Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

The Morris County Park Commission’s Frelinghuysen Arboretum in Morris Township has been named the Best Public Garden and Arboretum in New Jersey by New Jersey Monthly magazine, as voted by New Jersey residents.

“This award is so meaningful and important to us because it comes directly from citizens of New Jersey, the Garden State,” said Dr. Lesley Parness, superintendent of horticultural education at the Arboretum. “We strive to provide all visitors with a rewarding experience by offering a myriad of in-depth educational and interpretive programming.”

According to Parness, up to 500,000 visitors pass through the Arboretum annually to enjoy programs throughout the year.

The Frelinghuysen Arboretum was once the country home of George Griswold Frelinghuysen and his wife, Sara Ballantine Frelinghuysen, and was called Whippany Farm, Parness said. The mansion, built in 1891, is an example of colonial revival architecture, and the 127–acre property was designed in the style of an English Country estate, she said.

Today, the gardens at the Arboretum feature annuals, perennials and tropical plant displays, as well as vegetables, roses, ferns and native plants, Parness said. In addition, there are fine collections of magnolias, cherries, crabapples, conifers, and ornamental grasses. Overall, more than 2000 different kinds of plants are grown.

More information about the Frelinghuysen Arboretum is available at www.morrisparks.net, or at www.arboretumfriends.org.