CP - Rose Garden
The Rudolf W. van der Goot Rose Garden in Colonial Park 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.

Also located in the Rose Garden is the Lilly Pond. A quiet little spot where green frogs poke their heads up from beneath pale yellow waterlillies and goldfish meander through floating Water Hyacinth past a gurgling fountain. It could be mistaken for a bog because of the Corkscrew Rush, Horsetail and Dwarf Cattail, but it is a manmade pond in the center of the Rudolf W. van der Goot Rose Garden. Original to the Mettler estate, the pond has evolved into a hardy water garden over the last ten years, containing varieties of plants that remain outside all winter. The 75+ goldfish and two Koi also winter outside, but in the fall when the pond is cleaned, the frogs are transported back to the stream where they can dig into the mud. Each spring they return again to entertain visiting children while their parents are off smelling the roses.
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