Monday, July 20, 2009

Willowwood Arboretum, Chester Township, NJWillow Wood Arboretum! 3We know how much I love gardening, secret gardens, pristine landscape and arboretums, a few posts back I wrote about the Frelinghuysen Arboretum and its lavish landscape, secret gardens and flora/fauna rarities. Today I wanted to share with you another hidden treasure, The Willowwood Arboretum, which like Frelinghuysen is located in Morris County, however Willowwood and its 130 acres can be found in Chester Township.Willow Wood Arboretum! 4Willow Wood Arboretum! 2Willow Wood Arboretum! 5Willowwood Arboretum is an arboretum and public park made up of 130 acres, located at 300 Longview Road, Chester, New Jersey. It is part of the Morris County Park System and is open to the public daily.Willow Wood Arboretum! 8The location was first cleared for farming in the 1700s, which led to the formation of the meadows that that now exist on the property. It was originally named Paradise Farm before being bought by amateur arborist brothers, Henry and Robert Tubbs, in 1908, who then renamed the property Willowwood after the natural collection of willow trees that exist in the area.Willow Wood Arboretum! 9Willow Wood Arboretum! 10They expanded the farmhouse that dates back to 1792 and made it into their family home. The brothers slowly collected and grew many specimens over the next half century, including a vast collection of rare and exotic species, thanks in part to the popular New York horticultural scene at the dawn of the 20th century. Afterward, the property was formed into a private arboretum and run by Rutgers University as a plant and tree research facility. It then became part of the Morris County Park System in 1980.Willow Wood Arboretum! 11The arboretum consists of both wild forest and tended tree collections, farm land, a residence with two small gardens and a handful of smaller out-buildings. There are about 3,500 types of native and exotic plants, many rare. The historic collections include oak, maple, willow, magnolia, lilac, cherry, fir, pine, a superb specimen of Dawn Redwood (Metasequoia) now more than 98 feet (30 m) tall, masses of ferns and handsome stands of field and forest wild flowers.Willow Wood Arboretum! 13Willow Wood Arboretum! 12Both wild and cultivated plantings can be seen on self-guiding tours through informal paths in open areas and woodlands.

Lilac Party:

Is held with the awakening of the lilac blooms and beautiful spring gardens marking the end of winter. The annual May Lilac Party features food, wine tasting, music and a silent auction. The Lilac Party is ususually held in May.

A good friend lives nearby, a walking distance away, her home is reminiscent of her British heritage, with English style gardens, architecture and design. Everytime I visit her I find something new to photograph.Moonlight Garden and Me!I took this photo of myself near the century old wisteria, the light seemed so magical, I felt as though I had ventured to a secret fairy garden waiting to be explored.Moonlight Garden! 4Here I saw a beautiful butterfly waiting to be photographedMoonlight Garden! 3Moonlight Garden! 2Golden Treasures filling one area, perhaps they are the entrance to the Queen Bee's Castle or Fairy Queen's Vacation Retreat.Moonlight Garden!Moonlight Garden! 5Willow Wood Arboretum! 14Next time you grow a garden, visit an arboretum, a botanical garden or a friend's, perhaps a visit to Copenhagen at Trivoli Gardens, take a camera, a journal, pencils and ink, sit back and envision a secret world filled with fairies and dragonflies, queen bee's and swan boats, waiting for you to explore.


Twyla and Lindsey said...

We are so excited that you are joining the Wizard of Oz Gala! Thank you so much for participating. It will be much more fun now that you are a part of it. Have a great day! Twyla

eclectic archivist said...

What a lovely's looks like a magical place to find faeries