History

Historically, the Rutgers Gardens was comprised of a series of horticultural collections arranged in garden settings and spread over fifty acres. They are located just east of U.S. Route 1 on Ryders Lane in New Brunswick, New Jersey. These collections and garden areas, the oldest of which dates back to 1927, feature a diverse variety of landscape plants with origins that span the globe. The future of the Rutgers Gardens is the development of designed gardens. Landscape architects, design professionals, and home owners will be able to see and learn different methods of combining plants that will provide four seasons of color, texture and form. The Gardens will also be running comparison tests of various cultivars, to see which will do best in the conditions of central New Jersey.

Our collections include the Donald B. Lacey Display Garden featuring All America Selections® flower and vegetable winners, one of the largest collections of American Hollies in the United States, a Shrub Collection, a Shade Tree Collection, a Rhododendron and Azalea Garden, The Roy H. De Boer Evergreen Garden, The Ella Quimby Water Conservation Terrace Gardens, The Gardens for Sun & Shade, The Ornamental Tree Collection and a Bamboo Forest.

The Gardens adjoin Frank G. Helyar Woods (a virgin forest that can be toured via its marked trails), Weston's Mill Pond and the Log Cabin & Pavilion. Constructed in 1936 as part of a W.P.A. project, - is linked by a patio to the Pavilion, constructed in 1993. Both the pavilion and the patio were funded by the Cook College Alumni Association, with the resulting complex now rented to the general public for events such as birthdays and picnics. This rustic setting provides a wooded view of the quiet 92-acre pond. Log Cabin rentals are now available through the Gardens office.

Lastly, the Rutgers Gardens are largely self-supporting, relying heavily upon the generosity of financial and material donors and the efforts of our many volunteers. We welcome the support of interested parties, and invite you to come out for a visit.