In the 1760s, when Governor William Livingston purchased land in Elizabethtown, NJ for Liberty Hall, one of his goals was to establish a garden filled with unique specimens, a truly beautiful and enduring legacy. He cultivated his garden from fruit trees from Europe, and in the 18th century tradition, exchanged seeds with his contemporaries such as George Washington and his son-in-law John Jay. The magnificent Horse Chestnut tree which stands just outside the front door of Liberty Hall, was indeed one of the seeds he obtained from England. It is over 240 years old today and one of the oldest trees in New Jersey. You can also find a Bartlett pear tree, Seckel pear tree and Buckeye trees that are also among the oldest of their kind in New Jersey, all right here on the grounds of Liberty Hall.
You can see many other outstanding trees along the Serpentine Path, many planted by another early owner Lord Bollingbroke who resided at Liberty Hall in the early 1800s. Our gardens today still amaze visitors each day from all over the world. Bringing William Livingston’s goal to life by continuing to have a garden filled with unique specimens.
Most recently, Liberty Hall became an accredited Level II Arboretum by Arbnet. The ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program is the only global initiative to officially recognize arboreta based on a set of professional standards. In order to become recognized as a Level II Arboretum, Liberty Hall satisfied stringent criteria including having a collection with a minimum of 100 species, varieties or cultivars of trees or woody plants, as well as enhanced educational and public programming.
We are offering guided tours of the Property and Gardens Wednesday – Sunday, 10am – 3pm. All tickets must be pre-purchased at least 2 hours ahead of schedule tour time. For tickets, please click here. You can also take a self guided Arboretum tour Sunday – Sunday, 10am – 3pm.
Explore Our Trails
Liberty Hall’s English parterre garden features a full-length maze, providing optimal views of the seasonal blooms.
Take in the crisp scent of basil, rosemary, lemon balm, echinacea, lamb’s ear, bee balm and more on a refreshing stroll through our Herb Garden.
Unusual for traditional gardening practices at the time, the Serpentine Trail provides a fun rambling path through the grounds.
Flowers & Rose Garden
Liberty Hall’s charming rose garden is home to a number of rare fragrant species that have bloomed for centuries. The garden erupts in a flurry of rich color annually. Visitors are transported to the time of the mansion’s last matriarch, Mary Alice Kean. Set your screens aside and stroll through a vibrant web of lilies, hydrangeas, sunflowers, oleander and greenhouse plants.
Purchase a Potted Piece of New Jersey History…
Calling all Gardeners and Horticulturalists!
Liberty Hall is selling a potted piece of New Jersey history! We partnered with the NJ Department of Forestry to spawn 168 offspring of our famous Horse Chestnut Tree, planted by Susan Livingston in 1770! The conkers from our Horse Chestnut, recognized as a historically significant Heritage Tree by the NJ State Tree Registry, are already growing in the museum’s cold frames. For a limited time, patrons of our newly level II accredited Arboretum can purchase a Horse Chestnut seedling, along with step by step instructions for planting & maintenance, and information on the rich history of the tree for just $95. Please call (908) 527-0400 or email email@example.com to reserve a time for pick up. Supplies are limited, so place your orders for this priceless agricultural artifact today! Purchase using the link below: