Day Tripping: Frelinghuysen Arboretum

On our way back from Peony’s Envy (see previous post), we stopped to stretch our legs at the Frelinghuysen Arboretum in Morris, New Jersey. Dedicated in 1971, the arboretum was a gift from Matilda Frelinghuysen and consists of 127 mixed acres of woodlands, meadows, gardens, and (of course) trees. There is also a Colonial Revival style summer home, used by the late Frelinghuysens three months of the year, but the house was closed to visitors at the time of our visit.

Strawberries ripening in a barrel in the Lawrence Barkman Vegetable Garden
In the Lawrence Barkman Vegetable Garden

The Frelinghuysen Arboretum can be divided into three sections. The first sections is the home demonstration gardens area encircling the Haggerty Education Center. There you will find a perennial garden, rock garden, blue garden, cottage garden, special needs garden, and so much more. I spent an hour in this section alone.

Enkianthus with its bell-shaped flowers
Enkianthus with its bell-shaped flowers

The second section is the mansion garden area which includes the great lawn, heritage rose garden, knot garden, several fountains, an arbor, and more. According to the cell phone tour, the rose gardens beds are laid out between the spokes of a brick walk that resemble the Union Jack. In the center beds are Knock Out Roses with hybrid tea and ground cover roses around the edge of the garden.

blooms in the rose garden
In the rose garden
Carding Mill English Roses in bloom
Carding Mill English roses in the rose garden

The third section is what I thought of as the arboretum proper — the trees, paths, and meadow that comprise the majority of the grounds. While we didn’t spend much time in this section, I would like to return next spring to see the crabapples and flowering cherries in bloom.

Mountain Laurel in bloom
Blooms in the mountain laurel allee

Although we only spent a scant two hours at the Frelinghuysen Arboretum, we enjoyed every minute and would recommend it as a peaceful way to spend an afternoon in North Jersey.