Rutgers Gardens – North Brunswick, NJ

Rutgers Gardens | I-95 Exit Guide

Address: Rutgers Gardens
112 Ryders Lane, North Brunswick, NJ
(732) 932-8451
Interest: Children, Young Adults, Adults
Directions: I-95 (New Jersey Turnpike) Exit 9, north on NJ18 to US Route 1. US Route 1 South to Ryders Lane (2.4 miles)(4 minutes)
Hours: 8:30 a.m. till dusk, year-round
Time to Spend: 3 hours
Cost: Free (Guided Tours for a fee)
Nearby hotels: Hampton Inn,  Staybridge Suites, Comfort Suites

Rutgers Gardens is the official botanic garden of Rutgers University. The Gardens are located near Cook Campus, at 112 Ryders Lane, North Brunswick, New Jersey.

The grounds include 60 acres of specialty gardens, tree and shrub collections, and walking paths. Rutgers Gardens strives to provide a fun, educational, and engaging place for students, faculty, and the community to enjoy the natural world.

The gardens are open year-round, without fee, and feature horticultural collections arranged in garden settings.

Rutgers Gardens cultivates inquisitive minds, great plants, and inspired gardening through educational exploration and enjoyment.

Rutgers Gardens features include:
  • American Hollies – one of the largest collection of American Hollies in the United States, including selections from Dr. Elwin Orton’s Ilex opaca breeding program.
  • Bamboo Forest – a large grove of bamboo (Phyllostachys nuda), originally planted in the 1950s, with a winding path by a small stream.
  • Donald B. Lacey Display Garden – unusual and colorful annuals, tropicals, herbs, and vegetables.
  • Ella Quimby Water Conservation Terrace – demonstration of drought-tolerant plants.
  • Ornamental Tree Collection – unusual small trees, including the state’s largest Paperbark Maple.
  • Rhododendron and Azalea Garden – small trees and groundcovers, with a variety of shrubs focusing on rhododendrons.
  • Rain Garden – The intent was to develop a garden with positive environmental aspects, yet that remained attractive throughout the year with minimal maintenance.
  • Roy H. De Boer Evergreen Garden  – Fine specimens of cedars, pines, spruces, and firs.
  • Shade Tree Collection – Many mature shade trees.
  • Shrub Collection – hybrid and species lilacs (dating from 1927) and other shrubs.
  • Tribute Gardens – a series of “outdoor rooms” that are available for a person, family or corporation to build in honor of someone they know or love.
  • VSA (Volunteer Supported Agriculture) Garden – The VSA vegetable gardeners follow organic growing methods which include chemical free gardening, four-year crop rotations, green mulches, composting and the incorporation of winter cover crops.
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