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Colonial Park Gardens

 156 Mettlers Road, Somerset, NJ 08873 • 908 722-1200 Ext. 5008

Rose Garden
Rose Garden
Rock Pond

Rudolf W. van der Goot Rose Garden

The Rudolf W. van der Goot Rose Garden is one acre in size and contains more than 3,000 roses of 325 varieties. As an accredited All-America Rose Selections (AARS) display garden, it is entitled to display AARS award-winning roses one year before their release to the public. The garden was named in honor of Rudolf W. van der Goot, the first horticulturist with the Somerset County Park Commission, as a tribute to his efforts in designing and developing the garden.

The purpose of the garden is enjoyment and public education. From late spring through fall, the roses present a kaleidoscope of color, form, and fragrance. Visitors can view popular modern hybrids, species, and various classes of Old Garden Roses. All roses are clearly labeled for easy identification and only roses that thrive in central NJ are kept in the garden.

The Rose Garden and surrounding Arboretum were part of the original Mettler Estate, which was once a working farm. The first section of the garden was developed from features of the Mettler's formal garden. The flagstone walks and small stone pool are original to the estate. Today this part of the garden features modern hybrid roses, tree roses, and The Grandmother's Garden, a section planted with roses popular before World War II.

The second section of the garden is framed by a trellis, which supports a variety of climbing roses. The main feature of this garden is the central walk, named in honor of Millicent Fenwick, a New Jersey Congresswoman and United States representative to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture. The walk is planted with polyanthas and along the garden's perimeter are Old Garden Roses, which are regaining popularity with today's gardeners.

The Dutch Garden, which is the third section of the garden, is designed in the formal Dutch style; the raised beds are framed by low growing perennials. Here the collection of old roses is continued, along with modern hybrids.

A visit to the garden provides an excellent opportunity to learn about roses and the many varieties available. A visitor interested in adding roses to the home landscape can see the color, size, form, and quality of each rose variety and choose those most suitable for their own gardens. It is also a great place to get away from it all.

Wedding ceremonies are not allowed in the garden. However, a permit is required for posed photography, whether amateur or professional, for any special life event including, but is not limited to, birthdays, ceremonies, engagements, family photo shoots, graduations, maternity, proms, and quinceaneras. Please call 908 722-1200 ext. 5721.

Rose Classification and Cultivars (PDF)

The Rose Garden is part of a more extensive Arboretum, which includes the Fragrance & Sensory Garden, the Ornamental Grass Collection, the Perennial Garden, and the Shrub Collection.

Current Gardening Programs/Special Events in Colonial Park Gardens

YouTube Video of the Rose Garden
"A Place of Enchantment and Delight"

  Colonial Park (Lot A)
  156 Mettlers Road
   Somerset, NJ 08873

  4/1/22 - 10/30/22:
  Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays,
  and Fridays: 8am – 6pm
  Wednesdays: Noon – 6pm
  Saturdays,  Sundays, and Holidays: 10am – 6pm

  6/01/22 - 7/30/22:
  Thursdays: 8am – 8pm

  The garden will be closed for the season on
  Monday, 10/31/22 and will reopen on Saturday,

  Somerset County Park Commission
  Horticulture Department
  Colonial Park Gardens
  156 Mettlers Road
  Somerset, NJ 08873
  Tel: 908 722-1200 ext. 5721
  Fax: 732 873-3896
  TTY: Use the NJ Relay Service @711
  (for individuals with hearing/speech impairments)

  ADMISSION: Suggested donation of $6 per adult and $3 per senior or child


  E-mail the Colonial Park Gardens with any questions
  or comments.