is:

Of particular interest to the Garden Club of America is the fact that Mrs. Harding served as an editor for the Bulletin for several years and most notably wrote her friend, Gertrude Jeykll's, obituary. We have yet to see a copy of this obituary and would be very interested if it exists in the Garden Club of America archives.

Mrs. King was born in New Jersey and it is more than likely that in
addition to Mrs. Harding, she had friends and perhaps family in
Plainfield, which, at that time, has been described as one of the most
wealthy cities in the nation. We do know for certain that in 1915, the
Plainfield Garden Club boasted many accomplished gardeners.

Lastly, Mrs. Harding was a founding member of the American Iris Society and in 1933, French iris hybridizer Cayeux, named a yellow iris for her. It was this iris that we gifted to all attendees of the May 9th and 10th Zone IV Meeting.


Susan King Fraser
Communications Chair
Plainfield Garden Club, founded 1915

June 27 - 28, 2012 Email Exchange with the New York Botanical Garden

Subject: RE: Laura Cecelia Detwiller
From: "Long, Marie" <>
Date: Thu, June 28, 2012 9:11 am
To: "''" <>

Dear Ladies of the Plainfield Garden Club,

What an amazing, impressive and wonderful website you have. Now I must make a vertical file for the Plainfield Garden Club, as well as for your Shakespeare Garden!

Thank you for sending the information and links.

I will have my assistant scan George W. Peyton's obituary of Alice Howard Harding from the "American Peony Society Bulletin" and the entry from John Hendley Barnhart's "Biographical Notes Upon Botanists."

With kind regards,
Marie Long
Reference Librarian
The LuEsther T. Mertz Library
The New York Botanical Garden

––Original Message––
Sent: Tuesday, June 26, 2012 7:10 PM
To: Long, Marie
Subject: Laura Cecelia Detwiller

Dear Ms. Long,

Thank you so much for your assistance today with the Laura Cecelia Detwiller archival paintings. We greatly enjoyed seeing them and learning more about how the NYBG came to obtain them.

You can view Miss Laura Cecelia Detwiller's on line archives at this direct link of
our website

You mentioned that you were interested in the Shakespeare Garden the club maintains in Plainfield, New Jersey. The garden was designed by the Olmsted Brothers Architectural firm and installed in 1927 in Cedar Brook Park, Plainfield. It has been maintained these past 85 years by the Plainfield Garden Club. We have some photos on line and hope to add more for public view as we expand our website. I have attached a few photos that were taken May 23, 2012.

The garden is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and recognized by the State of New Jersey as Site #54 on the state's Women's Heritage Trail.

The Plainfield Garden Club was established almost 100 years ago and is a member club of the Garden Club of America, headquartered in New York.

While visiting the Monet exhibit, we wondered if another illustrious member of the Plainfield Garden Club, Mrs. Alice Howard Harding, had known Monet. She was a frequent visitor to France and a friend of the French horticulturist Lemoine. In 1928 the French Government made her a Chevalier du Merite Agricole in recognition of her achievements in horticulture. In addition to wondering if she knew Monet (she was personal friends with Gertrude Jekyll) we are wondering if the NYBG has any other documents pertaining to Mrs. Harding?

Here is the direct link for our on line archive of Alice Howard Harding:

Thank you again for lending us your expertise. We apologize for the "smatterings" of our on line archives, but we just scan what we can as we open boxes from members basements and attics!

The Ladies of the Plainfield Garden Club

June 28, 2012 Email from the New York Botanical Garden

Subject: Alice Howard Harding
From: "Korey, Deanna" <>
Date: Thu, June 28, 2012 10:31 am
To: "" <>
Cc: "Long, Marie" <>

Dear Ladies of the Plainfield Garden Club,

At Marie Long's request, I've attached a pdf scan of several documents related to Mrs. Harding. We hope they answer some of your questions regarding this member of your garden club.


Deanna Korey
Library Assistant
Mertz Library of the New York Botanical Garden

Download: Alice H. Harding Documents from the NYBG

American Peony Society Bulletin June 1938

Alice Harding

Just as her garden was beginning to blossom into its full spring glory, Alice Howard Harding laid down her garden tools and turned over to others the task of carrying on her life work of spreading by word and deed the beauty of her favorite flowers. After a brief illness, she died on Easter Sunday, April 17, 1928, at Burnley Farm, Plainfield, New Jersey, which had been her home for thirty years.

She was born in Keene, New Hampshire, educated by private tutors at home and abroad and married Edward Harding of the well-known law firm of Campbell, Harding, Goodwin & Danforth of New York City.

She soon brought together in her gardne, world-renowed irises, poppies, lilacs and hemerocallis. These were noted for their excellence of quality. The mediocre had no place in her life.

A facile and foreceful writer, her books are as fascinating as a novel and as authoritative as an encyclopedia, a rare combination. Her first one, The Book of the Peony, publishe din 1917 was a long the only one of the subject in America. In order to bring the knowledge of the peony to a far greater public she wrote a much smaller book, Peonies in the Little Garden, at the request of the publishers of the Little Garden Series. Issued in 1923, this book has few equals in horticultural literature in its able treatmnet of the subject and unsurpassed beauty, clearness and simplicity of expression.

No less outstanding was her third work, Lilacs in My Garden, A Pracitical Handbook for Amateurs, with an introduction by Emile Lemoine, noted the world over as an authority and orginator of many of the most beautiful flowers in our gardens. Coming out in 1933 it was translated into French and published in many American and English magazines are too numerous to mention in this brief sketch.

During her life she gave many exceedingly generous prizes to Societies both in America and Europe and collections of peonies, which always consisted of fifty fine varieties, went from her garden to the:

Royal Horticulture Society Gardens at Wisley, Eng.;
Shakespeare's Garden at New Place, Stratford-Upon-Avon, England;
Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, Scotland;
Botanical Garden, Melbourne, Australia;
Botanical Garden, Ballarat, Australia;
Botanical Garden, Wellington, New Zealand;
Government House, Ottawa, Canada;
Botanic Garden, Capetown, South Africa;
Lloyd's Botanic Garden, Darjeeling, India;
The following flowers have been named for her:

Herbaceous Peonies: Mrs. Edward Hardin (Shaylor, 1918), Alice Harding (Lemoine, 1922)
Tree Peony: Alice Harding (Lemoine, 1922)
French Lilacs: Mrs. Edward Harding (Lemoine), Alice Harding (Lemoine)
Iris: Alice Harding (Cayeaux, 1933)
Rose: Alice Harding (Mallerin, 1937)

The two Japanese type peonies, Currant Jap (also known as Currant Red, and Jeffries' Currant Jap) and Yellow King came into commerce from her garden through gifts to friends, though they are not her origination.

She originated a number of herbaceous tree peonies and irises. Some of the latter have been sent to the Wisley trial gardens of the Royal Horticultural Society of England. She registered the following herbaceous peonies with the American Peony Society: Manchu Princess, Seihin Ikeda, Sho-Yo, White Jade and Yong-Lo, full descriptions of which may be found in Bulletin No. 61 September, 1935, written by Mrs. Harding herself. They appear on page 27. It is regretted that none of these hae found their way into other gardens. That they are worthy of a place in any garden goes without saying for Mrs. Harding was as critical of her own productions as she was of others. They found no especial favor just because they were her own. it is sincerely hoped that her memory may be kept alive in the future by the living presence and witness to her skill in the gardens of many other lovers of her favorite flower. The decision rests with Mrs. Harding.

Mrs. Harding was Dame Bienfairtice Societe National d'Horticulture de France, membre d'Honneur Societe Centrale d'Horticulture de Nancy, France, a Fellow of the Royal Horticulture Society of England, an honoray member for life of the American Peony Society, member-at-large of the Garden Club of America, member of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society and the Plainfield Garden Club and the Fanwood Garden Club.

Among the honors conferred upon her for notable achievements in horticulture were:

The Gold Medal of the American Peony Society in 1928 for promoting interest in the peony by the publication of her two books devoted exclusively to the subject.

From the French Government:
Rank of Chevalier du Merite Agricole;
Promotion to rank of Officer;
Diploma from Minister of Education.

From Societe Nationale de'Horticulture de France:
Diplomas and medals for her two books – Peonis in the Little Garden and Lilas en mon Jardin.

From Societe Centrale d'Horticulture de Nancy, France:
Specially bound book (folio size) – Les Jardins de France – and specially made glass vase with lilac "Mrs. Edward Harding" embossed on it. These were a special further tribute to her work for the Societe
The Horticulture Library at Nancy has been named "Bibliotheque Alice Harding."

Mrs. Harding originated iris seeldings as follows: Caroline Clement, Elizabeth Howard, Commodore Fellowes, Nicole Lemoine, Top Gallant, Arsinoe.

She also orginated a number of poppy, hmerocallis and Philadelphius seedlings.

It is gratifying to know that her garden will be carried on.

In passing of Mrs. Harding, many who may never have known her personally feel they have lost a valued friend, the peony will miss one of its most enthusiastic advocates and the horticultural world will mourn one whom it delighted to honor.

George W. Peyton
Rapidan, Virginia, June 7, 1938

The Hart Family of Philadelphia

Cora Hennen Morris, graduated from Barnard College in 1917 and from Cornell Medical College in 1920; Alice Harding, the daughter of William W. and Catharine Hart Harding, born, August 18, 1866, on October 26, 1897 married Henry Martyn Kneedler of Philadelphia, who is head of the Lennox Mills; and Edward Harding, born May 3, 1873, who is living in New York with a residence at Plainfield, N.J. ("Burnley Farm), married, but without children. Mrs. Edward Harding is the author of "The Book of the Peony". She was Alice Howard, the daughter of Arthur and Sarah Kelley Howard. She was married October 12, 1909. She is a member of the Author League of America, Woman's National Farm & Garden Association, Massachusetts Horticultural Society, the Garden Club of America, Royal Horticulture Society of Great Britain, Dame Patronesse Societe Nationale d Horticulture de France.

Alice Harding Kneedler died April 23, 1920, at her home in Chestnut Hill. She was teh mother of two children, William Harding Kneedler, Born August 13, 1900 and Henry Martyn Kneedler Jr., born December 6, 1904.

GCA Bulletin May 1995

August 8, 2012

The Chair of the Garden Club of America Archives responds to a request about GCA's information on Alice Harding:

Mrs. Edward Harding, who died in her home in New Jersey early in April, was member at large of the Garden Club of America and for several years edited the Garden Literature Department of the Bulletin. Her interests and accomplishmnets were many. In her gardens she grew such beautiful lilacs and peonies that her fame spread far and wide and she was regarded as an authority, writing several books on her subject.

We feel that the Garden Club of America has lost one of its most talented members, and the Bulletin one of its best friends.

1960 Wisley Trials

Seventy-give varieties of paeonies were grown in the trial during 1960. Of these forty-five were from American growers having been imported specially for the trial during the years 1953, 1954 and 1955; the remainder were received either from Britain or Dutch growers.

The trial was planted on the present site near the Bowles Memorial Garden on October 15, 1957.

The trial was inspected by a sub-committee of the Floral Committee A on May 31 and June 16, 1960, and on its recommendation the Council has made the following awards to paeonies as varieties for garden decoration after trial at wisley.

The number in the brackets after the description of the variety was that under which it was grown in the trial.

ALICE HARDING. (Send by Messrs. R. H. Bath, Ltd.) A.M. June 16, 1960. Plant 29 inches high, 19 inches spread, vigorous, erect and compact habit; flower stems 29 to 35 inches long, stout and rigid; flowers 6 inches diameter, double scented; petals broad, slightly out, white, outer petals tinged pink. Flowering from June 5, 1960. (8)

Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit

The Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit (AGM) helps gardeners make informed choices about plants. This award indicates that the plant is recommended by the RHS.

Syringa vulgaris 'Mrs. Edward Harding'

What is the AGM?
With more than 100,000 plants available in the UK alone, how can you tell which plants are the best for all-round garden value? The RHS Award of Garden Merit (AGM) exists to help gardeners make that choice.

The AGM is intended to be of practical value to the home gardener. It is awarded therefore only to a plant that meets the following criteria:

It must be of outstanding excellence for ordinary garden decoration or use
It must be available
It must be of good constitution
It must not require highly specialist growing conditions or care
It must not be particularly susceptible to any pest or disease
It must not be subject to an unreasonable degree of reversion in its vegetative or floral characteristics
Plants of all kinds can be considered for the AGM, including fruit and vegetables. An AGM plant may be cultivated for use or decoration. It can be hardy throughout the British Isles, or suitable only for cultivation under heated glass. It can range in size from Sequoiadendron giganteum to Cornus canadensis. Though growing conditions and plant types may vary, the purpose of the award is always the same: to highlight the best plants available to the home gardener.

Hardiness rating
Every AGM plant has a hardiness rating. The hardiness rating is an integral part of the AGM, and should be included in any citation of the award. This is intended to serve as a general guide to growing conditions, and should be interpreted as follows:

H1: Requires heated glass
H2: Requires unheated glass
H3: Hardy outside in some regions or particular situations or which, while usually grown outside in summer, needs frost-free protection in winter (e.g. dahlias)
H4: Hardy throughout the British Isles
H1-2: Intermediate between H1 and H2
H2-3: Intermediate between H2 and H3
H3-4: Intermediate between H3 and H4
H1+3: Requiring heated glass; may be grown outside in summer

For plants requiring heated glass, further guidance is given as follows:

Minimum temperature (oC)
15: Hot glasshouse
10: Warm glasshouse
2: Cool glasshouse

Committee assessment
The AGM is only awarded after a period of assessment by the Society's Standing and Joint Committees. Committees draw upon the knowledge and experience of a wide range of members, including nurserymen, specialist growers, and well-known horticulturists. Assessment for AGM takes place in one or more of the following ways:

during trials at one of the Society's gardens or at some other venue
during examination of specialist collections
during round-table discussions by committee members, with contributions by specialists when necessary
Each Committee is responsible for recommending plants for the AGM from within its own particular area of interest. Round-table discussion necessarily played a large part in the first ten-yearly AGM review, the results of which appeared in the 2003 edition, but trials continue to be the principal means of judging garden merit. This is especially the case in plant groups where large numbers of new cultivars are introduced each year.

There is no grading system within the AGM, and no attempt is made to distinguish the good from the very good. Committees are expected to set a particular standard against which each plant is to be judged: if a plant equals or exceeds the standard, it may be recommended for the award. No limit has been placed on the number of plants that may hold the award at any one time, but in groups that include many cultivars, standards have to be set especially high if the AGM is to offer helpful guidance to the gardener.

Corner of Mrs. Edward Harding's "Iris Garden," Terrill Road, Fanwood

In this illustrated book, the Courier-News has sought to present some of the representative homes of The Plainfields and adjoining territory, together with such other buildings of interest and importance as would serve to convey an idea of the physical attractioins of one of the most beautiful and healthful cities in the Metropolitan District. The homes reflect the desirability of this community as a place of residence.

The churches, schools, clubs and public buildings pictured serve to give the stranger some conceptions of the beauty of the city and its right to be termed the "Queen City" of New Jersey.

With picturesque Watchung Hills as a background, this section with all its natural advantages, plus a progressive spirit, coupled with high class local governing bodies and a live Chamber of Commerce, is pecularily adapted for home sites and, as a result, it has enjoyed a steady and healthy growth for many years.

publication circa 1917

October 15, 2012 Royal Horticulture Society

Subject: FW: RHS Lindley Library
Date: Mon, October 15, 2012 5:30 am
Priority: Normal
Options: View Full Header | View Printable Version | Download this as a file | View as plain text | View Message details

From: Liz Gilbert
Sent: 12 October 2012 14:10
Cc: Fiona Davison
Subject: RHS Lindley Library

To Susan Fraser
Co-President , Plainfield Garden Club

Thank you for your enquiry regarding early RHS Fellows .

We have checked through the printed lists we hold of RHS Fellows and confirm an entry for Alice Harding in our records for 1920 and 1929 .

Mrs Edward Harding R.F.D. No 1 Plainfield N. Jersey .

In 1930 Mrs S. G. Van Hoesen 145, North Avenue Fanwood, N Jersey listed as a new overseas member .

Regret we have not been able to trace any records for Miss Harriette Halloway .

The last list of new fellows of the RHS was printed in 1934 , so it is possible she became a fellow after this date?

The library holds handwritten volumes of plants and seeds donated to Wisley and have checked the volumes from

1915- through to 1943.

Regret have not found an entry under the name Harding or Plainsfield in the index of donors .

Sadly we are unable to confirm the details of any plants donated by Alice Harding to Wisley .

Finally, just to confirm that the library has in reference collection the books by Alice Harding on ‘The Peony' and also' The Lilac ‘.

Please let us know if there is anything else we help you with .

Yours sincerely

Elizabeth Gilbert
RHS Lindley Library

Visit our RHS Plant centres for top tips and free talks throughout Autumn about the benefits of planting now. You can also pick up free Autumn Planting Cards for ideas and inspiration.

Celebrate the best of Autumn this October at our RHS Gardens, Taste of Autumn Festival at RHS Garden Wisley ( 17 - 21 October) and our Grow Your Own Festival's at RHS Garden Hyde Hall, RHS Garden Harlow Carr and RHS Garden Rosemoor (20 - 21 October).

See the best in autumn planting at our RHS London Shades of Autumn Show (23 - 24 October). Book your tickets now!

Get involved: Sign up for our e-newsletter, Facebook, Twitter

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) is the UK's leading gardening charity dedicated to advancing horticulture and promoting good gardening. Anyone with an interest in gardening can enjoy the benefits of RHS Membership and help us to secure a healthy future for gardening. For more information call: 0845 130 4646, or visit

The contents of this email and any files transmitted with it are confidential, proprietary and may be legally privileged. They are intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed. If you have received this email in error please notify the sender. If you are not the intended recipient you may not use, disclose, distribute, copy, print or rely on this email. The sender is not responsible for any changes made to any part of this email after transmission. Any views or opinions presented are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the Society. Although this email and any attachments are believed to be free from any virus or other defects which might affect any computer or IT system into which they are received, no responsibility is accepted by the Society or any of its associated companies for any loss or damage arising in any way from the receipt or use thereof.

October 16, 2012 Corresponding Secretary Phyllis Alexander's letter to Rutgers Garden Director Bruce Crawford

Harding Bibles

Harding Editions

Family Bibles

Jesper Harding and his son William W. Harding, both of Philadelphia, were the leading commercial publishers of Bibles in the United States for many years, selling millions of copies from the 1820s to the 1870s. Harding Bibles were marketed as high-quality, relatively expensive editions. The 1867 edition shown here, with a red-and-black title page, is labeled a "Harding superfine," although it does not match the frequently reissued Harding superfine edition of 1857.

Jesper Harding started his printing business at sixteen in about 1815, eventually establishing his own bindery and print shop. In the late 1820s, he began publishing Bibles and buying newspaper companies–including a six-month-old paper, The Pennsylvania Inquirer, that would become the flagship of the Harding publishing empire. Years later, William renamed it The Philadelphia Inquirer.

The Harding Bibles reflect the orderly transition from Jesper to William on their title pages. They record the publisher's name first as Jesper Harding, then Jesper Harding and Son, and finally–after Jesper Harding's 1859 retirement–William W. Harding. William owned and operated the family business, including the Inquirer, until his retirement in 1889. He sold off the Harding Bible division about a decade earlier, in 1878, to A. J. Holman and Company–a publishing house formed by former Harding employees.

Harding Bible Building

A. J. Holman Factory
1222 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Date Constructed: 1881
Architect(s): The Wilson Brothers

Bibles have been published continuously in Philadelphia since 1743, when Christopher Saur of Germantown printed German bible, the second bible published in America. Andrew J. Holman formed his bible publishing company in 1872 with two members of the renowned William J. Harding Company, with which he had trained. Within a decade Holman's company had outgrown its headquarters.

The new building is one of the few commercial loft buildings of the period that has been we preserved in it original form. The facade is faced with brick. It is more embellished than the Leland Building, but is still restrained compared with the ornamental treatment of The Wilson Brothers' other projects, such as the nearby Reading Terminal.

1915 - 1923 List of Meetings

Mrs. Harding

1918 Meeting Minutes

1919 Meeting Minutes

1920 Meeting Minutes

Ellen Ann Wilmott

In 1919, Mrs. Edward (Alice Howard) Harding '15 told the Club about her visit with Mrs. Wilmott.

Ellen Ann Willmott (19 August 1858 – 27 September 1934)[1] was an English horticulturist. She was an influential member of the Royal Horticultural Society, and a recipient of the first Victoria Medal of Honour in 1897. She cultivated more than 100,000 species of plants, and sponsored expeditions to discover new species. More than 60 plants have been named after her or her home, Warley Place.[2]

Early life

Man-made gorge at Warley Place
Ellen Willmott was born in Heston, Middlesex, the eldest of three daughters of Frederick Willmott (1825–1892), a solicitor, and Ellen Willmott (d. 1898).[1] In 1875 the family moved to Warley Place at Great Warley, Essex,[3] which had 33 acres (130,000 m2) of grounds; this was to be Ellen's lifelong home. The family were keen gardeners and developed Warley Place's gardens together. One of the most ambitious developments was an alpine garden, including a gorge and rockery (pictured), which Ellen's father gave her permission to create on her 21st birthday.[2]
Ellen received a substantial inheritance when her godmother, Helen Tasker, died. This enabled her to buy her first property near Aix-les-Bains, France, in 1890.[1][3]


Ceratostigma willmottianum, one of over 60 species named after Ellen Willmott or Warley Place.
Ellen Willmott inherited Warley Place on her father's death and continued to develop the gardens, indulging her passion for collecting and cultivating plants. She is thought to have cultivated more than 100,000 different species of plant.[3]
Willmott employed up to 104 gardeners, and was known for being a demanding employer; she would reputedly sack any gardener who allowed a weed to grow among her flowers. She only employed men in her garden; she was once quoted as saying "women would be a disaster in the border".[2]

Rosa willmottiae
She was also known for being a prodigious spender. In 1905 she bought a third estate in Ventimiglia, Italy.[1] Willmott used her wealth to fund plant-hunting expeditions to China and the Middle East,[1] and species discovered on these excursions would often be named after her. The expeditions she sponsored included those of Ernest Henry Wilson, who named Ceratostigma willmottianum, Rosa willmottiae and Corylopsis willmottiae after her.[4]
Willmott joined the Royal Horticultural Society in 1894 and became a prominent member, elected to the narcissus, floral (group B) and lily committees.[1] She helped to persuade Sir Thomas Hanbury, her neighbour at Ventimiglia, to purchase the site at Wisley which became the RHS Gardens and donate it to the society,[5] and was appointed a trustee of the RHS Gardens in 1903.[1]
Willmott was one of only two women, alongside Gertrude Jekyll, to receive the Victoria Medal of Honour in 1897 (newly instituted that year for Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee).[3] In 1905 she became one of the first women to be elected a fellow of the Linnean Society of London. She also received the grande médaille Geoffroi St Hilaire from the Société d'acclimatation de France in 1912, and the Dean Hole medal from the National Rose Society in 1914.[1] She published two books; Warley Garden in Spring and Summer in 1909[1] and The Genus Rosa, published in two volumes between 1910 and 1914.[2] It includes 132 watercolours of roses painted by Alfred Parsons between 1890 ans 1908, which are now held by the Lindley Library in London. (Cory Bequest).[6] Ellen also commissioned Parsons R.A., Landscape-painter and Landscape designer, to paint her three gardens.[7] Queen Mary, Queen Alexandra, and Princess Victoria are known to have visited her at Warley Place.[8] In 1914 she initiated a bitter public spat with the horticulturalist E.A. Bowles about some observations on rock gardens made by Reginald Farrer in his foreword to one of Bowles' books.[9]
[edit]Later life

Willmott's prodigious spending during her lifetime caused financial difficulties in later life, forcing her to sell her French and Italian properties, and eventually her personal possessions.[3] She became increasingly eccentric and paranoid; she booby-trapped her estate to deter thieves and carried a revolver in her handbag.[4] She was arrested on suspicion of shoplifting in 1928, although later acquitted.[10]
Willmott died of atheroma and embolus of the coronary artery in 1934, aged 76.[1] Warley Place was sold to pay her debts[4] and the house was demolished in 1939, although plans to develop a housing estate on the site were rejected.[8] It was later designated as green belt and became a nature reserve.[4]

Ellen Ann Wilmott

New photo discovered of Alice's Garden

October 16, 2013

Cocktail Party & Jenny Rose Carey Lecture – a resounding success!

March 1919 Vauvilliers, France

March 1919 Vauvilliers, France

March 1919 Vauvilliers, France

March 1919 Vauvilliers, France

March 1919 Vauvilliers, France

1919 Bulletin of the Garden Club of America

Short Hills Dahlia Show

The Twelfth Annual Dahlia Show of the Short Hills Garden Club was held on September 29th and 30th.

It was the most successful show we have ever had owing to the fact that our friends from far and near were good enough to come. About a hundred and thirty members of the Garden Club of America lunched with us on the first day.

The season had been particularly favorable to Dahlias and the flowers were very beautiful.

The Dahlias were judged by Dr. Marshall A. Howe of the New York Botanical Gardens; Mr. John E. Williams of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society; and Mr. Arthur Herrington, landscape architect of Madison, New Jersey

The judges for the flower arrangements were Mrs. Edward Harding, Mrs. T. H. B. McKnight, and Mrs. P. W. Kennaday.

G. S. W.

Alice Harding Garden

Woman's National Farm and Garden Association - 1918 - ‎World War, 1914-1918

July 29, 2014 Email from PGC Archivist Patti Dunstan

Hi everyone!
Spent several hours going over old deeds in Elizabeth at union county court house . Found location of one part of their property. They owned land on both sides of Terrill road & the land changed town names several times over the years from fanwood to Plainfield to scotch plains and back. Will have to go back but have the deed book numbers and pages for the fanwood side. Made copies of the deed and a map from 1960 for the Plainfield property. The Plainfield
property starts at the corner of Cushing road & Terrill road. Do you want me to mail them to you??
I can explain further.
Take care,
Sent from my iPhone

Roots Connect: Alice Chadwick Howard

ID: I10767
Name: Alice Chadwick Howard
Surname: Howard
Given Name: Alice Chadwick
Sex: F
Birth: Sep 1871 in Keene, Cheshire Co., New Hampshire
Death: 17 Apr 1938 in Scotch Plains, Union Co., New Jersey
Burial: Hillside Cemetery, Scotch Plains, Union Co., New Jersey
_UID: 253ECAC25A66D511B4DE99B85F718F391063
! (1) 1900 census, Cambridge, Middlesex Co., MA, p.4B. FHL #1,240,656.
(2) Marriage certificate, Rhode Island #480, George Woodbury Bunnell/Alice Chadwick Howard.
(3) "The Book of the Peony," by Alice Howard (Mrs. Edward) Harding (Philadelphia, J.B. Lippincott Co., Mar 1917; rpt.
(4) Tom Keiser, Memorial Funeral Home. E-mail: (2010). Cites: (a) Hillside Cemetery,
Scotch Plains, NJ ( 908-756-1729. (b) Records of A. M. Runyon and Son Funeral Home.
(5) "Peonies," by Allan Rogers (rpt. Google Books) p.25.
(6) 1910 census, Fanwood, Union Co., NJ, p.3. Index (, 2012).
(7) 1920 census, Union Co., NJ, sheet 8. Index, FHL film 1821071 (, 2012).
(8) 1930 census, Scotch Plains, Union Co., NJ, ED 149, sheet 5B. Index, NARA T626 roll 1390, FHL film 2341125 (, 2012).
(9) New York Passenger Arrival Lists, Ellis Island, 1892-1924 (, 2012).

! Birth: (2) d/o Arthur HOWARD/Sarah __. (1) Sep 1871. (2) Age 27 in 1899 [b. 1872]. (6) Age 33 in 1910 [b. 1877]. (7) Age 41 in 1920 [b. 1879]. (8) Age 44 in 1930 [b. 1886]. (9) Age 46y 7m on 24 Apr 1919 [b. Sep 1872]. (1,6,7,8) NH. (2) Keene, NH.
Marriage to George Woodbury BUNNELL Jr.: (1) Married 1 year 6 mo. in Jun1900 [m. 1899]. (2) 18 Feb 1899. Providence, RI. By Henry BASSETT, Episcopal Rector. First marriage for both.
Marriage to Edward HARDING: (5) (3) Was Mrs. Eward HARDING in Feb 1917.
Death: (4a) 17 Apr 1938. (5) 1938.
Burial: (4a,b) Hillside Cemetery, Scotch Plains, NJ. By AM Runynon and Son Funeral Home.

(1) 1900, 9 Jun: Allic H. BUNNELL, age 29, b. Sep 1871, NH, married, was a boarder in the bousehold of Lois S. CHASE, Cambridge, Middlesex Co., MA. Married 1 6/12 year. Mother of no children. Parents b. England.
(6) 1910: Alice HARDING, age 33, b. NH, was living in household of Edward HARDING, Fanwood, Union Co., NJ. Parents b. NH.
(5) Alice HARDING (Mrs. Edward HARDING) lived in New York City but maintained a country estate across the Hudson in NJ. She was an internationally celebrated horticulturist. Her interest extended to nearly all cultivated garden plants, peonies included. To reward the hybridizers of her day, she generously established two cash awards of $100 each one for the best herbaceous peony seedling bred in North America and the other for the best herbaceous seedling bred in France.
(3) 1917, Feb: Published "The Book of the Peony." Dated the preface Burnley Farm. (5) 1917: She wrote "The Book of the Peony," a classic long celebrated for its clear and precise information.
(5) 1918: The American award for the best herbaceous peony was won by E. J. SHAYLOR for his "Mrs. Edward Harding".
(9) 1919, 24 Apr: Alice HARDING of Fanwood, NJ, age 46y 7m, arrived at Ellis Island, NY from Liverpool aboard the "Aquitania." U.S. citizen.
(7) 1920: Alice HARDING, age 41, b. NH, was living in household of husband Edward HARDING, Union Co., NJ.
(5) 1922: The French award for the best herbaceous peony went to Emile LEMOINE for 'Alice Harding'.
(5) 1923: She wrote, "Peonies in the Little Garden."
(8) 1930: Alice HARDING, age 44, b. NH, was living in household of Edward HARDING, Scotch Plains, Union Co., NJ. Parents b. NH.
(5) 1935: LEMOINE introduced another 'Alice Harding' peony, the yellow tree peony used to produce the first intersectional Itoh hybrids.
(5) 1993: The best portions of her two books on peonies were combined into one volume, "The Peony."
Change Date: 4 Oct 2012 at 01:00:00

George Woodbury Bunnell, Jr. -- Alice's first husband

Marriage to Alice Chadwick HOWARD: (5) Was married at least twice, perhaps 3 times. (6) Married twice. (8) Living with Allic H. BUNNELL in 1900, married 1 yr 6 mo. (14,19) 18 Feb 1899. (15) 1899. (14,15,19) Providence, RI. (19) By Henry BASSETT, Episcopal Rector. First marriage for both.
Divorce from Alice C. HOWARD: (21) She was remarried before Feb 1917. (23) Was divorced when he m. Thelma JACKS 25 Oct 1914.
Marriage to Thelma B. "Jackie" JACKS: (4) Photo of George W. BUNNELL and Jackie his wife was taken at wedding of Albert H. ELLIOT Jr./Dana NORTH, 26 Jul 1927. (18) Marriage to Elsie HAYDEN was 3rd marriage. (19) Wife was Thelma B. 2 Sep 1919. (23,24) His 3rd marriage. 25 Oct 1914. Readsboro, VT. By C. G. BROWN, Justice of the Peace.
Divorce from Thelma B. JACKS: (18) Was divorced when he married Elsie HAYDEN.
Marriage to Elsie Everett HAYDEN: (17) (15,18) 27 Mar 1942. Winchester, MA. (18) 45 Yale St., Winchester, MA. By Paul Harmon CHAPMAN, Clergyman. Intention recorded 20 Mar 1942 at Winchester.
Death: (5) Probably 1960's. (6,13,15,17,20,25) 14 Aug 1958. (5) Probably Brookline, MA, where he lived. (6,13,15) At his home in Norwell, Plymouth Co., MA. (17) 2:55 p.m., at Deerfield Nursing Home, Hingham, Plymouth Co., MA. (25) Hingham, Plymouth Co., MA. (17) Cause of death was coronary sclerosis (2 mos.), other significant condition Parkinson Disease (10 yrs.).
Burial: (17) 16 Aug 1958. Mt. Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, MA. Funeral Director was Sparrell Funeral Service, Norwell, MA. (25) Shawsheen Cemetery, Bedford, Middlesex Co., MA. [NOTE: Source 25 includes photo of tombstone.]

Monday Afternoon Club Membership

Monday Afternoon Club Membership

Visions of Loveliness: Great Flower Breeders of the Past By Judith M. Taylor

Visions of Loveliness: Great Flower Breeders of the Past By Judith M. Taylor

Societe Centrale d'Horticulture de Nancy

Central Society of Horticulture in Nancy
The Library "Alice Harding"

Lorraine horticultural Fund. Over 4,000 books are available to members: Art gardens, fruit and ornamental arboriculture, botany, vegetable gardening, perennials and flowering plants, garden history ... .. Many horticultural and botanical journals. Free consultations and loans to members. The oldest works are to be consulted on site. Opening hours: the 2 nd Sunday of the month before 9am lectures at 9:45 am Wednesday on request. Inquire or 11a, 54000 Nancy La Rue Godron biliothéque is that of all the members. Giving is not lost and so make the documents available to all.

Societe Centrale d'Horticulture de Nancy

Email received December 4, 2015 from the Library in Nancy, France

In our Inbox today:

name: Jean-Charles Pierron
phone: +33611620432


I am writing from Nancy, France, on behalf of the Societe Centrale d'Horticulture de Nancy whose library was named after Alice Harding.
I am in charge of the library.
Our board would like to know how to get in touch with Alice Harding's descendants (if any) or with organizations or clubs whose actions
or objectives perpetuate Alice Harding's heritage that is still highly praised in our region.
Thank you very much for your help.

Yours, sincerely,
Jean Ch Pierron

Our response:

Dear Monsieur Pierron,

Thank you for your email inquiring about our esteemed founding member, Alice Harding. We are thrilled to learn that Mrs. Harding is the patron of your library and we wish to help you as best we can.

Sadly, we are unaware of any existing family members of Mrs. Harding. We have had Mrs. Harding's accomplishments online now for years, hoping that perhaps a family member would write to us but we have not been that lucky. Mr. and Mrs. Harding had no children which no doubt enabled Mrs. Harding to be a prolific horticulturalist for her time, but leaves us without any personal contacts.

Mrs. Harding died at age 72 in 1938 and her husband, Edward who was 7 years younger than she, lived until he was 79 years-old and died in 1952. They are buried together in the local cemetery with no other relatives nearby. Their estate, Burnley Farm, no long exists and was sold off after Mr. Harding's death.

Everything we know about Mrs. Harding and her work is posted on our website HERE

Although Mrs. Harding was a founding member of our club in 1915, she was also a founding member of a larger organization, The Garden Club of America, in 1913. We are still a member club of The Garden Club of America and would be happy to put you in touch with someone there if that would help you. I am confident they would be interested in learning of the association.

In addition, Mrs. Harding donated some of her prized Lilacs to the nearby state university of New Jersey, Rutgers University. The Director of Rutgers Gardens, Mr. Bruce Crawford, would be more than willing to assist you in any way.

And lastly, if there is any information you could share with us about Mrs. Harding's work in Nancy, we would very much appreciate your efforts. There is so much we do not know about her. For example, we had never seen the portrait of her you have posted on your site.

My apologies for not being much help with the Harding family. Again, if we can help you in any way, we would be more than happy to do so.


Susan Fraser
Communications Chair
Plainfield Garden Club
Founded 1915