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Colonial Park Gardens

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

View of Garden
Echinacea plant
Butterfly Exploring Plants

Fragrance and Sensory Garden


The Fragrance and Sensory Garden is located at the western portion of the Rudolf W. van der Goot Rose Garden. Designed to be of special interest to visitors who are visually or physically impaired, the garden demonstrates how plants can appeal to all of the senses.

The Somerset County Park Commission developed the garden in 1981 with generous assistance from the Franklin Lion’s Club. The sunken garden is surrounded by a stone wall and raised beds, enabling visitors to easily reach out and touch the plants. The stone capping at the top of the wall will guide the visually impaired. Many of the herbs are identified with printed labels as well as Braille.

Popular with adults and children alike for its interactive nature, visitors are invited to touch and smell the herbs. Culinary and fragrant herbs including basils, mints and geraniums are displayed within reach. The fragrances of lavender, daphne and sweet autumn clematis perfume the air. Textured plants such as the rubbery sedum, spiky blue fescue and downy lamb’s ear delight the sense of touch. Behind the herbs is a backdrop of annuals and perennials that provide color throughout the season.

The Fragrance Sensory Garden is part of a more extensive Arboretum, which includes the Ornamental Grass Collection, the Perennial Garden, the Rudolf W. van der Goot Rose Garden, and the Shrub Collection.

Current Gardening Programs/Special Events in Colonial Park Gardens

Guided tours of the garden can be arranged for a small fee.

Fragrance and Sensory Garden Periods of Ornamental Interest.

Selected List of Plants Growing in the Fragrance & Sensory Garden
Botanical Name
Alchemilla mollis
Allium schoenoprasum
Artemisia dracunculus var. sativa
Buddleia davidii 'Ile de France'
Calycanthus floridus
Fothergilla gardenii
Galium odoratum
Heliotropium arborescens
Lavandula angustifolia 'Munstead'
Magnolia virginiana
Melissa officinalis
Mentha x piperita
Mimosa pudica
Nepeta mussinii
Ocimum basilicum 'Spicy Globe'
Origanum majorana
Origanum vulgare
Pelargonium 'Attar of Roses'
Pelargonium 'Citronella'
Pennisetum alopecuroides
Rhododendron periclymenoides pinxterbloom
Rosmarinus officinalis 'Prostratus'
Salvia elegans
Salvia officinalis
Stachys byzantina
Thymus pseudolanuginosus
Thymus vulgaris
Viburnum carlesii
Common Name
lady's mantle
French tarragon
butterfly bush
Carolina allspice
dwarf fothergilla
sweet woodruff
English lavender
sweet bay magnolia
lemon balm
sensitive plant
sweet marjoram
scented geranium
lemon geranium
fountain grass
prostrate rosemary
pineapple sage
common sage
lamb's ears
hall's wooly thyme
common thyme
Korean spice viburnum

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

  Mondays to Fridays: 8am - 6pm
  Wednesdays: 12pm - 6pm
  Saturdays: 10am – 6pm
  Sundays: 10am – 6pm

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

  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)


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