|Dear EscapeMakers — What a crazy winter but as soon as the last snow melts, you’re going to want to hightail it to Somerset County, NJ! It’s just across the river from NYC and home to six internationally recognized garden experiences. Make plans to discover them all! Rock, formal, native, rose, peony, ornamental, whatever your garden passion, the beauty and aroma of gardens can be found in Somerset County. See below for a list of upcoming events and plan your Spring escape!
1. Duke Farms – March & April Gardening, Orchids, and Farm to Table Indoor Market! Features three gardens on the breathtaking Duke Estate-the Orchid Range with one of the largest tropical displays in the country, Arboretum with Japanese-style meditation garden, and largest allotment-style community garden in the U.S.!
2. Leonard J. Buck Garden – April & May Woodland Walks, Honey Bees 101 and Plant Sale & Earth Day Celebration! One of the premier rock gardens in the eastern United States, consisting of a series of alpine and woodland gardens situated in a 33-acre wooded stream valley.
3. Cross Estate Gardens – Garden Tours starting Mid-April, Plant Sale May 5th!! This early 20th century landscape of the Cross Estate includes a formal walled garden with ornamented grasses, shrubs, and perennials, native plant garden, wisteria-covered pergola, and mountain laurel alee. The gardens are part of Morristown National Historical Park.
4. Peony’s Envy – Starting in May – Friday Night Picnics and Garden Tours! Nursery and display garden in Bernardsville, with one of the most extensive collections of tree, herbaceous and intersectional peonies in the Northeastern United States. Events and workshops are held throughout the year.
5. Willowwood Arboretum – March-May Pruning Workshop, Lectures and Annual Lilac Party! New Jersey’s most comprehensive and longest continually operating Arboretum with 3,500 native, exotic, and rare plants. Within the arboretum are formal gardens, undisturbed forest, historic collections, ferns, and handsome stands of field and forest wild flowers. The historic Tubbs House overlooks two small formal gardens.
6. Rudolf W. van der Goot Rose Garden – June is peak bloom! But until then, Rose Pruning, Vermicomposting and Forest Bathing Classes! An accredited All-America Rose Selections (AARS) display garden containing more than 3,000 roses and 325 varieties. The Rose Garden is part of a more extensive Arboretum called Colonial Park Gardens, which includes the Fragrance & Sensory Garden, Ornamental Grass Collection, Perennial Garden, and Shrub Collection.