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December 27, 2023

2023 Annual Appeal


Best wishes from the Friends for a very Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year! May 2024 bring a bounty of blessings to you and yours.

Please read the attached Annual Appeal message from Heather Emelander, President of the Friends of The Frelinghuysen Arboretum.


Saturday, January 6 - 1:00 PM

Melanie Bump, Curator of Collections and Exhibits at the Morris County Park Commission's Division of Cultural and Environmental Resources presents: Savory Remembrances in the Books.

As we look into the New Year, we can seek comfort and joy in the recipes and cookbooks in the Elizabeth D. Kay Rare Books Collection. Cookbooks and receipts have been passed down for centuries, feeding families, children, and royalty and even curing the sick using botanical recipes. Through the pages of these carefully kept handwritten journals and illustrated bound volumes, we can hear the voices of past cooks who turned to their gardens for guidance. Join the Curator of Collections and Exhibits as we savor the botanical and culinary insight in the pages of the 18th and 19th-century rare books and remember the people who made and used them.

Following the program, we'll celebrate with our usual spread of delicious savory and sweet treats, accompanied by coffee, tea, and wines.

The event is free for Members, but you must register as attendance is limited to 100 people.

For more information and to register, please click on the Book of Cookery page.


Saturday, February 3 - 1:00 PM

Speaker Marta McDowell will discuss her new book, Gardening Can Be Murder.

With their deadly plants, razor-sharp shears, shady corners, and ready-made burial sites, gardens make an ideal scene for a murder mystery. Flora and horticulture have had an outsize influence on the genre: motive, means, opportunity, victims, villains, and detectives. Join Marta McDowell, writer, gardener, and avid mystery reader, in exploring the many ways in which writers - from Edgar Allen Poe and Wilkie Collins to Agatha Christie and some of today’s top crime fiction authors - have found inspiration in the sinister side of gardening.

Marta McDowell lives, writes and gardens in Chatham, New Jersey. Her garden writing has appeared in popular publications such as Women’s Day, Country Gardening, The New York Times and she is a regular contributor to the British journal, Hortus. Marta teaches landscape history and horticulture at the New York Botanical Garden and consults for private clients and public gardens. She was the 2019 recipient of the Garden Club of America’s Sarah Chapman Francis Medal for outstanding literary achievement.

Since 1979, the Friends of The Frelinghuysen Arboretum have supported horticultural education through a scholarship named for Dr. Benjamin Blackburn.

Dr. Blackburn was a professor of Botany at Drew University. His involvement with the Morris County Park Commission began with his friendship with Henry and Robert Tubbs, whose property, Willowwood, eventually became the Willowwood Arboretum. Dr. Blackburn published many articles and wrote a number of books on gardening as well as being the host of a very popular radio gardening program. He generously shared his vast knowledge and deep love for horticulture with many staff members in the Horticulture Division and with his countless fans, members of the Friends of The Frelinghuysen Arboretum and area garden clubs.

Admission fees for this program support the scholarship that is offered to students in the Landscape Technology Program at County College of Morris (CCM). This scholarship allows interested students the opportunity to explore the different horticultural, environmental, and design studies offered through the accredited CCM programs. The increased knowledge the students acquire in the classroom and through hands-on programs at CCM will benefit them as they enter their chosen field in horticulture and landscape design.

This presentation will be followed by a book sale and signing.

This program is eligible for 1.0 Rutgers Master Gardener CEU

For more information and to register, click on the book cover image, above.


Goldie's & Xmas Ferns

Wednesday, April 3 - 7:00 PM


This presentation will share the diversity of ferns indigenous to Northern New Jersey as well as their ecological importance and environmental benefits. Each species’ characteristics will be reviewed in detail, including how exactly to identify and differentiate them, what their site preferences are and their tolerances, plus how to best incorporate them into your garden and landscape.

Jean Epiphan is an Agriculture and Natural Resources Agent and Associate Professor, Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Morris County.

For more information and to register, click on the photo of Christmas and Goldie's Ferns by Jean Epiphan.


In this last week of 2023, several plants are blooming in the patio between Matilda's Cottage and the Haggerty Education Center. The delicate, strappy, reddish flowers of Hamamelis vernalis 'Red Imp' (Witch Hazel) are beginning their annual show, the Jasminum nudiflorum (Winter Jasmine) on the fence is just beginning to open its lemon yellow flowers and the Edgeworthia chrysantha shrub (Paper Bush) buds are ready to burst into bloom. It's such a treat to see flowers in the December gardens!

Jasminum nudiflorum Hamamelis vernalis 'Red Imp' Edgeworthia chrysantha

Click an image to see them all in our website's picture gallery.


Several of our previously recorded events are available to watch on-line.

See our Prerecorded Events page for more information and to register.

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.

You can register and pay on line on our Events page and Membership page and subscribe to this newsletter here: complete directions for subscribing.


Friends of The Frelinghuysen Arboretum
Post Office Box 2267
Morristown, NJ 07962

Voicemail: 973-937-8803


Morris County Park Commission Logo
The Frelinghuysen Arboretum is a facility of
the Morris County Park Commission
  • Frelinghuysen, Willowwood and Bamboo Brook Arboreta grounds are open 7 days a week, from 8am to dusk
  • The Haggerty Education Center is now open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. The building remains closed on Sundays and Mondays.
  • Parking is limited. Other buildings remain closed. Portajohns are available.
  • HUNTING IN THE PARKS - See the Morris County Park Commission website.