New Jersey’s gardens are a delight for the senses. As you absorb all their beauty during a relaxing stroll through stunning horticultural displays and lush landscapes, you’ll soon discover why we’re called the Garden State!
You can find the Garden State gardens on university campuses, art parks, urban and suburban gardens, hidden gems, monocultures, Gilded Age estates and modern day marvels. From South Jersey to our Northernmost County, New Jersey’s public gardens offer not only education, entertainment, programming for every age and interest, four seasons of beauty, solace and inspiration.
When you’re in Middletown, make a stop at the 54-acre Deep Cut Gardens, where greenhouses feature native plant materials that can be viewed throughout the seasons. Azalea lovers will adore the Jay Pratt Azalea Gardens in Sharptown, which is open for viewing in May and cultivates more than 400 varieties on private lands. If you’re looking for variety, the Duke Gardens in Hillsborough offer 11 spectacular gardens under glass that reflect the traditions of various countries.
Another botanical treasure can be found in Newark’s Branch Brook Park, which has the biggest collection of cherry trees anywhere in the world. Visitors flock to the park each spring to view the large reddish-pink and white blossoms.
Dedicated in 1984, the 96-acre New Jersey State Botanical Garden is the culmination of two eras of landscape architectural enterprise. It features an extensive variety of plants, evergreens, deciduous trees and shrubs in specialty areas. The crabapple vista, terraced gardens, perennial and annual gardens and woodland paths make it a delight to discover.
The Presby Memorial Iris Gardens in Upper Montclair feature a collection of more than 4,000 varieties of world-famous irises, some dating to the 1500s. The gardens also boast an unmatched array of well-known and rare irises, which has earned it National Historic Site designation.
Another beautiful springtime attraction is the Sayen Gardens in Hamilton. Filled with azaleas and rhododendrons brought from China, Japan and England, they highlight a collection of colorful blossoming species, providing a feast for the eyes. The gardens hold some 2,000 azaleas and 1,500 rhododendrons of hybrid and native species.
One of the state’s most unique gardens is the Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton. The 35-acre garden blends the meticulously groomed grounds with exhibits of both well-known and emerging contemporary sculptors to create a sculpture park.
To help plan your garden visit, go to Garden State Gardens, a non-profit consortium that represents many of New Jersey’s public gardens. You will find links to more than 25 gardens, a map to plan multiple garden trips, and a Visitor Amenities chart that lists available services. They can answer your questions such as: can you bring your dog, take wedding photographs or is there a spot to have lunch or picnic?
See a list of all New Jersey Gardens.
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