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The Frelinghuysen Arboretum, Morristown

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The George Griswold Frelinghuysen Arboretum is an arboretum located at 53 East Hanover Avenue, Morristown, New Jersey. It is open daily without charge. It is also the headquarters of the Morris County Parks Commission.The arboretum features thematic collections of plant life, including ornamental grasses, spring-blooming shrubs and perennials, summer shrubs and cutbacks, fall fruit and foliage, shade trees, and a garden called the "promising plants garden" which has underused plants supplied by nurseries, growers, and breeders. In front of the large main house there is the Great Lawn, a large gently sloping manicured grassy expanse in the style of an English county manor landscape; it is the site of outdoor concerts in the warmer months. There are different nature and horse trails. There is a Braille Nature Trail in a small wooded hollow just off the Great Lawn which was designed for hands-on exploration. The Kathryn A. Porter "Branching Out!" Garden is worked on by children ages 5 - 13 during a spring after-school and summer program; the course of study includes cooking and crafts. Participants grow vegetables, herbs, and flowers to take home. The Patriots' Path is a network of hiking, biking, and equestrian trails and green open spaces, and links to other parks in New Jersey.BackgroundThe arboretum surrounds the Frelinghuysens' Colonial Revival mansion and its formal gardens, and features nature trails with labeled trees and shrubs. The arboretum was established on the site of Whippany Farm, owned by George Griswold Frelinghuysen (1851-1936), son of Frederick T. Frelinghuysen, and a New York City patent attorney and president of Ballantine Brewing Company from 1905 until his retirement, and Sara Ballantine (1858-1940) of Newark, New Jersey, granddaughter of the founder Peter Ballantine of the Ballantine Brewing Company. In 1920, Mrs. Sara Ballantine planted roses, and the rose beds were laid out between the spokes of a Chippendale style brick wall set in a basket weave pattern. In 1964 their daughter, Matilda Frelinghuysen (1887-1969) began plans to turn the estate into an arboretum. Today's Frelinghuysen Arboretum was dedicated in 1971.
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  • A real gem in all seasons They have events going on in the center year round. The cafe is open on the weekends 
  • We tried twice to enter, on a Saturday two days before it closed. At 2:15 and 3:30 both had lines out the door. Then another 60 ft to the entrance inside. It's only $2 to get in, but I can't tell you ...  more »
  • Every year our family returns to see the annual Gingerbread House exhibit. It's terrific! Kids of all ages, adults, groups all make gingerbread creations that are remarkably creative. The cost is only...  more »