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It was time to take my camera out of my bag. I wanted to get out and practice more of my nature photography. Something about being outdoors. The birds singing, the wind blowing, the sun hitting your face, and the beautiful scenery keeps you gazing for hours.
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. I watched the forecast and prayed that the weather would not change.
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 also got some great ideas on how to take better photos. After my visit, I wanted to see more. I was hooked. I made a list of all the gardens I wanted to see. I planned a few family day trips to the following gardens:
Leonard J. Buck Garden, Grounds for Sculpture, Freeman Gardens, Frelinghuysen Arboretum, Cross Estate Gardens, and Bamboo Brook Education Center.
These were truly secret gardens I discovered in New Jersey. I never knew there was so much beauty surrounding me. 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 I listed and had the pleasure of visiting. Plan your next visit, you will not be disappointed.
GARDENS TO VISIT
- 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/
- Deep Cut Gardens, Middleton, NJ https://www.monmouthcountyparks.com/
Leonard J Buck Garden
Leonard Buck Garden is located at 11 Layton Rd. Far Hills, NJ. We enjoyed exploring the grounds. The flowers and plants are labeled. Some paths will take you on a loop adventure. I felt like I was in a jungle walking steps into a treehouse. Great place for capturing beautiful photos, taking a short walk, or sitting to listen to the sounds of nature.
Greenwood Gardens is located at 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 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 opens 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 allows 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.
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 offers many different plant life around the grounds. There are different trails for hiking and biking. The Arboretum offers 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.
CHECK OUT MY SITE! PHOTOGRAPHY FOR SALE
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 wildflowers and trees with gigantic artwork surrounding them.
You don’t need to leave the grounds to go and eat, Rat’s Restaurant offers a variety of food on the menu. We enjoyed the beautiful peacocks that roamed around unbothered by the guests. Tickets are required, so reserve a spot online in advance.
Tickets are timed, please visit the site for further information. The 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 regularly with new exhibits, check the website before you go! Enjoy.
CROSS estate gardens
Check out my blog on Cross Estate Gardens. https://thetravelingaquarian.com/2019/08/13/cross-estate-gardens/
I enjoyed a wonderful visit to Duke Farms. Check out my blog! https://thetravelingaquarian.com/2019/10/01/duke-farms/
Longwood Gardens was a great road trip that I took with my son. The forecast stated rain for the day but we went anyway. I am so happy that we didn’t cancel our trip. Longwood is great to visit all year round. They have beautiful displays during all seasons and hold many events. The rain cleared up and the sun was shining.
I recommend wearing comfortable shoes because there will be a lot of walking and you will want to be comfortable. They have a huge fountain display with lights in the evening with synchronized music. This is a must to enjoy. There is a restaurant on the premises and plenty of benches to rest along the trails.