Fragrance and Sensory Garden

Colonial Park Gardens
Fragrance and Sensory Garden

Fragrance & Sensory Garden Overview

The Fragrance and Sensory Garden is housed in the Rudolf W. van der Goot Rose Garden. This intimate garden showcases collections of plants that engage one or more senses, including medicinal and culinary herbs, tropical plants, fragrant shrubs, tender perennials, vines, and unusual annuals.

The Somerset County Park Commission developed the garden in 1981 with generous assistance from the Franklin Lion’s Club, to be of special interest to visitors with visual or physical impairments. The sunken garden is surrounded by a stone wall and raised beds, which enable visitors to easily interact with nearby plants. Studies have shown that sensory gardens offer therapeutic benefits and enhance well-being.

Today, this garden remains a special place for visitors of all ages for its interactive nature, which can be both stimulating and calming. Culinary and aromatic herbs, including holy basil, chocolate mint, and lemon-scented geranium, are displayed within reach. The fragrances of lavender, lilac, jasmine, and rosemary perfume the air. Textured plants such as rubbery sedum and baby-soft lamb’s ear delight the sense of touch. Sound is provided by rustling grasses, rattling seedheads, buzzing bees, and gentle breezes. And behind the herbs is a colorful backdrop of annuals, perennials, and shrubs, which attract birds, pollinators, and butterflies. Vine-covered pergolas and an oval lawn offer spots to sit, reflect, and relax.

The garden is free to visit and is open April through October. Pets and picnics are not permitted. Guided tours can be arranged for a small fee.

Fragrance and Sensory Garden 2   Fragrance and Sensory Garden 4



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

(April - October)
Monday: 8am – 6pm
Tuesday: 8am – 6pm
Wednesdays: 12pm – 6pm
Thursdays: 8am - 6pm   (May 18 to July 27): 8am to 8pm
Friday: 8am – 6pm
Saturdays, Sundays, and Holidays: 10am – 6pm

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