It's National Garden Week. Here are 5 ways to celebrate in North Jersey (2024)

Celebrated during the first full week of June each year, National Garden Week is a time to show appreciation for the role nature plays in our lives, and to encourage gardening to keep our communities beautiful.

Spearheaded by National Garden Clubs — a non-profit organization that promotes the love of gardening, floral design and civic and environmental responsibility — this year's National Garden Week will run to June 8. And, considering we are the Garden State after all, there's no better place to celebrate this week than right here in New Jersey.

So, here are five ways to show your appreciation for Mother Nature and the world of gardening in North Jersey during National Garden Week:

Explore a botanical garden or arboretum

It's National Garden Week. Here are 5 ways to celebrate in North Jersey (1)

There are an abundance of botanical gardens and arboretums in North Jersey that are open for the public to explore. Each location has a team of individuals that dedicate their time to maintain them, so it's only right to take a trip to see them during National Garden Week.

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Among them is the New Jersey Botanical Garden, a 96-acre botanical garden in Ringwood State Park. The botanical garden has 12 individual gardens devoted to variations like perennials, lilacs, azaleas, wildflowers, magnolias and more. Plus, there are also plenty of other tree and plant species, ponds and statues throughout the area. Go: 2 Morris Road, Ringwood; 973-962-9534,

You can also stop by the Essex County Rose Garde, located in the middle of Brookdale Park in Montclair. Most notably, the garden is known for having more than 500 individual rose bushes with nearly 150 different varieties. The rose bushes are arranged by color, including red, pink, yellow, white, orange, mauve and bi-color. Go:Division Street and Wildwood Avenue, 973-268-3500,

Other botanical gardens and arboretums to visit in North Jersey include Presby Memorial Iris Gardens in Montclair; Thielke Arboretum in Glen Rock; Van Vleck House & Gardens in Montclair; Frelinghuysen Arboretum in Morris Township; Greenwood Gardens in Short Hills; and Laurelwood Arboretum in Wayne.

Become a Master Gardener of Bergen County and volunteer at local sites

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If you're passionate about gardening and have been looking for a way to both give back to the community and meet other people who are just as passionate about gardening, consider applying to become a Rutgers Master Gardener through the Master Gardeners of Bergen County. To become a Master Gardener, you'll complete a Master Gardener volunteer training program and go on to assist Rutgers' mission of delivering research-based home horticulture programs, services and information to the public.

As a Master Gardener, you can volunteer for the association's RCE Helpline, participate in community outreach, coordinate speakers for gardening-related topics, assist horticultural therapy projects and help get content for the association's newsletter.

Plus, as there are several botanical gardens, arboretums, parks and more in Bergen County that are all maintained with the help of Master Gardener volunteers, you'll also be able to put your gardening skills to good use by lending a hand. Some of these local sites include the Butterfly and Native Garden at Overpeck Park; Davies Arboretum and Wildlife Preserve in Demarest; and the Teaneck Creek Conservancy in Teaneck.

Info: To become a Master Gardener, contact Horticultural Assistant Karen Riede at 201-336-6788 or

Join a local gardening club

Another way to meet other members of your community who also love gardening, or to improve your gardening skills, is by joining a local garden club during National Garden Week. Most towns have their own garden club, which is open to residents and those who live in nearby towns, and their meetings often feature guest speakers, refreshments, plant exchanges, conversation and more.

It's okay if you're unsure whether your town, or a nearby town, has a garden club available for you to join. You can fill out a form on the National Garden Clubs' website, and they will contact you with the name and details of clubs in your area.

Consider starting your own vegetable garden

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If you've been thinking about starting your own vegetable garden, National Garden Week is the perfect time to do so. While it will take a bit of research to get started — The Farmer's Almanac offers some great tips for beginners — there's no better time to take on a new project than the present.

Spend some time picking the right location in your yard for the garden, as well as selecting the right plot size. Then, determine exactly what vegetables you'd like to start with: The Farmer's Almanac recommends vegetables like lettuce, green beans, radishes, tomatoes, zucchini and peppers for beginners.

Visit your local community garden, or start your own

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Unlike a park or another public space where a larger entity is responsible for managing and maintaining it, community gardens bring together members of a community to design, build and maintain a space in the community. For National Garden Week, visiting your local community garden or starting your own is the best way to celebrate.

Information on community gardens are often available through the town, so check your municipality's website to determine whether your town has one. And, if your town does not already have a community garden, consider starting your own by finding available land — always check with the town to determine if you can use the area — as well as finding resources to support the garden and engaging the community to get involved.

Maddie McGay is the real estate reporter forNorthJersey.comand The Record, covering all things worth celebrating about living in North Jersey. Find her onInstagram @maddiemcgay,onX @maddiemcgayy, and sign up for herNorth Jersey Livingnewsletter.Do you have a tip, trend or terrific house she should know about? Email her atMMcGay@gannett.

It's National Garden Week. Here are 5 ways to celebrate in North Jersey (2024)
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