This newsletter is brought to you by the Friends of The Frelinghuysen Arboretum and was delivered to your mailbox because you directly subscribe to it or gave your e-mail address as part of your membership registration. If you have changed your mind and wish to unsubscribe, please see the instructions at the bottom of this page.
While you may view our full program on the Events Page of our website, we are pleased to highlight these upcoming programs.

Announcements as of April 1, 2020



The grounds of the Frelinghusen, Willowwood and Bamboo Brook Arboreta are closed to the public through, as of now, April 12th. See this announcement on the Morris County Parks Commission site.

We will keep you posted as later news becomes available.


If you are a student in County College of Morris's Department of Landscape and Horticulture Technology, you may be eligible for a scholarship funded by the Friends of The Frelinghuysen Arboretum and the Watnong Chapter of the North American Rock Garden Society (NARGS).

Get the details, instructions and application form on our website's Blackburn Scholarship page. Note that applications must be postmarked no later than April 10, 2020.

Please pass this information along to anyone you think may be interested.


Birds in the garden are not only fun to watch, listen to and feed, they can also be very helpful partners in the garden.

Because birds have such speedy digestive systems, they are able to fill their stomachs several times a day and in the process rid our gardens of large numbers of such pests as the very destructive Cabbage White butterfly's caterpillars. This makes them a very effective and natural means of pest control, no nasty chemicals needed.

There are many things you can do to attract birds to your garden, most importantly:

  1. Provide sources of food in the form of seed-producing plants such as Black-eyed Susans, Coneflowers, Coreopsis, Cosmos, Feverfew and Sunflowers, just to name a few. You can also plant berry bearing shrubs such as Blueberries, Crabapples, Dogwoods, Holly, and Serviceberry. During the winter months, you can provide seed at several feeding stations in order to attract a larger variety of species. New Jersey's state bird, the American Goldfinch, has been in my garden recently, the male's bright yellow plumage a bright spot at the feeder. In the summer, my favorite pastime is to feed the hummingbirds, they are such graceful, acrobatic little flyers, aggresively defending their" feeder" from other hummers.
  2. Provide sources of shelter such as dense shrubs, dead trees, stumps, etc. that birds can use to hide in if they sense danger. Also, dead trees and stumps are homes for insects, another source of food for birds such as Woodpeckers, Nuthatches and Wrens. You will be rewarded with the lovely, happy, bubbling song of the House Wren if you're lucky enough to attract them to your garden.
  3. Water in your garden is a major attraction for birds, to drink as well as to bathe in. The water source need not be elaborate, a simple birdbath or saucer filled with water will do. There's nothing more enjoyable that watching a Robin in the birdbath, they are such enthusiastic bathers, flapping around, twittering and grooming!
  4. Encourage insect eating birds to nest in your garden by providing a variety of bird houses, nesting materials such as thistle and milkweed fluff, narrow grasses and twigs. I once had a House Wren build a nest in a hollowed out coconut I had hung on my front porch. Imagine what a delight it was to watch the tiny fledglings (all seven of them!) leave the nest early one evening, the parents hovering nearby to help and encourage their offspring.

If you feel adventurous, visit the New Jersey Audubon's Scherman-Hoffman Wildlife Sactuary, 11 Hardscrabble Road, Bernardsville, NJ 07924. Their building and store are closed for the time being, but their trails are open for a nice hike through the woods to do some birding. They are open 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM Tuesday through Saturday, and 12:00 Noon to 5:00 PM on Sunday. They're closed on Monday.

If you are in need of bird seed or other supplies, Wild Birds Unlimited, one of our Retail Partners, are able to fill online orders and are happy to ship to you. You can order online at or by phone by calling Jim at 201-341-5484.




We have added a gallery of Spring pictures of the Arboretum from Patti Millar for your enjoyment.

Click the magnolia at right to view them in our website's picture gallery.

Free Affiliate Member Programs

Frelinghuysen Arboretum Gesneriad Society

Thu Apr 2, 2020 - 7:30p - CANCELLED

"Gesneridads for the Outdoor Garden", PowerPoint presentation showing how Gesneriad Society members grow various Gesneriads (African Violet cousins) in the outdoor garden. RSVP required to Karyn Cichocki, as space is limited.

The New Jersey State Chrysanthemum Society

Fri Apr 3, 2020 -1:00p - 3:00p - CANCELLED

Program: Be transported back in time and take a journey to Michigan’s unique treasure, Mackinac Island. Discover the history of the island, the famous Grand Hotel and visit the beautiful homes and gardens. Doris Cunniff will share with us her recent visit to The Grand Garden Show on that more-than-picturesque island.

Mum topic: Preparing soil and getting ready to receive new plants

African Violet Club of Morris County

Sat Apr 4, 2020 - 1:30p - 4:30p and Sun Apr 5 11:00a - 3:00p - CANCELLED

Annual show & plant sale celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the African Violet Club of Morris County. The theme for the 2020 show is “Violets – a Silver Anniversary”.

North American Butterfly Association

Tue Apr 7, 2020 - 7:30p - CANCELLED

Don’t Skip the Skippers – Sharon Wander’s program will help us identify and appreciate this sometimes cryptic but always fascinating family of butterflies.

African Violet Club of Morris County

Wed Apr 8, 2020 - 7:30p - CANCELLED

General Violet Care

Great Swamp Bonsai Society

Tue Apr 14, 2020 - 6:30p - 9:30p - CANCELLED

Soils and Repotting Workshop

Affiliate member programs are all free and open to the public.

Retail Partners

When shopping at our fine Retail Partners, please remember to present your Membership card at the beginning of your check out transaction. Our Retail Partners need to enter the discount at the beginning of that process.

If you have not yet used this wonderful Member Benefit, you can view our full list of Retail Partners by clicking here.

Amazon Smile

Don't forget to "SMILE!"Amazon Smile, that is!

Amazon, through the AmazonSmile Foundation will contribute 0.5% of your purchases on Amazon to a charitable organization you select. Please consider selecting The Friends of the Frelinghuysen Arboretum as your designated recipient from this wonderful program.

Click here and log in to your amazon account to designate the Friends as your charity.

All our events can be found on our Events Page where, we are happy to say, you can register and pay on line -- just click on the "Add to Cart" buttons on our Events page and Membership page. Questions or need more information? Call 862-325-7754.

That's it for this time. Hope you enjoyed this edition of the newsletter. Tell your friends about this handy way to keep up with activities at the Frelinghuysen Arboretum (click here for complete directions for subscribing.

Visit our website:
Email your comments or suggestions to
Phone us at (973) 326-7603.


The Frelinghuysen Arboretum is a facility of the Morris County Park Commission

Remove me from this list