Gardens of the Garden State
Nancy Berner and Susan Lowry. Photographs by Gemma and Andrew Ingalls
A glorious photographic tour of the public and private gardens of New Jersey—from historic formal gardens of former estates, to suburb gardens, horticulturists’ havens, and fresh takes on front yards.
The most densely populated state in the nation and one of the original thirteen, home to the largest public iris garden in the country, and the glacier-swept endpoint of the last Ice Age—for Nancy Berner and Susan Lowry, who look to gardens as an entry to the history and culture of a region, New Jersey presents an array of surprising diversity. Its temperate climate makes it possible to grow a wide range of plants, while its complex topography—ranging from mountains to rolling hills and flat basins, the scrubby Pine Barrens and the rich Coastal Plain—demands innovative approaches to design.
The twenty-eight selected gardens—from Skylands, with its specimen trees, woodland and rock gardens, and lilac collection close to the New York border, to the elegant formal gardens of Short Hills, Bernardsville, and Oldwick, to a wildlife garden filled with frogs and butterflies and a lighthouse garden near Cape May—illustrate the ways in which New Jersey’s long garden traditions are upheld to this day. Gemma and Andrew Ingalls’ stunning photographs bring out the manifold ways in which a garden might speak to us in its owner’s or designer’s voice, expressing a particular point of view.
Praise for Gardens of the Garden State
"Handsomely documents 28 gardens, public and private, that authors Nancy Berner and Susan Lowry visited during an 18-month odyssey across the state. Perhaps the most intriguing sections of the book are those that sneak readers into fabulous private gardens, captured by photographers Gemma and Andrew Ingalls. There’s the garden created by noted garden writer Ken Druse and partner Louis Bauer, horticultural director at Wave Hill in the Bronx, on a 2-acre river island. The tropical garden of Graeme Hardie and the sculpture-rich garden of Silas Mountsier, located opposite one another on a leafy street in Nutley. The elegant fountains and artful perennial gardens at Kennelston Cottage in Far Hills. Linden Hill in Rumson, where 45,000 annuals create a spectacular display every summer. And that’s just scratching the surface."
—Newark Star-Ledger, Inside Jersey
"Given its official nickname, it’s no surprise that New Jersey has a rich and vibrant gardening tradition. But what may be news to some is that it plays out on such geographically diverse terrain. Gardens of the Garden State, the third book by seasoned garden-writing duo Nancy Berner and Susan Lowry, provides an illuminating and visually rewarding journey through the landscapes of the fifth-smallest and most densely populated state."
"An unexpectedly gorgeous book about a much maligned state. It is a collection of essays about 29 public and private gardens all over New Jersey. The variety is impressive and speaks to the diversity of the topography found in the state which is the fifth smallest in the nation yet boasts rolling farmland, mountains, lakes, rivers, seashore, swamps, pine barrens, rocky ridges, and stony hills. The book's photographs by Gemma and Andrew Ingalls are lovely and effectively expand the often brief text."
—Gardenista's "Best Books for Garden Lovers"
"The text shares space with handsome photography by Gemma and Andrew Ingalls, showing 29 gardens, including the Laurelwood and Linwood Arboretums, the New Jersey State Botanical Garden at Skylands, Greenwood Gardens, and Van Vleck House and Gardens."
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