United States of America, New Jersey, Mercer County, Princeton
New Jersey Woodland Property (Princeton, New Jersey)
The New Jersey Woodland Property comprises 3.5 acres, a Colonial Revival house designed by architect Rolf W. Bauhan (1892-1966) in 1959, and ten distinct garden areas that the owner has been developing since 1981. Among the first area encountered is wooded lot bordered by preserved open space, a spring-fed pond, a swimming pool, and a graceful curving entry with bluestone steps and mature rhododendron and mountain laurel. Problems to overcome included a huge native deer population, undeveloped areas where invasive plants thrived, heavy clay soil, a cinder block retaining wall near the swimming pool, and the competing roots and canopies of mature trees that had to be accommodated in the landscape designs. The owner undertook a three-year course of study at the Barnes Arboretum, installed a six-foot tall deer fence around the property, and found the right plant for the right place, taking into account light, soil conditions and terrain. The style of the gardens is naturalized, with different species intermingling, rather than formally planted garden beds.
The entry courtyard was improved by replacing black asphalt with stone pavers, installing a brick retaining wall and piers, and planting bulb, perennial and shrub gardens under existing trees. The front path to the main entrance of the house is a bluestone walkway bordered by rhododendron and mountain laurel under planted with hosta, tiarella, euonymous and other ground covers. The pool terrace is in full sun, and features a 50-year-old wisteria that wraps around the house, Chippendale style gates lead to the pool, and vistas of the other gardens, pond and woodlands due to its higher elevation. Dwarf conifers are planted under the overhanging roof.
A perennial garden that replaced grass on the south side of the house was the owner's first project, with stone retaining walls defining the space. The eastern border of the property features unusual rhododendron. `The cryptomeria garden is a small woodland screen that features naturalized plantings. The woodland garden was designed with a meandering stone path and beds of naturalized perennials and shrubs but the soil was poor and needed yearly additions of leaf compost. A tennis court and outdoor room were installed in 1987 near Stony Brook and the designated open space. The banks of the pond created from a spring by the previous owners are accessible for bass fishing, with the outer perimeter planted in trees and shrubs that screen the property from the street.
Persons associated with the garden include Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Stanley (former owners, 1959-1981); Rolf W. Bauhan (architect, 1959); Robert S. Bennett (architect, 1997, 2008); David M. Lenker (landscape architect, 1959); Doerler Landscapes (landscape architect, 1973, 1975); S. Lawrence Bencze (landscape architect, 1988, 1990, 1992, 1995); Barbara J. Olejnik, CLA (landscape architect, 2000-2002); Ann Mallory (sculptor of "Forest Pool"); Roger Ditarando (sculptor of "Bird's Nest"); Charlotte Calwell Stokes (sculptor of "Francis of Assisi")
The folder includes worksheets and write-ups of the property's planting scheme.
Access to original images by appointment only. Researcher must submit request for appointment in writing. Certain items may be restricted and not available to researchers. Please direct reference inquiries to the Archives of American Gardens: email@example.com