The Freeman Gardens are the most underappreciated gems of Glen Ridge. They were designed in 1935 by the preeminent landscape architect of the day, Ethelbert Furlong, in his characteristic axial symmetrical style. Originally commissioned by resident Clayton Freeman, they were bequeathed to the borough in 1967. Thus, for almost half a century, the Gardens have been meticulously maintained and preserved by loyal volunteers at virtually no cost to taxpayers.
Indeed, the Freeman Gardens remain the only one of Furlong's many commissions to be preserved in their original design and open to the public. As such, the Gardens have been recognized by Horticulture Magazine and the Smithsonian Institution's Archives of American Gardens, and are listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places.
The rose garden, now at its height, remains the centerpiece. But what makes the beauty of the Freeman roses all the more compelling is that they are cultivated without the use of pesticides.
So we hope you enjoy reading about some of the Gardens' prize roses and how they can be cultivated organically. But more than that, we hope you visit the Gardens with your children, knowing they won't be exposed to chemicals while gamboling on the lawns or stopping to smell the roses!