December 10, 2018 Herb 0Comment
Holidays at Drumthwacket
Garden Club of New Jersey volunteers decorate Drumthwacket annually in holiday finery. Photo Credit: The Drumthwacket Foundation

Tis the season to be jolly…Get into the holiday spirit. With the holiday season fast approaching, Governor Phil Murphy and First Lady Tammy Murphy and partners Garden Club of New Jersey and the Drumthwacket Foundation, invite residents, family and staff of Hearthstone Estates and New Jersey residents to celebrate the Holidays at Drumthwacket, at the Governor’s official residence in Princeton.

It’s a quick drive, only 46-miles (a 56-minute drive), from Lakewood to Princeton, to attend this widely anticipated annual holiday event.

Check your calendar. A self-guided, open house tours are scheduled for these dates: on the following dates: Wednesday, December 12, 2018, 11:00am – 1:30 pm; Sunday, December 16, 2018, 11:00 am – 1:30 pm; Wednesday, December 19, 2018, 11:00 am – 1:30 pm.

“The longstanding tradition of opening Drumthwacket during the holidays is a wonderful way for all New Jersey families to feel pride in the historical mansion, beautifully decorated for the season at the discretion of local garden clubs,” said First Lady Tammy Murphy in a statement announcing the open house tours. “Phil and I look forward to welcoming everyone and opening our doors and hearts this holiday season.,” she says.

According to statement, the Drumthwacket Foundation, in partnership with New Jersey Garden Clubs, will decorate each room using green fresh arrangements and greenery in each room on the first floor of the residence to complement the architecture and décor of the historic Greek Revival building.

Here’s what you will see…

The Garden Club of Mountain Lakes will decorate the front portico with the scent of fresh greens and striking magnolia leaves cut from Drumthwackets’ gardens. Natural accents dress the grand entrance and its magnificent surroundings. Traditional colors of the holiday season stand out against the crisp white of the mansion, while candle lanterns placed at the entrance warm up the entrance for all to see.

The Garden Club of Keyport is charged to decorate the Mansion’s entry foyer at Drumthwacket, creating a “Childhood Christmas Memory,” decorated in traditional and elegant Dickensian style. The mansion’s magnificent staircase displays a wonderful garland of traditional Christmas greens and colors. Victorian era decorations adorn the wall to wall window seat in the landing, and an assortment of toys from this era will delight any child.

The lovely wood pieces in the entry foyer are decorated, by the Garden Club of Keyport, with seasonal greens and twigs, Hydrangeas in varying colors, Gomphrena stems in beautiful red and white, Sedums and Celosia, as well as a touch of yellow Asters.  The décor is enhanced throughout with Victorian favorite fabrics, pieces and colors. The red, gold and silver ribbons are threaded throughout the garlands. The Hall Christmas Tree is decorated with red, gold and silver Christmas ribbons and balls, Cherubs and Victorian style ornaments. Finally, matching tear drop garlands have been placed over the foyer’s doorways.

The Garden Club of Essex Fells tackles the holiday decor of the magnificent dining room by bringing some of the magic of the Essex Fells wooded Glen to Drumthwacket with a festive “Partridge in a Dogwood Tree” theme. Branches of Dogwood, the symbol of Essex Fells, faux birds from its Bird Sanctuary and glimmering arrays of natural Hydrangea, Hemlock, Elderberry’s, Winterberry’s, Violets, Lily and Partridgeberry adorn the dining room

The Garden Club of Bernardsville welcome guests to step into the Georgian décor parlor, bringing the holiday spirit to all.  The parlor room is accented with topiaries, fruits and classic touches of flowering seasonal plants. A palette of white shades of winter and soft greens are accented by gold and seasonal reds. A special Georgian Santa adds enchantment to the room.

Coming into the stately music room, decorated by the Garden Club of West Trenton, y will be propelled back in time to the Victorian era by seeing the decorations of natural evergreens, holly, and garlands, gilded pine cone creations, soft candlelight, elegant ribbons, and period décor perfect for their holiday gatherings.

The Garden Club of Stony Brook highlights the beautiful architectural details of the library with season decor, a peaceful reading space.  Warmth, color and tradition is brought into the library, using a variety of red branches, vibrant amaryllis blooms, bright berries and green foliage.  The library’s historic literary legacy is highlight through the use of books and book-related themes as decorations on the trees and throughout the room.

Now we come to the Governor Murphy’s Study, decorated with its concept of a “Winter Fantasy,” by the Garden Club of Belvidere.  The room is lightened and brightened with glistening and shimmering decor in shades of pale gold, muted silver, frosted white with splashes of turquoise and shades of green. Holiday greens, pine cones, feathers, live plants, crystals and mirrors as well as deer and owls are used within the study to enhance the room’s rich features of the study.

Finally, the Garden Club of Warren brings you the simple décor of residence wreaths, with bright red bows, hung across the front façade of the residence.  The wreaths placed on the front gate include components from the Lenox’s New Jersey “Colonial Christmas” plate, including many different types of “Jersey Fresh” greens, holly berries, spruce and cedar berries, pinecones and apples.  The wreaths are finished with complementary bows tinged with gold that brighten the old gates.

Recognizing the Partners

The Garden Club of New Jersey (GCNJ), founded in 1925, serves over 4700 members in 109 clubs throughout the Garden State.   Landscape Design, Gardening Study and Flower Show Schools are offered for educational development.   The GCNJ provides education, resources and many opportunities for young and old New Jerseyans to expand their love of gardening and floral design.

The Drumthwacket Foundation, founded in 1982, serves to inspire pride in and enhance the civic awareness of Drumthwacket, the official New Jersey Governor’s residence and a nationally landmarked historic site.

Reservations are required, admission and parking on-site are free of charge. Drumthwacket is also wheelchair accessible. To make your tour arrangements, visit

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