List of Botanical Gardens in New Jersey
Due to New Jersey’s agricultural past, you can observe that there are still many botanical gardens in New Jersey, even though the place has gone through an industrialized phase. Hence, the place carries the title of the Garden State. New Jersey has government-run and private botanical gardens, most open to the public for getting to know plant lives and even having their photos taken there. Some of the gardens are specifically designed for wedding and party events.
How Many Gardens Are There in New Jersey?
There are over 25 flower gardens (some public and some privately owned) in the Garden state of NJ. Most botanical gardens in New Jersey charge a fee to enter, but some have a small admission fee. The gardens that are suitable for hiking are mentioned here, too.
New Jersey Botanical Garden in Ringwood State Park
The New Jersey Botanical Garden is one of the primary botanical gardens in New Jersey. This garden was part of Skylands Farms, covering 1117 acres belonging to private individuals before being purchased in 1966 by the State of New Jersey. This garden covers an area of 96 acres. There is a famous manor house, the Skylands Manor, in the middle of it, which was the residence of previous owners, and also an art gallery made with local granite stones.
Perhaps the most unique feature of this garden is the wedding receptions happening in the Skylands Manor. If you want to book any wedding ceremony with them, you can guarantee that New Jersey Botanical Garden wedding ceremonies are glamorous and are appropriately done with exquisite service, fine cuisine, and very friendly and professional wedding organizers.
For travelers, if you want to visit the main parts of the garden, there is an hour tour available on site, but you can explore the 1000 acres of woodland if you are up to some hiking. An interactive map showcases where each smaller garden is located, making it easier to navigate this garden and save time.
The smaller gardens here include the Perennial Garden, Lilac Garden, Italianate Gardens, Red Cardinal Flowers, Wildflower Garden, Hosta & Rhododendron Garden, Azalea Garden, and the Annual Garden.
NJ Botanical Gardens’ hours of operation depend on Eastern Daylight Time or Eastern Standard Time. In the case of New Jersey Botanical Garden, the hours of operation are from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on EDT and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on EST. New Jersey Botanical Garden tickets are non-existent as this garden is one of the free botanical gardens in New Jersey.
Parking is usually free, but on Summer weekends and special holidays, you expect to pay $5 to $7 depending on the residency status. There are three designated parking spots here, depending on your purpose. A parking lot is at the edge of the garden, suitable for those who want to hike.
Cross Estate Gardens in Bernardsville in Somerset County
Acquired in 1975 by Franklin National Park Service, Colonial Park Gardens is a great place to explore native plants, large sequoia, and maple trees, with an amazing community of supporters to help visitors enjoy their time there. This Colonial Park garden has a walled garden with beautifully covered stone pillars. As a result, this garden is very popular with local wedding photographers, making it one of the best botanical gardens in New Jersey if you want to have your wedding photos taken in a beautiful setting. The is no fee for admission and parking here. The operation hours are daily from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Rutgers Gardens in North Brunswick Township
Being part of Rutgers University’s Botanical campus, Rutgers Gardens is another one of the free botanical gardens in New Jersey where you can roam around exploring the flowers and the farmers market and learn about natural vegetation, all in a 180-acre area. There is a Helyar Woods Trail if you would like to take a short hike along the specific paths here.
There are also two wedding venues, one in Roy DeBoer Evergreen Garden and the other in, but it is only accessible to members and Rutgers’s students, open from mid-May to the beginning of November due to the seasonal nature of this garden. This is the time when the Farmers’ market returns too.
The Rutgers Gardens’ hours are daily except on Mondays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. This garden is 35 miles outside of New York City, in North Brunswick Township. Those from New York can also visit The New York Botanical Garden, the biggest botanical garden in New York. What is unique about this garden is that it houses over a million plants, trees, and other interesting plant life species, all in 250 acres of area, and it is open all year round.
Van Vleck House & Gardens in Montclair Township in Essex County
When it comes to beautiful botanical gardens in New Jersey with 18th-century designs and mansions, then Van Vleck House & Gardens comes to mind. This magnificent place is not really among the largest botanical gardens in north New Jersey, on 6 acres of private land, but certainly among the most beautiful and well-kept flower gardens in NJ.
Since Van Vleck’s heir transferred the garden ownership to a local non-profit organization in 1993, locals could now enter the premises and enjoy the greenery or have their wedding ceremony there. The admission is free, and as for parking, you can park your vehicle in the nearby neighborhood. Remember, this garden is in a very calm neighborhood, so extra noise and unattended children are not welcome here. Also, if you plan to have your wedding here, make sure it is formal and upper-class, as the place is geared towards such ceremonies.
The Frelinghuysen Arboretum in Morris Township
The Frelinghuysen Arboretum in Morris Township is among the smaller New Jersey arboretums that belonged to the Frelinghuysen family, and in 1977, the family dedicated this arboretum to Morrison County Park Commission and open to public viewing. This place is vast, has 127 acres of greenery, and is just perfect for photography, especially during the Fall season. Just note that pets are not allowed inside the premises.