Park Commission Accepts International ‘Garden of Excellence’ Award


Unveiling the 2015 Garden of Excellence Award at the Rudolf W. van der Goot Rose Garden are (l to r) Horticulture Supervisor Shauna Moore; Freeholder Director Pat Walsh; Dr. Suni Bolar; Lois Fowkes of the World Federation of Rose Societies; Former Governor and Park Commission President Don DiFrancesco; and Horticulture Manager Jim Avens.

At an Oct. 7 ceremony at the Rudolf van der Goot Rose Garden at Colonial Park in Somerset, Somerset County Park Commissioners and Staff formally accepted the 2015 World Federation of Rose Societies’ (WFRS) Garden of Excellence Award.

The nomination was submitted by Dr. Suni Bolar, Vice President of the Jersey Shore Rose Society and a national level rose exhibitor and rose hybridizer.

Beginning in 1995, the WFRS organization recognized the best of the outstanding rose gardens throughout the world with its Garden of Excellence Award. The highly competitive and prestigious award has been earned by internationally renowned gardens including La Roseraie de Bagatelle in France, the Garden of Roses in England, and Washington Park in Portland, Oregon along with gardens in Argentina, China, Italy, Pakistan, South Africa, and other countries throughout the world.

The Rudolf W. van der Goot Rose Garden is one acre in size and contains more than 3,000 roses of 325 varieties. 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 Rose Garden is located on Mettlers Road (Parking Lot A) in the East Millstone section of Franklin Township’s Colonial Park.

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 rose collections.


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