In the Garden
While the nickname "the Garden State" originated from New Jersey's booming farm industry, today there are numerous beautiful botanical gardens found throughout the state. Here are some favorite ones for you to explore. Visitors are welcome to stroll the grounds enjoying the gardens throughout the changing seasons. The majority of the gardens listed are free to the public and open year round, daily dawn to dusk.
Avis Campbell Gardens
60 South Fullerton Ave, Montclair
Tucked away behind the United Way Building in the busy center of Montclair, is a lovely flower garden filled with a colorful variety of annuals and perennials. A central water fountain creates a soothing atmosphere. Roses abound in this tiny paradise that boasts a formal English-style walled garden. While in the area, enjoy some downtown shopping and stop in to admire Avis Campbell Gardens.
Bamboo Brook Garden
170 Longview Rd, Far Hills
The Bamboo Brook Outdoor Education Center was once the home of William and Martha Brookes Hutcheson from 1911 to 1959. An example of early 20th century landscaping, the gardens were designed by Martha herself, who was one of the country's first women landscape architects. Water was an important feature during that era as seen at the Upper and Lower Waters and the Circular Pool. A large portion of the gardens has been restored to their circa 1945 appearance. Just down the road, visit Willowwood Arboretum.
Camden Children's Garden
3 Riverside Dr, Camden
Photo credit: Top: Facebook/Camden Children's Garden; Bottom: Camden Children's Garden
Camden’s Children’s Garden provides fun horticultural experiences for kids of all ages. Visit a fun Dinosaur Garden, the Storybook Garden, a Picnic Garden with oversized cups and bowls and the Four Seasons Butterfly House. Look out over the Tree House and crawl through an underground maze. Ride the Arrow River Train and the Garden Carousel. Open March through December. Hours are Wed-Fri 10am-3pm; Sat-Sun 10am-4pm. General admission is $9, guests under 1 free.
Colonial Park Gardens
156 Mettlers Rd, Somerset
This perennial garden has something blooming for every season. View daffodils, lilacs, and daphnes in the spring. Summer blooms irises, peonies and lilies. In the fall, you will see asters, ornamental grasses and butterfly bushes. Evergreens and winterberry hollies are showcased in Winter. Colonial Park also is home to a 144 acre arboretum, a Fragrance & Sensory Garden and the Rudolph W van der Goot Rose Garden with over 3,000 roses including 285 different types.
Cross Estate Gardens
61 Jockey Hollow Rd, Bernardsville
This lovely secret garden is located at the Cross Estate mansion in Morristown National Historic Park. The early 20th century design has a show-stopping wisteria-covered 19 stoned columned pergola. There is a formal perennial garden and a native plant garden. Enjoy a peaceful walk through the lawn garden lined with rhododendrons and primroses. Tours of the garden are offered in mid-April through October on Wednesday mornings. Call to make a reservation.
Davis Johnson Park & Gardens
137 Engle St, Tenafly
This 7 acre park is the former estate of Alliene S.D. Johnson. It boasts a beautiful gazebo with wooden bench seating perfect for an outdoor affair. The Jack D. Lissemore Rose Garden, an award winning rose garden is located here. Also on the property is a collection of dwarf conifers and a sunken garden. Stroll along the scenic walking paths and look for the stone ruins of the former Johnson mansion.
Deep Cut Gardens 352 Red Hill Rd, Middletown
Named after the deep valley in which they were made, this property was bought by Vito Genovese in 1935 and designed to be reminiscent of gardens of Italy. The Rose Parterre features 52 beautiful varieties of roses. A stunning wooden Pergola stands at the end of the garden. Other features include cascade pools, a meadow walk, a Lily Pod with large goldfish and a unique Japanese-Themed Garden.
Duke Farms 80 Rte 206 South, Hillsborough | 908-722-3700
Spend the day at this beautiful 1,000 acre paradise donated by Doris Duke. Start your visit at the Orientation Center and pick up a map of the grounds that include over 18 miles of walking trails. Some of the highlights are the Old Foundation, the Hay Barn, the Great Falls and an indoor Orchid Range. Enjoy breakfast or lunch at the Farm Barn Café. Bicycles are available to rent at the Bikeshare Program. Duke Farms is open daily 8:30am - 4:30pm; closed on Wednesdays.
Greenwood Gardens 274 Old Short Hills Rd, Short Hills | 973-376-3587
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this 28 acre garden was once the estate of Joseph P. Day in the late 1920’s. The Gardens are in the process of being restored to their original glory days that included sunny green lawns and grottoes decorated with colorful glazed tiles. Follow the self-guided walking tour showing the main lawn, the Tea House, a reflecting pool terrace, the Garden of the Zodiac, the Dragon Fountain Pool, a lovely pond, open meadows, and more. This whimsical garden is a top pick and is open Thursday through Sunday from 10am-5pm. Closed in the winter. Admission is $10, children under 12 are free.
Leonard J Buck Gardens 11 Layton Rd, Far Hills | 908-234-2677
This 33 acre garden was designed in the 1930’s by its owner, Leonard J Buck, a geologist who wanted to create a naturalistic woodland garden using large rock outcroppings found on the grounds. Today it is one of the east coasts leading rock gardens, featuring rare native and exotic plants in a setting of a wooded stream valley. Features wildflowers, ferns, rich rhododendrons and azalea bushes. Open daily April to Nov, Mon-Fri 10am-4pm, Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 12pm-5pm. Open 8am-8pm on Wednesdays May- August. Peak visiting time is May and early June. Closed on holidays and weekends December through March.
Macculoch Hall Museum & Gardens 45 Macculloch Ave, Morristown| 973-538-2404
This 1810 brick Federal style mansion, now a historical museum, was once owned by George and Lousia Macculloch. In the backyard you will find a beautiful garden with over 65 varieties of period heirloom roses including 2 different types of roses known only as "Old Macculloch Hall Roses." The back porch boasts a wisteria trellis, a gift brought all the way from Japan. While there is a fee for the museum, the gardens are free and always open to the public daily 9am-5pm.
Morven Museum & Garden 55 Stockton St, Princeton | 609-924-8144
Built in 1750, this national landmark is a former NJ Governor's Mansion. Included on the grounds is a restored horse chestnut walk and the formal front lawn is lined with Southern catalpa trees. The back courtyard boasts a 19th century brick wall and the Colonial Revival garden. In the kitchen garden, find vegetable beds growing heirloom as well as modern types of roots and fruits. Visit the mansion and gardens for an admission fee of $10 on Wed-Sun 10am-4pm. Enjoy an afternoon Tea & Tour for $22 on Wednesdays in the Garden Room.
New Jersey Botanical Gardens 1304 Sloatsburg Rd, Ringwood | 973-962-7527
Skyland Manor house with a 96 acre garden is NJ's official botanical garden. The nine formal gardens include the Peony Garden, an Azalea Garden, the Perennial Border, a Lilac Garden, the Crab Apple Vista, the Rock Garden, a Magnolia Walk and the Winter Garden. Walk along woodland paths and enjoy the scenery. Tours of the mansion are given on selected Sundays for a fee of $7. Garden entrance is free and open daily from 8am-8pm. Winter month hours are from 8am-6pm. A $5 parking fee is charged on weekends from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
Rutgers Gardens 112 Ryders Lane, New Brunswick | 732-932-8451
Maintained by Rutgers University, this research and display garden sits on 180 acres and has 1,200 types of plants. Pick up a map of the grounds and view unique annuals, azalea, shrub, evergreen and Rhododendron Gardens. There is an Ornamental Tree Collection and the largest collection of American Hollies in the world is found here. Take a photo sitting on a giant Adirondack Chair. Explore enchanting Bamboo Forest. Open daily 8:30am-dusk.
Sayen House & Gardens 155 Hughes Dr, Hamilton | 609-587-7356
In the early 1900's, Frederick Sayen, an avid gardener, traveled the world and brought back a collection of rare plants and flowers from China, Japan and England. Many are still found here as is Fred's 1912 bungalow style home. Grounds include nature trails, fish ponds and gazebos. See over 1,000 azaleas and 500 rhododendrons. Visit during the Annual Azalea Festival held on Mother's Day.
Van Vleck House & Gardens 21 Van Vleck St, Montclair | 973-744-0837
This once private estate was owned by the Van Vleck family was built in 1916 This classic styled Mediterranean villa features a stunning 50 year old Chinese wisteria displayed in the courtyard. The gardens here include a Formal Garden, the Woodlands Garden, the Winter Garden, the Children's Butterfly Garden and a Mother's Garden. An extensive collection of azaleas and rhododendrons is showcased on this peaceful 6 acre property.
Well Sweep Herb Farm 205 Mount Bethel Rd, Port Murray | 908-852-5390
Well Sweep Herb Farm, boasts one of the largest herb collections in the country. In the formal display garden, herbs range from familiar and unusual names to the rare and exotic. Stroll along the garden paths, passing by 80 types of scented-leaf geraniums as well as lavenders, rosemarys and thymes. In the Healing Garden, have fun viewing all the plants and reading their labels describing their remedies such as 'lung wort' for soothing coughs. Country gift shop. Open Mon-Sat 9am-5pm, Sun 11am-4pm. Call for winter hours.
The following gardens are open for just a short time during their active blooming seasons. View stunning displays of Azaleas, Iris's, Peony's and Tulips. Check details for exact dates and hours as weather can affect the bloom times.
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