United States of America, New Jersey, Essex, Short Hills
Repton (Short Hills, New Jersey)
The first garden borders attempted by the owner of this 1929 half-timbered Tudor style house were filled with fifty roses, species day lilies, hollyhocks and delphiniums inside low stone walls that had been cleared of brambles and debris and repaired. Hot, humid summer weather and voracious deer necessitated a rethinking of this design. Through trial and error the English-born owner found plants that deer do not eat. Perennials include foxglove, peony, iris, nepeta, astilbe, clematis, lavender, salvia, Russian sage, ferns and honeysuckle. Boxwood shrubs have thrived, replacing damaged yews and disguising deer damage to the lower branches of mature western cedar trees. Two roses remain: one in the back garden climbing on the playhouse and a rambler next to the lamppost near the street. The one-acre property includes a large expanse of lawn with perennial and shade gardens all bordered by stone, and a small pond and waterfall with a water garden. A spring riding horse set in the lawn came with the property; the owner also has a collection of vintage metal watering cans on display. Stone animals including rabbits, hedgehogs and a pig decorate the garden and steps. There are numerous birdhouses, a shaded birdbath and winterberry to welcome birds to this garden.
The property was originally part of the four and one-half acre Charlecote estate (AAG Garden #NJ023) that was subsequently subdivided; that estate's gardener lived in the house on this property. A forty-foot long greenhouse and furnace house were sited on the property but later demolished due to their deteriorated condition.
Persons associated with the garden include: Erling D. and Elinore F. Naess (former owners until 1945); John and Hazel Laird (former owners, 1945-1955); Hazel Laird (former owner, 1955-1960); Richard E. and Anne B. Fowler (former owners, 1960-1979).
The file includes worksheets and photocopies of historic photographs.