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November 2004

Autumn Spectacular

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The gardens of Frelinghuysen Arboretum are tucked among ornamental grasses and surrounded by grand trees. Just a walk around the parking lot is stunning. Even the trash cans are planted.

For gardeners looking for plants with fabulous fall color, this is the place to go. There are many gardens and woodland trails not included on this brief tour, but for anyone with an hour or two to spare, a walk around the parking lot and Haggerty Education Center reveals a wealth of inspiration.

In bloom:
Salvia 'Purple Majesty'
Bluebeard 'Dark Knight' Caryopteris x clandonensis
Whirling Butterflies, Gaura lindheimeri
Tartarian Aster, Aster tartaricus cv. Jin Dai
Arkansas Blue Star, Amsonia hubrechtii
Camellia 'Winter's Star'

Giant Reed, Arundo donax
Eulalia 'Silberfeil,' Miscanthus sinensis 'Silberfeil'
Japanese Silver Grass, Miscanthus sinensis 'Julie'
Dwarf Fountain Grass, Pennisetum hamelin
Switch Grass 'Warrior,' Panicum virgatum 'Warrior'
Ravenna Grass, Saccharum ravennae
Japanese Fountain Grass, Pennisetum alopecuroides v. japnonica
Giant Maiden Grass, Miscanthus sinensis 'Goliath'
Eulalia Cosmopolitan, Miscanthus sinensis 'Cosmopolitan'

Wood Spurge, Euphorbia amygdaloides v. Robbiae
Dwarf oak-leaf hydrangea 'Sikes Dwarf,' Hydrangea quercifolia 'Sikes Dwarf'
Seven Sons Tree, Heptacodium minonioides
Purple Beautyberry, Callicarpa dichotoma
Winterberry Holly, Ilex verticillata 'Winter Red'
Trifoliate Orange, Poncirus trifoliate (fragrant!)
Magnolia 'Butterflies'
Paper Bark Maple, Acer griseum

Brief History:
In 1891 the 127-acre property became the estate of George Griswold and Sara Ballantine Frelinghuysen. Over the next five years, Scottish landscape architect James McPherson designed the grounds in the English country fashion.

“He was selected by Mrs. Frelinghuysen, who had a great love of the English landscape and he was a master at creating pastoral landscapes,"¯ says Lesley Parness, superintendent of Horticultural Education at the arboretum. Some of the sugar maples along the drive were planted in the 1890s.

The estate was a working dairy farm. Mr. Frelinghuysen, president of Ballantine Beer in Newark, bred and raised Jersey dairy cows.

In 1969 the estate was bequeathed to the Morris County Park Commission and the arboretum opened two years later. It is on the State and National Register of Historic Places.

Frelinghuysen Arboretum, 53 East Hanover Avenue, Morris Township, NJ
Friends of the Arboretum: www.arboretumfriends.org
Morris County Park Commission: 973-326-7600 and www.morrisparks.net

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