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New Jersey’s Best Public Gardens and Arboretums

The latest update for NJ’s Best Public Gardens and Arboretums was written by Lindsay Podolak.

Ever wondered why New Jersey is called “The Garden State?” It’s because we’re home to many gorgeous public gardens and arboretums. Whether you’re a looking for some unique gardening ideas or just a leisurely stroll among the flowers, these public gardens are beautiful spots to spend an afternoon.

Quick Click Guide: Select an NJ Region below to find the best public garden or arboretum near you.
| North Jersey | Central Jersey | Jersey Shore | South Jersey |


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North Jersey

garden with large trees


Cora Hartshorn Arboretum & Bird Sanctuary

Location: 324 Forest Drive South, Short Hills
Details: Families flock to the Cora Hartshorn Arboretum to enjoy all that nature has to offer. The arboretum features a wide variety of native wildflowers and is also home to multiple species of ferns and trees. The arboretum offers a natural amphitheater created by glaciers. In addition, the Arboretum is a popular spot for birds in the spring and fall; making it the perfect place to do a little bird watching. They also offer classes and events for all ages. The trails and grounds are open year-round during daylight hours. Admission is free.
Why I like it: The “Citizen Science” program allows visitors to play the role of scientist and collect valuable data. This actually helps the staff plan future conservation needs.
More info: visit their website or call click here to call.


Deep Cut Gardens

Location: 152 Red Hill Road, Middletown
Details: Deep Cut Gardens is the perfect destination for the avid home gardener. The park’s 54 acres consist of gardens and greenhouses that feature both cultivated and native plants and trees. The park also offers seasonal walking tours, led by horticulture experts. Gardening workshops are available, as well as free activities for the entire family. Currently, the park is only open on weekends from 8:00 am until dusk. (Due to construction of a new parking lot.) Admission is free.
Why I like it: Children will have loads of fun searching for the hidden “Deep Cut Rocks” or visiting the fairy garden.
More info: Visit the website or call click here to call.


Greenwood Gardens

Location: 274 Old Short Hills Road, Short Hills
Details: Formerly a private estate, Greenwood Gardens is a 28-acre public garden in the Essex County Park System’s South Mountain Reservation. Greenwood is a contemporary garden in the Arts & Crafts and Classical garden design. Step back in time at this beautiful oasis while exploring garden terraces, grottoes, moss-covered paths and wildflower meadows. Greenwood Gardens offers a variety of nature walks and workshops, as well as outdoor yoga. The garden is open Wednesdays through Fridays from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, beginning in early May. Admission is $10.
Why I like it: Greenwood asks to silence cell phones on the grounds so visitors can enjoy a relaxing, tech-free experience.
More info: Visit the website or call click here to call.


New Jersey State Botanical Garden

Location: 2 Morris Road, Ringwood
Details: Visit New Jersey State Botanical Garden to discover the boundless beauty of the Garden State. The Skylands property consists of 96 acres of botanical gardens, surrounded by 1,000 acres of woodlands. The grounds offer wildflower and lilac gardens, a magnolia walk and a crabapple allée. Free garden tours are available on Sunday afternoons from May through October. They also offer Children’s tours, including a scavenger hunt, on select dates. The Garden is open every day of the year. Visiting hours are 8:00 am to 8:00 pm during spring, summer and fall months and 8:00 am to 6:00 pm in the winter. Admission is free, however there is a parking fee on summer weekends.
Why I like it: Interested in a scenic hike? There are miles of trails for you to explore.
More info: Visit the website or call click here to call.


Central Jersey

large white mansion surrounded by garden


Morven Museum & Garden

Location: 55 Stockton Street, Princeton
Details: Situated on 5 beautiful acres, the museum showcases the rich cultural heritage of the Garden State through exhibitions and events. Meanwhile, the beautiful gardens surrounding the mansion are the perfect place to enjoy the beauty of nature. Featuring elms and catalpa trees, the grounds strive to recreate the landscape of the past 200 years. Tulips and daffodils begin blooming in April, followed by irises and peonies in May. Throughout the summer, Phlox and summer annuals fill the garden with bright colors. Morven Museum & Garden is open Wednesday through Sunday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Admission is $10.
Why I like it: After strolling the gardens, check out the museum. Here you will find historical collections, fine arts and seasonal exhibits.
More info: Visit the website or call click here to call.


Reeves-Reed Arboretum

Location: 165 Hobart Avenue, Summit
Details: There’s always something blooming at the Reed-Reeves Arboretum. The 13.5-acre property consists of historic and contemporary gardens, as well as plenty of woodland trails. The Arboretum offers something for everyone, including gardening programs for kids and adults, art exhibits and bird watching. The Reeves-Reed Arboretum is open from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm from November through March and from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm from April through October. Admission is free but donations are welcome.
Why I like it: “Discovery Saturdays” are fun for the whole family. Borrow an Arboretum backpack loaded with binoculars, a magnifying glass and everything you need to enjoy a themed adventure!
More info: Visit the website or call click here to call.


Sayen House & Gardens

Location: 155 Hughes Drive, Hamilton
Details: Located in historic Hamilton Square, Sayen House & Gardens is a nature lover’s dream. This 30-acre parcel of land was purchased by Frederick Sayen, an avid gardener and world traveler, in 1912. Afterward, he built a small home and surrounded it with flowers and plants from around the world. The collection includes plant species from England, China and Japan, many of which are still flourishing today. When spring arrives, the garden comes alive with more than 250,000 flowering bulbs, as well as heirloom azaleas and rhododendrons. Sayen Gardens is open year-round from dawn to dusk. Admission is free.
Why I like it: Unlike many of New Jersey’s public gardens, Sayen House & Gardens allows leashed dogs. Now Fido can bask in the beauty of the grounds with you!
More info: Visit the website or call click here to call.


Willowwood Arboretum

Location: 14 Longview Road, Far Hills
Details: Once a private residence, the 130 acres of Willowwood Arboretum are now owned by the Morris County Parks System. The grounds feature over 2,100 native and exotic plants, including daffodils, cherries, magnolias and lilacs, as well as flowering dogwood and crabapple trees. Visitors can stroll through the numerous gardens, including Bee Meadow, Huckleberry Field, and Cottage Garden. From April through October, self-paced cell phone tours of the garden areas and buildings are available. Willowwood is open daily from 8:00 am to dusk. Admission is free.
Why I like it: You may think of spring and summer as ideal times to visit a garden, but Willowwood is still breathtaking in the winter months; Their Ornamentals Collection includes evergreen and deciduous plants.
More info: Visit the website or call click here to call.


Jersey Shore

path through large flower garden


Deep Cut Gardens

Location: 152 Red Hill Road, Middletown
Details: Deep Cut Gardens is the perfect destination for the avid home gardener. The park’s 54 acres consist of gardens and greenhouses that feature both cultivated and native plants and trees. The park also offers seasonal walking tours, led by horticulture experts. Gardening workshops are available, as well as free activities for the entire family. Currently, the park is only open on weekends from 8:00 am until dusk. It will reopen on weekdays once the parking lot construction project is completed. Admission is free.
Why I like it: Children will have loads of fun searching for the hidden “Deep Cut Rocks” or visiting the fairy garden.
More info: Visit the website or call click here to call.


Linwood Arboretum

Location: 1410 Wabash Avenue, Linwood
Details: This small, hidden gem came to be after the town of Linwood voted to turn an unused tract of land (formerly an electrical substation site) into an arboretum. A grant from the Open Spaces program plus many hours of volunteer work later, and the Linwood Arboretum was born. Plants on the premises include redbuds, hollies, maidenhair trees and dawn redwoods. The grounds are open everyday and admission is free.
Why I like it: When selecting which plants to cultivate, the arboretum placed a special emphasis on those that would thrive in the fall and winter months, making this a great outing for a cold weather day.
More info: Visit the website or call click here to call.


South Jersey

fairy and house in garden


Barton Arboretum and Nature Preserve

Location: 1 Medford Leas Way, Medford
Details: Barton Arboretum, located on the grounds of adult residential center Medford Leas, welcomes visitors seven days a week, from dawn to dusk, all year round…at no charge! Stop in to the Community Building and pick up a map for a self-guided walk through the property. In the gardens you will find butterflies, birds, bunnies and more.
Why I like it: The arboretum can host your club’s meeting and provide a program about the history of the grounds at no charge.
More info: Visit the website or call click here to call.


Camden Children’s Garden

Location: 3 Riverside Drive, Camden
Details: The Camden Children’s Garden is a four-acre garden for children and families. This little oasis, situated adjacent to the Adventure Aquarium, provides horticultural experiences for imaginative play. Young visitors will love a visit to the Butterfly House, the Dinosaur Garden and the Tree House. There are even rides for the younger kids, including a carousel and train. Starting in mid-March, the garden is open Thursdays and Fridays from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm and Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. General admission is $9 per person, but Camden residents pay only $6 with a valid I.D.
Why I like it: In the summer months, kids can make a splash at the Water Spray Ground, a fun splash pad designed to keep you cool in the hot sun.
More info: www.camdenchildrensgarden.org or call click here to call.


Hero (Top) Feature Image: © tomikk / Adobe Stock
Additional Images: ©
Greenwood Gardens / Facebook
Morven Museum & Gardens / Facebook
Deep Cut Gardens / Facebook
Camden Children’s Garden / Facebook