During the summer of 2017, I wanted to get out and practice more of my nature photography. I went to the search engine and typed: Gardens in New Jersey. There were many to choose from. To my surprise, there was a garden less than ten minutes from my job. My first visit was to Greenwood Gardens for a photography class. I enjoyed walking the grounds and taking beautiful photos of the flowers and sculptures that surrounded the amazing estate. I planned a few family day trips to the following: Grounds for Sculpture, Freeman Gardens and Frelinghuysen Arboretum. After our visit to the lovely gardens we were hooked and couldn’t wait to visit them again! These were truly secret gardens I discovered in New Jersey. Before visiting the following gardens always check their website and Groupon for any special rates for entry. Be sure to check the rules, opening and closing times, bring water and wear sunblock. The following gardens hold workshops, private and public events. Check the website before your visit. There are fun things to do for all ages. Below are more Gardens to explore this Spring and throughout the year!
- New Jersey Botanical Garden Ringwood, NJ http://www.njbg.org/
- Van Vleck House & Gardens Montclair, NJ https://vanvleck.org/
- Laurelwood Arboretum Wayne, NJ http://www.laurelwoodarboretum.org/
- Rutgers Gardens North Brunswick, NJ http://rutgersgardens.rutgers.edu/
- New York Botanical Garden Bronx, NY https://www.nybg.org/
- The Gardens at Mill Fleurs Point Pleasant, PA https://www.thegardensatmillfleurs.com/
- Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve New Hope, PA https://bhwp.org/
- Chanticleer, a pleasure garden Wayne, PA http://www.chanticleergarden.org/
- Longwood Gardens Chester County, PA https://longwoodgardens.org/
274 Old Short Hills Rd., Short Hills, NJ 07078. The garden is surrounded by South Mountain Reservation. During my trip, I saw well-preserved stone sculptures, amazing architecture, beautiful flowers and chipmunks running through the grounds. The weather was perfect during my visit and I was able to capture great photos from my photography class. Greenwood Gardens is truly a hidden gem that you should experience. You can visit the gardens by train or car. The Garden open Sunday- Wednesday 10:00 am -5:00 pm during rain or shine, but will close during strong storms. Admission for Adults $10, 65+ and Students with ID $5, and Children under 12 are free. Greenwood Garden allow amateur photography (nonprofessional ) to take pictures with cell phones or pocket-size cameras. There are many events and tours held at the garden, take a step back into time and enjoy your visit. https://www.flickr.com/photos/keyingramphotography/albums/72157686674344131
353 Hanover Ave., Morristown, NJ 07960. The Arboretum is opened daily from 8:00 am to dusk and free of charge to the public. We went during Cherry Blossom season and the trees were filled with beautiful pink blossoms. The tulips were full-bloomed with colors of red, yellow, orange and white that filled the charming landscape. Frelinghuysen Arboretum offer many different plant life around the grounds. There are different trails for hiking and biking. The Arboretum offer several programs for all ages, check the website and enjoy your visit.
644 Hawthorne Ave. Glen Ridge, NJ 07028. The garden is a great place to view the roses or relax to take in the many species of birds and plants. I was honored to witness the wedding of my brother and sister-in-law. If you’re looking to hold a small intimate outdoor event Freeman Garden is a perfect place. The entry for the Garden is free. To hold a private event you will need to call for further information.
The Grounds for Sculpture
181 Fairgrounds Rd., Hamilton. NJ 08619. We spent two hours during my visit and still missed many sculptures. This is definitely a day trip where you can spend hours looking at the amazing sculptures. There are over 270 sculptures on 42 acres. This is truly a garden with many wild flowers and trees with gigantic artwork surrounding them. You don’t need to leave the grounds to go and eat, Rat’s Restaurant offer many different variety of food on the menu. We enjoyed the beautiful peacocks that roamed around unbothered by the guests. Tickets are required, so reserve a slot online in advance. Tickets are timed, please visit the site for further information. Admission price for Adults $18 and kids under 5 are free. As always check their website or Groupon for any discounts or become a member. Once you come here, you will be back. Wear comfortable shoes and prepare to be amazed at the wonderful art, you will spend a few hours here and still may not see all the sculptures. Events are held her regularly with new exhibits, check the website before you go! Enjoy.