Once again The Gardeners worked their holiday magic on Woodford Mansion thanks to the guidance of Sandra Hudson and Mieke Pistone. The dining room was ready for guests, the festive staircase garland will invite guests to their rooms and in the kitchen the gingerbread house was complete and the food ready to be served. Another garden club prepared the parlor for music. In past years, The Gardeners have helped keep Christmas in Lemon Hill, Cedar Grove and Strawberry Mansion.
According to a Fairmount Park write-up: in 1756-58, William Coleman, A Philadelphia merchant and close friend of Benjamin Franklin, built this elegant country home. Woodford is one of the most elegant survivors of the early “summer retreats” that were built along the Schuylkill River during the eighteenth and early nineteenth century by Philadelphia’s well-to-do.
Today Woodford–a National Historic Landmark–is owned by the Fairmount Park Commission and operated by the Naomi Wood Trust. The house is furnished with an extraordinary collection of eighteenth and early nineteenth antiques by Naomi Wood, a Philadelphia-born collector.
Sandra Hudson is a veteran at chairing our Christmas decorating having organized several of these events over her years with the club; but, that said, she had a hardworking cast to help her which included both new and experienced members. We all had a good time working on this project. I think our newer members enjoyed the camaraderie and the chance to form some new friendships. Of course, The Gardeners always have a table of food for volunteers with hot soup on the burner to help our energy and our enthusiasm.
We can’t forget to give a big thanks to both Jane Moore, who created the gingerbread house, and to Barbara Myers who baked, decorated and preserved our artificial, but realistic food.
Woodford will be part of guided trolley tours. The tours will be in progress from December 5 through the 15. Go on the internet to find details about the tours and tickets.