Rudolf W. van der Goot Rose Garden

Rose Garden


The Rudolf W. van der Goot Rose Garden 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.

Rose Garden 4The 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.

A visit to the garden provides an excellent opportunity to learn about roses and the many varieties available. A visitor interested in adding roses to the home landscape can see the color, size, form, and quality of each rose variety and choose those most suitable for their own gardens. It is also a great place to get away from it all.

Wedding ceremonies are not allowed in the garden. However, a permit is required for posed photography, whether amateur or professional, for any special life event including, but is not limited to, birthdays, ceremonies, engagements, family photo shoots, graduations, maternity, proms, and quinceaneras. Please call 908-722-1200 ext. 5721.

The Rose Garden is part of a more extensive Arboretum, which includes the Fragrance & Sensory Garden, the Ornamental Grass Collection, the Perennial Garden, and the Shrub Collection.

Rose Classification and Cultivars

Rose Garden 2   Rose Garden 3


(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

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

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.

Rose Garden - Colonial Park