7 Gardens that Show Why New Jersey is the Garden State

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VISIT NJ – It should come as no surprise that the “Garden State” is filled with gorgeous botanical retreats across every region. As spring begins to bring its showy colors, make a plan to peep buds and blooms at these locations throughout New Jersey:

  1. Nestled in the forested expanse of Ringwood State Park in northern New Jersey, the specialty gardens of New Jersey Botanical Garden sprawl over 96 acres, offering miles of walking trails to explore. Bonus: Admission and parking are free before Memorial Day weekend.
  2. Greenwood Gardens in Short Hills is also surrounded by forestland. This 28-acre garden—which reopens for the season May 1, 2021—is enveloped by 2,110 acres of South Mountain Reservation. Once the private residence of the affluent Joseph P. Day family, today it is a public paradise profuse with wildflower meadows, moss-covered paths, terraces and grottoes.
  3. Flanking the shoreline of Westons Mill Pond in New Brunswick, Rutgers Gardens is a peaceful retreat for nature seekers. Wander among the gardens to discover a bamboo grove, ornamental tree collection, rhododendron and azalea garden and so much more. Blooming bounty: Rutgers Gardens is open 365 days a year and never charges an admission fee.
  4. The intimate setting of Davis Johnson Park & Gardens in Tenafly might only be about seven acres, but its beauty abounds, making it a popular place for wedding ceremonies and photos. Take a stroll along walking pathways, and don’t miss the redesigned rose garden. Park Perk: As one of Tenafly’s municipal park lands, Davis Johnson Gardens is always open to explore, free of charge.
  5. What Somerset’s Rudolf W. van der Goot Rose Garden lacks in size, it makes up for in quantity and quality. Reopening for the season on March 20, 2021, this one-acre haven boasts more than 3,000 gorgeous roses, comprised of 325 varieties, from “Old Garden Roses” to modern-day hybrids. Admission to the garden is free, but a modest per-person donation is suggested.
  6. Conveniently located in historic Hamilton Square, Sayen House and Gardens is the perfect spot for a quick retreat into nature. Spring just happens to be the perfect time to visit this 30-acre oasis, when more than 250,000 azaleas, rhododendrons and flowering bulbs unfurl into gorgeous, colorful blooms. Say yes to Sayen: Enjoy free admission daily from dawn to dusk.
  7. Looking for some home horticulture inspiration? Look no further than Deep Cut Gardens in Middletown. Its 54 acres are a “living catalog of native and cultivated plant species to be observed throughout the seasons.” A cut above: The park is open year-round from 8am until dusk, with free admission and free parking.

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