New Jersey isn’t nicknamed “The Garden State” for nothing. The outstanding agriculture and famous arboretums reflect the state’s beauty and boldness. Visit the 10 best botanical gardens in New Jersey to learn more about thousands of unique plants and get some ideas for your home garden.
1. New Jersey Botanical Garden
The New Jersey Botanical Garden at Skylands is part of Ringwood State Park. It features 96 acres of gardens surrounded by an additional 1,000 acres of woodlands. Visitors can tour the Manor House, follow hike leaders on a child-friendly hike, and admire the colorful flower displays. The Italianate Gardens, featuring magnolia, azalea, and peonies, is one of the most visited sections of the campus. You can also attend one of the many special holiday or community events held throughout the year.
2. Deep Cut Gardens
Deep Cut Gardens in Middletown features 54 acres of gardens and greenhouses. The Monmouth County Park System opened the Gardens in 1978. However, the property was previously owned by many people, including Vito Genovese. He hired local landscape architect Theodore Stoudt to bring a taste of Naples, Italy, to the grounds, which is visible in the rockery and rose parterre. When in season, the rose parterre boasts 180 bushes with 52 different varieties of the joyful flower. See the old swimming pool repurposed into a lily pond with tropical water lilies, koi fish, goldfish, and other aquatic plants.
3. Sayen House and Gardens
The Sayen House and Gardens in Hamilton Township was created by Frederick Sayen, an avid gardener and world traveler. His collection represents countries around the world, including England, China, and Japan. Spring is the best time to see the 250,000 flowering bulbs, including 1,000 azaleas and almost 500 rhododendrons. Make sure to visit on Mother’s Day to experience the annual Azalea Festival. But throughout the year, visitors marvel at the perennials, fish ponds, and other plants along the many walking trails. You can also book the homey Sayen House for private events.
4. Van Vleck House & Gardens
The Van Vleck House & Gardens is located in the heart of Montclair. The House and Gardens belonged to Joseph Van Vleck Sr., who established the 12-acre private estate when he moved from Brooklyn, New York, to the quiet suburbs of Montclair in 1868. In 1993, the family home was gifted to The Montclair Foundation, which manages the Italianate Villa and the rest of the property. The house is only open for private events, but the gardens are open year-round from dawn to dusk. The little horticulture oasis has 60 types of trees, perennials, and other colorful flowering plants.
5. Laurelwood Arboretum
The Laurelwood Arboretum is a Wayne Township public park located outside Pines Lake. Gravel walking trails take visitors through the 30-acre botanical garden to see the abundant wildlife, including deer and unique flower species that bloom throughout the year. Remember to check out “A Sculpture Trail,” showcasing 15 sculptures crafted by prominent artists to complement the beautiful landscape. You can also join the walking group every Thursday morning to explore one of the best botanical gardens in New Jersey.
6. The Frelinghuysen Arboretum
The 127-acre Frelinghuysen Arboretum in Morris Township offers a place to relax, explore, and learn about nature. Walk past the Colonial Revival mansion to enter the Knot and Rose gardens before passing one of the many babbling fountains. Then have a picnic on the expansive Great Lawn. The perfect time to do so is in April when the cherry trees are in bloom. And don’t miss the award-winning Marsh Meadow Garden. The Frelinghuysen Arboretum also provides public educational programs and hosts several regional plant societies.
7. Reeves-Reed Arboretum
The 13.5-acre Reeves-Reed Arboretum in Summit is a former country estate featuring architecture from the Country Place movement of the early 20th century. Travel back to this time period by visiting the Historic Gardens and the Time Capsule Garden to learn how gardening has changed. There are also 6 acres of woodland featuring the tallest poplar tree in Summit. But what makes Reeves-Reed Arboretum one of the best botanical gardens in New Jersey is its famous Daffodil Bowl, one of the largest daffodil collections in the state.
8. Rutgers Gardens
The Rutgers Garden in North Brunswick Township is a “living museum” that gives visitors a free, year-round opportunity to visit the expansive plant collection. Walk through the stunning bamboo forest or the favored Holly Garden. Keep your eyes open for glistening green frogs, graceful monarch butterflies, and other important wildlife while strolling through the treasured public garden. Don’t forget to stop by Cook’s Market, a weekly farmer’s market from May to December at Rutgers Gardens.
9. Willowwood Arboretum
The Willowwood Arboretum is 136 acres of farmland developed in Chester Township by the Tubbs brothers in the early 1900s. The conservatory on the property was designed so the gardens aligned with the historic Tubbs House. Various landscapes, including meadows and woodland trails, create the perfect environment for a peaceful stroll. Willowwood has over 2,100 native and exotic plants, including rare species. Spring is the best time to see the famous lilac collection, while fall brings out the Japanese maples.
10. Duke Farms
Duke Farms in Hillsborough Township has 1,000 acres of public land to explore. There are over nine man-made lakes, including a tiered waterfall, and over 18 miles of biking and walking paths for visitors to explore. Make sure to tour the Orchid Range. It houses subtropical and tropical orchids native to the United States. You can also participate in one of the many Duke Farms’ events or educational programs. But don’t forget to visit the Birding Platform while you’re there.
Summary of the 10 Best Botanical Gardens in New Jersey
|New Jersey Botanical Garden
|2 Morris Rd, Ringwood, NJ 07456
|Historic Manor and Italianate Gardens
|Deep Cut Gardens
|152 Red Hill Rd, Middletown Township, NJ 07748
|Rose parterre and lily ponds
|Sayen House and Gardens
|155 Hughes Dr, Hamilton Square, NJ 08690
|Azaleas and rhododendrons
|Van Vleck House & Gardens
|21 Van Vleck St, Montclair, NJ 07042
|Rhododendrons and perennials
|725 Pines Lake Dr W, Wayne, NJ 07470
|Azaleas and the sculpture display
|The Frelinghuysen Arboretum
|353 E Hanover Ave, Morristown, NJ 07960
|Rose Garden and The Great Lawn
|165 Hobart Ave, Summit, NJ 07901
|Spring Daffodil Bowl and the Time Capsule Garden
|112 Log Cabin Rd, North Brunswick Township, NJ 08902
|Bamboo forest and the Holly Garden
|300 Longview Rd, Chester Township, NJ 07931
|Lilacs and dawn redwood
|1112 Dukes Pkwy W, Hillsborough Township, NJ 08844
|The Orchid Range and the Great Falls
The photo featured at the top of this post is © Andrew F. Kazmierski/Shutterstock.com
Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.