The chill of winter is finally gone, which means it’s time to get up and get out to explore all that Somerset County has to offer!
Duke Farms is an essential place to get acquainted with the natural beauty of Somerset County. The Hillsborough estate's stunning Orchid Range is now in full bloom and great rain or shine. Although the famed Duke Farms conservatory gardens are no longer open to the public, they have been replaced with natural wild meadows complete with native Somerset County flora and fauna, some of which can be found no where else. Duke Farms also offers excellent educational programs and miles of hiking and biking trails.
Colonial Park in Franklin Township, run by the Somerset County Park Commission, is also open and ready for nature-lovers to explore. Whether you're after a quiet picnic or a walk around the ponds, this park has wonderfully preserved nature areas that will be sure to satisfy any nature-lover. The gardens at Colonial Park specialize in a variety of areas, including a Perennial Garden, Rose Garden, Shrub Collection, and Arboretum.
Another fabulous county garden is the Leonard J. Buck Garden. Among the country's most beautiful rock gardens, visitors can explore the rocks and discover the plants in bloom hidden amongst the cracks in beautiful Far Hills. This Garden is best seen in spring, so be sure to visit at the peak of the blooming season!
Another breakthtaking spot tucked away in Far Hills is Willowwood Arboretum. The house and gardens evoke the English countryside, and events are frequently hosted at the arboretum in the Spring, Summer and Fall months.
Peony’s Envy is a fascinating nursery/display garden located in Bernardsville showcasing one of the largest collection of peonies anywhere! See the eight acres of flowers in various stages of bloom throughout the spring and summer months, and if you like what you see, place an order on the spot so you can your own precious blossoms next season!
The Cross Estate Gardens, a project with the New Jersey Historical Garden Foundation, is the perfect place to visit if enjoy learning about history while strolling among the flowers. Located in quaint Bernardsville, the Cross Estate Gardens are at the site of the New Jersey Brigade Unit of Morristown National Historical Park. Be sure to check out the gardens' calendar of events to enjoy a special program or tour.