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Colonial Park Perennial Garden To Be Demolished, Rebuilt

The Somerset County Parks Commission is moving forward with plans to demolish and reconstruct the Perennial Garden in Colonial Park. (File photo.)

A project to demolish and reconstruct the Perennial Garden in Colonial Park is expected to start in late August.

The garden, a popular site for wedding pictures and other events, is expected to be restored by mid-November.

Bids for the $166,000 project are now being solicited. The bid opening is Aug. 1, and the contract is expected to be awarded at the Somerset County Freeholders’ Aug. 27 meeting, said Geoffrey Soriano, secretary-director of the Somerset County Parks Commission.

“The project completion, by bid specification, is 73 working days from award of contract,” he said in an email.

The work entails “the demolition and reconstruction of the Colonial Park Perennial Garden,” County Engineer Matthew Loper said in an email. The work includes “all earthwork (including grading and creation of mulched planting beds), construction of stone ADA paths, and new irrigation.”

New plantings will be acquired and planted by the Park Commission, Loper said.

“Colonial Park already features an award-winning, world class Rose Garden; an under-recognized, rare and remarkable collection of trees and shrubs in our arboretum and shrub field, and an engaging and popular Fragrance and Sensory Garden,” Soriano wrote. The changes to the Perennial Garden will “contribute appropriate and vital botanical and design elements to enhance Colonial Park’s reputation as a high-quality destination showpiece for Somerset County and for the Garden State.”

“The new design has been created with the best and most up-to-date horticultural standards and principles for garden design,” he wrote. “It will provide both a tranquil haven for quiet reflection and recreation, as well as a place for self-education and inspiration for home gardeners.”

Soriano said that highlights of the new design are:

  • The new design allows for bloom and aesthetic interest in all seasons.
  • The improved space, combined with anticipated renewed interest in the garden, will provide a more visually striking garden, encourage interest in wedding and photography permits, and increase overall interest in Colonial Park as an elite showcase of public gardens.
  • Grassy mounds around the gazebo are designed to create an amphitheater-like environment that provide casual seating and allow for viewing of ceremonies, musical events, and theatrical performances.

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