Sunday was my birthday and my husband was working all day.Â I didn't feel like sitting home waiting all day long, so I wanted to get out andÂ do something different.Â I ended upÂ heading to the New Jersey State Botanical GardenÂ in Ringwood, NJ.Â It's only 15-20 minutes away from me and yet I'd never visited before.Â I don't even know why I've never been there.Â I always said I'd go one day and so finally on my birthday I did go.Â
The place is gorgeous and huge!Â I don't know what I was expecting, but man, it was definitely bigger than I thought it would be.Â I'm going to have to go back another day because I barely saw even one corner of the gardens.Â Plus at different times of year, I'd love to see different flowers in bloom.Â I could kick myself for not going earlier in May to fully enjoy the lilacs.Â Some were still in bloom, but not to the extent they probably were a month ago.Â Also the crab abble trees must be gorgeous when they bloom in early spring.Â Well, I missed those and so I'll have to put it on my schedule for next year and I'll have to go again during summer and fall months.
I took plenty of photos, but I must admit that I'm disappointed in many of them.Â Â I guess I was too busy looking around to focus properly on taking pictures.Â Â Never fear though,Â I still have plenty to share.Â I shall break it down into a few photo essays over the course of a couple days so that I don't overwhelm.
This first two pictures are of a building on the property.Â I don't remember what it is or what it once was used for.Â I just thought it looked neat.
From another angle:
The next building is the visitor's center, gift shop and also is where the restrooms are located.Â I didn't go inside, but I liked the view of he building from the outside.
Entering the gardens I saw this view...
Here's a couple ofÂ close ups of the planter:
Another building on the property:
The Crabapple Vista was very impressive.Â (Sign below explains what it is).
Here's a couple photos of it:
While I wandered around I saw some wildlife.Â I was hoping to see swans in the swan pond, but I never quite found the swan pond, I don't think.Â So much to see!Â But I did see a cute little chipmunk.
And his friend Mr. Squirrel:
He let me get pretty close before he bounced off.
I think there was a wedding that afternoon becauseÂ I saw a ton of people all dressed to the nines and this limo:
... followed by this car...
Of course I also saw plenty of flowers.
I walked around for only about an hour and a half because I had to get back home.Â But it was well worth the $5 it cost to park.Â
I can't wait to go back again.Â More photos to come tomorrow or one day soon...
My photos can't even begin to convey how pretty the garden is, or how big it is, but I hope that you enjoy sharing my trip with me.