Plainfield Garden Club








Member: Harman, Miss Elsie '25

1929 Treasurer Book Active April $5.00 (Miss Elsie Harmon not listed in the 1928 Treasurer Book)
1930, 1931, 1932, 1933, 1934 Treasurer Book Active

1932 Directory* Address: 505 West Eighth Street, Plainfield
* = This directory was not dated but presumed to be from the year 1932.

1935 Treasurer book: Miss Elsie Harman transferred to Associate
Treasurer Book Associate: 1935, 1936

1937 Treasurer Book, under "Associate" Miss Elsie Harman 1/8/37 Pd.

1938 - 1939 Treasurer book: Miss Elsie Harman Transferred 4-39
1938 Treasurer book, Associate: "Trans. Active 4-10-39" Miss Elsie Harman 1/11/38 Pd 1/6/39 Pd. "Active" Miss Elsie Harman 1/8/40 Pd 1/6/41 Pd May 7, 1947

1941 - 1942 Treasurer Book, Active: Miss Elsie Harman 11/26/41 Pd. 11/20/42 Pd. 11/23/43 Pd. 11/27/44 Pd. 12/3/45 5/21/46

1942 Address: 437 Randolph Road

1947 - 1948 Treasurer Book, Active: Harman, Miss Elsie June 14. Her name is scratched out and penciled notation reads "transfer to associate" Then under "Associate" is penciled "Elsie Harman"

1949 - 1950 Treasurer Book, Associate: Harman, Miss Elsie June 8, 1949 May 29, 1950 May 1951 June 1952

1958 Address: 437 Randolph Road

1970 - 1975 Address: 437 Randolph Road, Plainfield
NOTE: Listed as a "Sustaining Member"

1975 NOTE: Miss Elsie Harman's name is crossed off the roster

Miss Elsie Harman's mother was PGC member Mrs. John F. Harman (Amelia Gray) '20

1915-1965 History of the Plainfield Garden Club

1915-1965 History of the Plainfield Garden Club

Gray Genealogy

Gray Genealogy

Amelia Gray, mar. in 1874 to John F. Harman; issue: Bry-
ant Gray Harman, b. Nov. i, 1878; Elsie Harman, b.
May 19, 1882; Helen Harman, b. Oct. 5, 1884. Mr.
Harman is of the firm of Handy & Harman, dealers in
bullion and specie. New York, and resides in Plainfield,
New Jersey.

437 Randolph Road

January 5, 2011. When the estate "Fernstone" was mentioned, PGC member Anne Shepherd knew that it was the home at 531 West 8th Street that is currently for sale.

From Plainfield, New Jersey's History & Architecture by John Grady and Dorothe Pollard:

This colonial-style cottage built in 1928 on Randolph Road is not a carriage house but after its purchase by a new owner in 1937, a legend began to grow. The homeowner had been raised at "Fernstone," a circa 1892 mansion on West Eighth Street, two blocks away from her current address. Over time, the family carriage house had been demolished, but never forgotten by the girl who played there as a child. Perhaps the home in which she lived rekindled childhood memories. Did it happen that way?

In truth, the home's interior does not reflect a typical 1920s floor plan. While the house is otherwise compact and space-efficient, the ceiling of the living room has been raised to the rafters to accomodate a staircase rising to the second floor, stongly reminiscent of many an old coach house stairway connecting the carriage room below with the hayloft above. If the home was altered to recreate the appearnce of a long-lost treasure, the vision was realized. It is a charming house and a charming legend.

Anne Shepherd's memory of Elsie Harman

January 8, 2011

When shown the photos of the house listed at 531 West 8th Street, Anne was almost certain this was Fernstone.

"The house is bright red now. I don't know what they did to it. It used to be a classic old red with ivy on it. I knew Elsie Harman. She was quite a bit older than me. She had blonde curls. She was a counselor at the camp I went to. I don't know why they say she moved a few blocks away. Randolph runs parallel to 8th. The photos from inside that you showed me are Fernstone. I would have to see the house to be sure."

When it was suggested that perhaps the lot was subdivided at the time and the main house, Fernstone became "531" and not "505" West 8th, Anne agreed that was possible.

"It is a very old house."

1941 - 1947 Club History by Etheldreda Anderegg

437 Randolph Road

Plainfield Library Photo File

G-468 1934 Grimstead House at 437 Randolph Road 437 Randolph Road House at 437 Randolph Road, image is not available.

1925 Meeting Minutes: Pages 1 to 20

1941 - 1942 Club History by Etheldreda Anderegg, version 2

[Editor's note: The original document was too faded to scan. This is a different version of a history written by Mrs. Etheldreda Anderegg from 1941 1947]

Plainfield Garden Club History
Continued to 1947

On May 14th, 1941 six years ago to-day in Cedarbrook Park the Anniversary Dogwood Trees were formally presented to the Park Commission. In making the presentation, Mrs. Arthur Nelson, president, said the garden club wished to make a gift of lasting beauty to mark its anniversary. Mr. Tracey responding for the Park Commissioners commended the club for its civic interest and declared the trees would bring a touch of beauty to thousands of lives. The gift was identified by a large boulder bearing a bronze marker. Mrs. Holliday as chairman of the Dogwood Tree Committee and of the Boulder Committee arranged the anniversary celebration.

That year, 1941, an article appeared in Horticulture in praise of our Shakespeare Garden.

A teacher of the Jefferson School staff was sent to the Audubon Nature Camp in Maine.

Handsome new yearbooks containing a revised constitution, membership lists and permanent covers with loose leaves were issued. About this time some of our members looking back upon some of our achievements of the past, and forward for new horizons to explore, agreed that once more we should storm the ramparts of the Garden Club of America. No organization in garden club circles offers to its members such a wide field of opportunities and assured prestige. This reporter has sat in many important national and state conferences were the effect of this prestige could be observed. When important decisions were due there was an intangible inference in the atmosphere which stemmed to imply "All those not members of the Garden State of America may now retire to the Jim Crow car."

Better to have failed in the high aim than to succeed vulgarly in the low one" said Browning.

So a committee to explore the possibilities of our being accepted for membership was named by Mrs. Nelson. With Mrs. Corriel as chairman, the committee consisted of Miss Elsie Harmon, Mrs. C. Boardman Tyler, Miss Elizabeth Browne, Miss William Tyler, Mrs. William A. Holliday, Mrs. James Devlin and your historian. Our search for new worlds to conquer began with a meeting at the home of Mrs. William Tyler, on February 21, 1941, when your historian read a letter she had been asked to write to Mrs. Frederic Kellogg, of Morristown Garden Club, prominent garden club personality. The letter would be interesting at this point, but unfortunately it has been lost. Suffice to say, our prise of ourselves was so completely uninhibited that the committee itself was profoundly impressed by the record of performance of the Plainfield Garden Club set forth therein. Shakespeare said "Virtue is bold, and goodness never fearful." After all they could not know our worth unless we told them. This time we forestalled a verdict that we had "accomplished nothing."

It might be interjected here that during Mrs. Goddard's regime an effort was made to join the Garden Club of America. Mrs. Kellogg, approached on that occasion, graciously entertained Mrs. Goddard and Mrs. Holliday at luncheon, and they left with the impression that Plainfield, having rejected an invitation to become a charter member of that organization during Mrs. Herring's tenure, it would be futile ever to hope for membership.

An active campaign was launched by all who had relatives or friends in member clubs. This was accelerated when it was learned that a neighboring club had an identical ambition, and had found a sponsor. Because of geographical allocation, we realized that only one of us would be admitted. When it became apparent that we had aroused interest, and had a semblance of chance for acceptance, a special meeting was called at the home of Mrs. Corriel, and the advantages of membership in the Garden Club of America, as well as the financial obligations thoroughly explored. The club was asked to decide whether they wished the committee to proceed with the negotiations. The vote was unanimously affirmative.

Subsequently Mrs. Kellogg requested that the Morristown Club have the pleasure of proposing us, and Mrs. Lauderdale of Short Hills offered to have that club second us. While we waited for the verdict, our campaign never waned.

On May 11th, 1941, tenth anniversary of Iris Garden, the executive board gave a tea to honor Miss Halloway. Mrs. Holliday arranged a delightful affair in the field house. Members of the garden club and thirty guests were invited. Miss Halloway's friends came from far and near while the Iris Garden glowed in a rainbow of colors for the occasion.

The war which was sweeping over France while Mrs. VanBoskerck's history concluded had now reached our shores. "Come to open purple testament of bleeding war." (King Richard) Our members were working for the U.S.O., the Red Cross and Camp Kilmer, apart and in conjunction with the garden club. Plans were sent to the camp to enhance its barren scenes, and seeds to Brittain. Victory gardens were planted, two new chairmanships were added to the executive board War Activities and Victory Gardens.

In May 1943, we provided vases and began to send flowers regularly to the chapels at Camp Kilmer. This is still being done. Garden books from the Garden Center were placed in the Public Library. Because of gasoline and food rationing it was becoming difficult to hold meetings. Speakers were reluctant to use scarce gasoline and tires for small groups. The war organizations were asking for more things, more effort and more money. The garden club was striving to provide all three.

In June 1943 a delegation from the Garden Club of America came to inspect our members' gardens. Those gardens chosen to head the list were duly explored and approved, but unfortunately the sand of time ran out before they could see them all, and they will never realize all they missed. However, they did see the dogwood planting, the Shakespeare and Iris gardens.

At the annual meeting Mrs. Samuel Carter gave a particularly interesting history of the Shakespeare garden, which was later read by request at the Shakespeare Club. Mrs. Carter said in part: "It has been said that we of the Western World love flowers for what they are, and that the peoples in the East love them for what they suggest. A Shakespeare Garden is full of suggestions, a speaking garden revealing the tradition, folklore and romance of the ancient and timeless plants." Mr. Tracey quoted an authority on the subject as saying that Mrs. Carter's was the finest Shakespeare Garden in the country and that over 15,000 people visited it last year.

Mrs. Coriell announced at the executive board meeting February 2nd, 1944, that Plainfield Garden Club had been elected to membership in the Garden Club of America, and letters of welcome received from sponsoring clubs. It had required three years to reach the new horizons, but a poet once said, "A horizon is nothing but the limit of our sight" so each one attained shows another beckoning in the distance.

Because of rationing, meetings were held in semi-public places of central location. Speakers stressed every phase of conservation. Garden club members were working hard at Camp Kilmer, for the Red Cross and the U.S.O.

In 1945 we became a Founder of the Blue Star Drive, our members contributing generously to this beautiful tribute to the men who served in the armed forces. It is hoped, and the hope is rapidly being fulfilled, that ultimately it will stretch from New Jersey to California.

A new custom was instituted, that of sending a sum of money to the Red Wood Tribute Grove in memory of deceased members. This year, 1945, a dance recital was given to help defray expenses of war activities. Naturally it was under the chairmanship of Miss Maud vonBoskerck, whose motto might well be "Music is my talent my dearest one." It was very successful artistically and financially.

We helped the New York Botanical Garden celebrate its Fiftieth Anniversary by sending hostesses every day for a week, and by a substantial sum of money for plant research.

In 1945 Lyons Hospital was included on our flower and plant list, and we have continued to supply it weekly for two months of each year. Flowering trees were planted along Blue Star Drive in memory of members' sons lost in the war.

Mrs. Samuel Carter and Miss Harriette Halloway received awards from the Garden Club of New Jersey for their work in Shakespeare and Iris gardens respectively.

Besides bouquets were made twice a week for the wards at Camp Kilmer, beginning in May. Our members volunteered to arrange them.

By this time we were discovering that those "new worlds to conquer" for which we had longed, were providing more opportunities than we could well cope with, and so a junior membership was formed, now numbering six.

The associate membership was enlarged to thirty-five so that active members might be enabled to transfer to it. A questionnaire was sent of work they wished to do. In a Garden Club of America contest for a year's program, Miss Halloway's won honorable mention.

Beginning early in December members of the club met every day in Mrs. Boardman Tyler's studio to make Christmas decorations for the hospital at Camp Kilmer. A big fire blazed in the stove, tons of varied evergreens were provided as well as all other necessary equipment. The studio hummed like Santa Claus' workshop, and great quantities of wreaths with large red bows, small bouquets and other favors emerged to cheer the soldiers at Camp Kilmer and Lyons Hospitals. Joyce Kilmer, for whom the camp was named, wrote of his experience in the other World War: "My shoulders ache beneath my pack, Lie easier cross upon his back" We hoped we eased their burden just a little.

The opportunities offered by the Garden Club of America in the field of conservation are so many and so varied, it was necessary to choose which tangent to pursue. In view of the community and national problems of vandalism and child delinquency, it was thought wise to concentrate the major effort in combating these evils. Working through the public schools seemed the most logical procedure. Mr. Wimer of Jefferson School and Mrs. Rulison of the Park Commission have offered sympathetic cooperation. The first step in the program is the establishment of school gardens, now in process of being planted. The garden club provided the funds. A trial garden, or proving bed was started in Cedarbrook Park in 1946. This year many new perennials were added.

Mrs. Hubble's artistic ability was employed so successfully in redecorating the Garden Center, this observer could scarcely recognize it.

The Garden Club of New Jersey bestowed an award upon us for meritorious work at Camp Kilmer. Miss Halloway has made additions to the peony, Iris and Narcissus gardens. It again became necessary to raise money, and a repeat performance by request, of the dance recital was staged by Miss Van Boskerck.

A suggestion from the Garden Club of New Jersey that we plant a tree to honor garden weekled, after consultation with Mr. Tracey, to the beginning of a dogwood arboretum comprising all the varieties that will grow in this vicinity. Twenty-five varieties have already been planted.

Santa Claus helpers gathered again in Mrs. Tyler's studio to make decorations for Camp Kilmer, and surpassed their effort of the previous year. Our work in this Project was not equaled by that of any club either year.

A thrill of pride must have quivered through our membership from founders to newest recruits, triumphs of our members who exhibited in the New York Flower Show. In the realm of flower arrangement there is no more coveted award than the Fenwick Medal. Our Mrs. deHart was runner up fro that prize last year. This year four exhibits won three blue ribbons and two special awards. It was a magnificent performance which won for us third place in the sweepstakes.

Chapel flowers still are sent to Camp Kilmer. Our members arrange them. We take our turn with the other clubs supplying flowers for the entire hospital regularly from gardens when possible, from florists in cold weather. Two gray Ladies representing Plainfield Garden Club, arrange and distribute the flowers through the wards. The by-laws were again revised and new books issued for the permanent covers.

The executive committee has not overlooked the fact that a War Memorial is of paramount interest to the garden club. Much time as been spent in discussion and deep thought given the matter. Mrs. Boardman Tyler has been named a member of the committee. This year we are sending a teacher to the Audubon Nature Camp in Maine, and another to the Conservation Workshop in Trenton.

Several members have been invited to speak on varied subjects, notably Mrs. Garret Smith on Church Gardens, and Miss Halloway on horticultural subjects. Mrs. Garret has been honored as founder of the Little Garden Club of New York City, of which she is honorary president.

A big of biographical information picked up while perusing the minutes is that our new president, Mrs. Loziuex, became a member of the club in 1940, second vice president in 1942, again in 1945, first vice president in 1946 and president in 1947.

Having been a member of the club only ten years, your historian cannot speak with absolute authority, but thinks it probably that the club reached greater heights of achievement under this administration of Mrs. Tyler than during any comparable period of time. This is partly true because of the new opportunities offered by affiliation with the Garden Club of America, and partly due to Mrs. Tyler's dynamic energy and her determination that the Plainfield Garden Club take advantage of these opportunities and assume its rightful position in the vanguard of progressive garden clubs.

Junius described Mrs. Tyler perfectly when he wrote: "the heart to conceive, the understanding to direct and the hand to execute."

We notice as we go over the chronicles of the garden club, the absence of names once listed so frequently:

Those whom we loved so long, and see no more
Loved and still love,
Not dead, but gone before.

If we ever adopt a coat of arms, it might well show crossed trowels over a field of flower arrangements, the other expounding the futility of vandalism to a young cub. And the motto? It must be from Shakespeare, and it is from The Tempest: Now would I give a thousand furlongs of sea for an acre of barren ground.

Or if we choose to abandon the classics: Never a dull moment!

Etheldreda Anderegg
Historian, 1947

May 13, 1925 Meeting Minutes

Smith College 1911

Harman, Elsie
505 8th Street
Plainfield, N.J.
00-02

May 13, 1925 Meeting Minutes

Smith College 1890

Harman, Elsie Plainfield, N.J. Hatfield House

1925 Meeting Minutes

Duffields in Camden, South Carolina

http://www.southerngardenhistory.org/PDF/Magnolia%20_spring_2009.pdf


Duffields is another of Camden's important twentieth century gardens. In 1937 Miss Helen Harman relocated from Plainfield, New Jersey, and spent the years up to 1960, cultivating an important collection of camellias which now enjoy the stewardship of owners who acquired the property.

1938-1939 Meeting Minutes

Aiken, Georgia newspaper Friday, February 5, 1954

http://www.newspaperarchive.com/SiteMap/FreePdfPreview.aspx?img=106741191

Town Topices . . . by Sue Howard

Camellias - ca-MELL0yas, that is – remain the topic of conversation in Aiken these days prior to the Aiken Camellia Club's inital show to be held at the Municipal Auditorium on Wednesday, February 10 between the hours of 2 and 10 p.m.

Eyes of camellia lovers everywhere turned to historic Charleston last Friday and Saturday when the meeting of the state group, the convention of the American Camellia Society was held in conjunction with the annual Garden Club of Charleston's Camellia show which more than 10,000 attended, visiting the city where the first camellias in America were planted, viewing more than 8,000 blooms.

Mr. Wendell M. Levi of Sumter was elected president of the South Carolina Camellia Society and local camellia growers will be proud to know that Mr. R. R. Mellette, Aiken County Farm Agent, was elected to the Board of Directors.

In addition to election of officers and directors, the society granted honorary memberships to a number of persons living outside South Carolina in recognition of outstanding contributions to the camellia world.

Regional meetings are planned at Greenwood, Feb. 27 and 28 and at Clemson, March 20.

Officers elected included John M. Napier of Darlington executive vice-president; L. Caston Wannamaker of Cheraw, second vice-president; J. Fred Ruse of Greenwood, secretary and treasurer, and R. Frank Brownless, of Anderson, chairman in charge of the Clemson test garden.

Directors elected were:
1st Distric: Charles C. Funderbuark of North Charleston; 2nd District, Russell Melletic of Aiken; 3rd District, Mark T. Boatwright of Johnston; 4th District, Cecil Morris of Greenville; 5th District, Mansfield Latimer of Rock Hill; and 6th District, Mrs. D. O. Holman of Timmonsville.

Mr. Levi appointed Calder W. Siebels of Columbia director of the South Carolina Camellia Society Bulletin and Miss Helen Harman of Camden, director of programs.

1954 - 1970 296 Images from Plainfield Library Scrapbook

January 21, 1953

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=2506&dat=19530121&id=7Ms8AAAAIBAJ&sjid=7i0MAAAAIBAJ&pg=4680,4960946

Numerous Camellia Notables Will Attend Sumter Show

Miss Helen Harman of Camden, secretary of the South Carolina Camellia Society;

Saturday, April 29, 1961

City Garden Club Planning Tour

The Plainfield Garden Club is holding a tour of members' gardens, for members only, from 2 to 5 p.m. Tuesday with Wednesday the rain date. Mrs. Noah C. Barnhart is general chairman of the tour and Mrs. Edwin J. Fitzpatrick is vice chairman.

Hostesses who will open their gardens for the tour are: Mrs. Richard M. Lawton, 1215 Prospect Ave.; Mrs. Harry Brokaw Smith, 676 W. Eighth St.; Mrs. William P. Elliott, 822 Arlington Ave.; Miss Elsie Harmon, 437 Randolph Rd.; and Mrs. James H. Whitehead, 1340 Watchung Ave.

Plainfield Public Library Archive

1936

Mrs. Clifford Baker Heads Garden Club; Reports Stress Recent Civic Improvements

Election of officers of the year's work, especailly that of a civic nature recently undertaken, and an address by Mrs. Otto Lane, who gave instructions in making conservation Christmas wreaths, featured the annual meeting of the Plainfield Garden Club yesterday at the home of Mrs. George W. Fraker in Rahway Road.

Mrs. Leslie Runyon Fort, retiring president, was in charge of the business session. These officers were chosen for the coming year: President, Mrs. Clifford M. Baker; vice-presidents, Mrs. Harry P. Marshall and Mrs. Raymond V. V. Miller; recording secretary, Mrs. Anna Stewartl corresponding secretary, Miss Laura Detwiller; treasurer, Mrs. Frederick W. Yates.

Mrs. Samuel T. Carter, Jr., gave a report of the work in the Shakespeare Garden in Cedar Brook Park. During the year there were a number of plantings in the garden which have added to its attractiveness.

Mrs. Thomas R. Van Boskerck requested donations of jellies for the Flower, Plant and Fruit Guild for distribution among the sick and shut-ins. They can be sent to her home, 1232 Prospect Avenue.

The following letter was received from Edward Baker, Jr., president of the Lions club:

"I am writing you in behalf of the Lions Club of Plainfield in regarde to the very wonderful work the Plainfield Garden Club is doing around our city. Some of the members of our club have seen the work in Cottage Place and also, the brook in Watchung Avenue, which is about completed. We just want you to know that we consider this one of the finest pieces of civic service which has been rendered Plainfield. As citizens and members of the Lions Club we certainly appreciate this work."

A report of unusual interest was presented by the conservation committe of the club. It was in part as follows:

"In early October, 1931, at the request of the Chamber of Commerce a survey was made by our president, Mrs. Leslie R. Fort and the chairman of the conservation committee of the Chamber of Commerce. This report embodied suggestions for work at conscpicuous places in the city . . . be of help in unemployment relief the club made an appropriation to be used as far as possible for wages only. Great interest was at once shown not only by club members, but also by people in many walks of life.

"Two projects were undertaken. The one first begun was Cottage Place close to the railroad tracks. Following some publicity for the work being attempted, gifts came freely – top soil, manure, plants, trees and shrubs. City officials, those of the park and street departments and the New Jersey Central, co-operated gernerously.

"Today a beautiful little park awaits the spring. There have been planted 31 trees where none stood before; 26 rose bushes and over 375 other plants and shurbs have been most carefully set out. This work employed 139 hours at 50 cents an hour and 312 hours at 40 cents an hour. The expenditure was $169.50. Cottage park has been evolved.

"It was evident when the work at Cottage Place was well underway that a second piece of work could be begun. The south bank of Green Brook at the Watchung Avenue bridge was chosen as the worst eyesore in the city. Here, as in Cottage Place, advice was generously given that nothing could be done. But the gardeners just kept on working. Gifts kept coming. A tractor was brought in to cope with stones and debris impossible for men to move. Today another pleasnt little park created by the garden club also awaits the spring.

"Because in pioneer days the little stream, now called Green Brook, was called the Sahcunk River, streams, and the tribe dwelling here along its banks were teh Sahcunk Indians, this little park made by our club is now called Sahcunk Park. In those early days from Rock Avenue to Bound Brook there was located Waccaho-vo-howiohy Village, the name meaning "where you can dig into the ground."

"In two projects 28 1/4 hours at 50 cents an hour and 211 3/4 hours at 40 cents an hour made an expenditure of $99.30. The total planting of 51 trees, 89 roses and 750 other plants and shrubs cost $268.60. Every cent went for wages so the garden club has the enviable record of being able to dispense 100 per cent relief. The fine co-operative spirit shown in every direction made every moment a delight.

"Those of us who really dug in the gardens are quite conscious that many defects may be discovered easily by those so minded. But we trust that these plots, slected as behicles for helping those in distress will be filled with flowers and restful shade. And we hope that each succeeding year will find these spots a little lovelier because of our civic interest in them and that this part of co-operative effort will not be forsaken."

Among the women who were actively engaged in these enterprises were Mrs. Leslie R. Fort, president; Mrs. J. L. Devlin, Mrs. Thomas R. VanBoskerck, Mrs. Garret Smith, Mrs. Henry L. DeForest, Mrs. Clinton Ivins, Miss Elsie Harman, Mrs. Charles A. Eaton and Mrs. Henry Wells.

Thursday, May 5, 1961 Spring's Beauty Displayed on Tour of 6 Gardens

by Jill Koehler

Small gardens are oases from heat-reflecting streets and traffic's din. They're as individual as the people who plan and lovingly nurture them.

That was evident yesterday in the Plainfield Garden Club's tour, for members and their guests, of six members' gardens.

Hostesses in their gardens were: Mrs. Harry Brokaw Smith, 676 W. Eighth St.; Mrs. Victor R. King, 826 Arlington Ave.; Mrs. William P. Elliott, 822 Arlington Ave., Miss Elsie Harman, 437 Randolph Rd.; Mrs. Richard M. Lawton, 1215 Prospect Ave.; and Mrs. James H. Whitehead, 1340 Watchung Ave.

Mrs. Noah C. Barnhart, Jr. was general chairman and Mrs. Edwin J. Fitzpatrick, vice chairman. Mrs. F. Gregg Burger was in charge of publicity.

Covers 3/4 of Acre

The Smith property, which include the horticultural interests of both Mr. and Mrs. Smith, is a series of gardens covering three-quarters of an acre. These contain plantings of ornamental trees, flowering shrubs, bulbs, perennials and a few annuals.

Winding through a small woodland of wild flowers and shrubs is an Enoch's walk, named from the verse about the patriarch in Genesis.

Standing watch over a patterned medieval herb garden is a statue of Fiacre, after whom the first cabs in Paris were named. While surrounded by a rock garden is a rustic pool a-glitter with its whippet swimming goldfish.

Among the hundreds of interesting plantings is: A Swiss mountain pine more than 25 years old that stands less than a foot high; the hinoki cypress that grows just two or three inches a year; Mediterranean heather that blooms all Winter; enkianthus, the bellflower tree with blooms shaped like small Dutchman's pipes.

15-foot Holly

Now a majestic 15-feet is the English holly, "Olive Smith," a seedling raised by Mr. Smith. Just before reaching the shaded walk is a wide swath of grass centered by a huge apple tree with its arms reaching to the birds and sky.

Surrounding the King garden on three sides is a French chestnut fence that is planted with 11 varieties of clematis.

Heavily shaded in most areas by large maples, white birches and dogwood, the basic planting is evergreen interspersed with such plantings as rhododendron, azalea, cherry laurel, yew, andromeda and recently, as an expedient, three camellia japonica from Oregon.

Early flowering Spring tulips still nod their heads in greeting. White primrose pertly face up at the edges of some beds and gerrymander edges the rose bed in the only sunny spot.

Herb Garden

Planted in the protection of the house is the herb garden which includes sweet woodruff, the herb used by the Germans to make May wine.

Green plantings for shade, enhanced by the use of brick and ironwork, are the features of the Elliott garden.

A lead figure of a young girl called "Growing Things" stands near a pink wall of brick and stucco. The wall is a backdrop for the Fashion roses whose blooms will soon blend with the pink.

Once a glaring white, a mauve colored garage wall now sets a peaceful tone as it catches the shadows of fluttering leaves and is reflected in the pool in front of it.

Ironwork grilles on the pink wall were once horse stall dividers. A grille over the garage window was once a gate an ironwork snow eagles on the edge of the garage roof are from an old Pennsylvania house.

Additions this year include a brick walk to the gate-enclosed compost heap; the steel curbing in the driveway where new plantings have replaced three overgrown cedar trees.

Other Plantings

Among the many plantings are Delaware Valley azaleas, magnolia and flowering cherry trees, skimmer, cotoneaster, jasmine and clematis.

Visitors to Miss Harman's garden first viewed it as they stepped from living room to terrace. To the right of the terrace is the cryptomeria tree, a native of Japan, that could well be an inspiration to an artist. The texture of its bark is of particular beauty and the branching of its arms is unusual.

The large expanse of lawn is gracefully framed by a border of ten varieties of shrubs. Another tree of note is the pine oak, while dogwoods gently branch out over pink and violet tulips.

The path follows a series of "rounds" from an old millstone at the foot of the terrace steps; to a sundial, more than 100 years old, from an English estate; to the Moon Gate with spider web at the end of the garden.

Sandstone Birdbath

Near the terrace is the figure of "Dancing Girl" and an old Jersey sandstone birdbath, probably originally used as a horse trough.


The Lawton garden 60 by 176 feet, contains 48 trees, 94 shrubs, 10 climbing and 22 shrub roses and 102 kinds of herbaceous perennials, not including those in the rock garden.

Stretching its branches gracefully and colorfully is a generous sized crabapple tree that casts comfortable shadows over Summer luncheon spot of the Lawtons.

Fitting in decorously among the many trees is an unusual and Slimly Tall Japanese cherry tree. A silver bell tree over the pool still drinks in refreshing rain for its promised future bloom. While nearby the wild crocus blossomed and sang farewell in March.

Many of the late arriving jonquils still spread their petals wide and the dainty blue flowers of the anchusa dot the ground here and there.

A lush growth of myrtle grown from a few shoots from the garden of Mrs. Lawton's great-grandmother, covers the driveway bank.

Formal Garden

The Whitehead garden of 75 by 200 feet gives one a vista of the more formal English type garden. Designed and maintained by her, until recently, it opens to box hedged rose beds flanking the garden walk.

It is a garden of serenity, a Spring garden with bulbs, anchusa and bleeding hearts followed by white azaleas, lilacs, peonies and pink and white hawthorne trees.

In June the roses will give a delightful contrast to the verdant rich carpet of grass and in the Summer it will become a cool and shady spot.

To the visitor there is the pleasant surprise of a garden within a garden on a right angle at the rear. Focal point of this banked garden, framed with shrubs and flowers, is its pool with a fountain statue.

1952 - 1953 Check Book

No. 981
Jan. 16, 1952 [1953]
Monday Afternoon Club
money to be returned by Mrs. Martin, Miss Harmon and Mrs. Coriel
$23.00

1973-1974 PGC Directory

1946 Check Book

No. 607
June 5, 1946
Herbert C. Brownwell
Lecture
Budget - Programs
$30.00

No. 608
June 10, 1946
Elsie Harman
For Shakespeare Garden
(sale of plants)
$10.00
Budget

No. 609
June 12, 1946
Harriette R. Halloway
Iris Budget
$25.00

1974-1975 Directory

Residence of John F. Harman, 505 West Eighth Street

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

November 3, 2013

The Garden History & Design subjects in Plainfield seem almost without limit. Thursday's foray into the Library archives has turned up a documented 1961 Garden tour of 6 outstanding Plainfield gardens:

1. 1215 Prospect Avenue
– featured a rock garden and the PGC member was a member of the American Rock Garden Society. " . . . the garden 60 by 176 feet, contains 48 trees, 94 shrubs, 10 climbing and 22 shrub roses and 102 kinds of herbaceous perennials, not including those in the rock garden."

2. 676 West Eighth Street
– featured an Enoch's Walk (!); a statue of Fiacre (Irish monk and patron saint of Parisian cabs (!!); and a "patterned" Medieval herb garden. This PGC member was a national award-winner and noted member of the American Herb Society.

3. 822 Arlington
– featured brick and ironwork; lead figure of a young girl called "Growing Things" with roses growing around; a pink wall with iron grilles once used as horse stall dividers from the carriage house.

4. 826 Arlington
– featured a "French Chestnut Fence" planted with 11 varieties of Clematis.

5. 437 Randolph Road
– featured a Cryptomeria off the terrace, a millstone and a 100 year-old sundial from England.

6. 1340 Watchung Avenue
– featured a formal English garden with Boxwood hedges and Roses

Jenny Rose Carey advised us all in October of the importance of going back to these gardens and photographing possible remnants. What, if anything, do you think remains from '61?

PS. What did that "French Chestnut Fence" look like . . . probably something along these lines, click here.

Monday Afternoon Club Membership

Monday Afternoon Club Membership

Monday Afternoon Club Membership