The Dirt

A reason to visit Trenton, N.J.

Garden path
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of www.groundsforsculpture.org
Red Maple Allee
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of www.groundsforsculpture.org
Seward Johnson, On Poppied Hill, 1999
Photo/Illustration: Photo by David Steele
Monet bridge
Photo/Illustration: Photo by David Steele
Monet bridge
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of www.groundsforsculpture.org
Garden path
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of www.groundsforsculpture.org
Red Maple Allee
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of www.groundsforsculpture.org
Seward Johnson, On Poppied Hill, 1999
Photo/Illustration: Photo by David Steele
Monet bridge
Photo/Illustration: Photo by David Steele
Monet bridge
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of www.groundsforsculpture.org

Grounds for Sculpture, a 35-acre art installation in Hamilton, New Jersey (just outside of Trenton), is a must-see destination for gardeners and art lovers alike. The sculptures, which include works by renowned artists such as George Segal, are magnificent. But the creative designs of the plantings are what enhance the artwork and make these gardens truly unique.

Opened to the public in 1992, the sculpture park has a collection of more than 240 works of art in an arboretum-like setting. Established on the grounds of the New Jersey State Fairgrounds, the site started with a mere 12 Japanese maples and now contains thousands of trees and tens of thousands of shrubs and perennials.

My favorite areas were a narrow tree-lined walkway (essentially a 4-foot-wide allee); a re-creation of Monet’s garden at Giverny; and a living vignette of “Madame Monet and Her Son,” which makes visitors feel as if they have walked into the actual painting.

The grounds are open year-round.  For more information, visit the organization’s Web site at www.groundsforsculpture.org.

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  1. SusanCohan 06/03/2009

    Grounds for Sculpture makes some of the most creative use of plants of anywhere I've ever been. One of the first green roofs I saw in the U.S. was there six or seven years ago. Ditto the work of Patrick Dougherty. They strive to incorporate plantings with sculpture and sometime visa versa as evidenced by a piece entitled 'Yew Inside'. Another reason to visit the Garden State!

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