Author: Webmaster

Bloom Report – 1/15/24

It is the dawn of a new year. Another year of growth, of progress, love, and of course, gardening! 

There is not one moment in the gardens at Willowwood that is uninteresting; even in the absence of the raucous colors of flowers abuzz with pollinators that grace us in the growing season one can find interest. Now is the time to enjoy the structure and textures of the garden: bark, fruit, buds (as they swell in anticipation of spring, or perhaps a warm spell). Some structural interest is unexpectedly whimsical, such as the remaining sporophylls of sensitive fern (Onoclea sensibilis) or the fruit of the appropriately named blackberry lily (Iris domestica). (Click the images to enlarge them).

Iris domestica
Iris domestica
Onoclea sensibilis
Onoclea sensibilis

Even in this time of dormancy flowers can still be found at Willowwood, like this ‘Christmas Gold’ witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana), a selection of our native species with especially dense flowers and a light, spicy aroma. 

Hamamelis virginiana 'Christmas Gold'
Hamamelis virginiana ‘Christmas Gold’

A look to the meadows will reveal numerous winterberry holly (Ilex verticillata), their branches upright and studded in red fruit, as in the case of the straight species. An exception is the ‘Winter Gold’ cultivar whose fruit instead reads more like a pale vermillion: this difference can be especially striking when planted along its red-fruited sisters. 

Ilex verticillata ‘Winter Gold'
Ilex verticillata ‘Winter Gold’
Ilex verticillata ‘Winter Gold'
Ilex verticillata ‘Winter Gold’
Ilex verticillata
Ilex verticillata

In Pan’s Garden you will find the perfumed blooms of Viburnum farreri, a more unusual selection that flowers in bursts from November to February. The aroma of these is best admired while seated on the back porch of the Tubb’s House during a sunny winter day, where we would love to see you visiting. Willowwood Arboretum is open 7 days a week from sunrise to sunset. Please check the Morris County Park Commission website (Willowwood Arboretum | Morris County Parks (morrisparks.net) for more information for planning your visit.

Viburnum farreri
Viburnum farreri

By Bonnie Semmling.

President’s Message Fall 2023

Seward Johnson, La Promenade, 1995 The Seward Johnson Atelier Inc
Seward Johnson, La Promenade, 1995 The Seward Johnson Atelier Inc

Dear Friends of the Willowwood Arboretum,

Autumn is in the air at Willowwood where fall’s finest blooms are complemented by the ten Seward Johnson’s sculptures scattered throughout the arboretum. If you have not yet seen this Living Sculpture Exhibit, be sure to pay a visit before it winds down in November.  A whimsical experience and beautiful gardens await for fantastic fall foliage photos opportunities!  Click here for more information on this beautiful exhibit.

The Willowwood Foundation’s fall fundraiser concert, “Sounds for Sculpture”, added “living sound” to celebrate the Seward Johnson sculpture exhibit on September 10, 2023 at The Willow School.  Internationally renowned jazz vibraphonist, pianist and composer, Christian Tamburr, and his amazing band members: Griffin Fink, Tatum Greenblatt, Carmen Intorre, Jr., and Oscar Perez performed “The Awakening.”  

A lovely musician’s reception was held at Willowwood’s historic Stone Barn after the performance along with an opportunity for guests to tour the sculptures.  

Willow School Workshop
Willow School Workshop

The day after the concert, Willow School students enjoyed a musical workshop led by Christian and his musicians.  Students responded enthusiastically to both the music and the musicians’ questions. At the close of the program, one youngster held up his hand to inquire when the group would be coming back to perform again!  Our sincere thanks to The Willow School staff for providing the beautiful concert venue and assisting to make the “Sounds for Sculpture” fundraiser a success.  

Many thanks to our corporate sponsors below with heartfelt appreciation for their generous support in helping the Willowwood Foundation continue to thrive.  

  • Elberon Development Group
  • Simon Quick Advisors
  • Habba Madaio & Associates LLP
  • Peapack-Gladstone Bank  
Sussex County ARC
Sussex County ARC

The Willowwood Foundation supported another positive event on September 14th, at Willowwood Arboretum.  The Sussex County ARC participated in a Horticultural Therapy program led by Morris County Park Commission staff members Ann Fahey and Gwen Montgomery.  Participants created beautiful floral arrangements and demonstrated that Horticultural Therapy is a wonderful way to bring people of all abilities closer to nature while creating a safe social, educational, and recreational environment. 

For a glimpse at our busy month, check out our photo montage and be sure to carve out some time to visit Willowwood soon.  Wishing you a colorful fall!

With best regards,

Meryl Carmel, President

Willowwood Foundation

Sounds for Sculpture September 10

September 10, 2023

The Willowwood Foundation is delighted to present The Sounds For Sculpture concert on Sunday afternoon, September 10, 2023.

The Concert is a dynamic performance of “The Awakening” featuring original musical compositions by internationally renowned jazz vibraphonist and composer Christian Tamburr.

The music was inspired by a selection of iconic bronze sculptures by sculptor, Seward Johnson. Ten of Seward Johnson’s Living Sculptures will be exhibited at the Willowwood Arboretum July 1st through November 15, 2023.

Click here for a short video about the concert.

Tickets may be reserved and paid for online by clicking the button below or via mail at The Willowwood Foundation, PO Box 218, Gladstone, NJ 07934.

Concert tickets – $50.00/pp.



Sounds for Sculpture Flyer
Sounds for Sculpture Flyer

Click the flyer at left to open it as a full-sized pdf.

After the concert performance at The Willow School, guests will be invited to independently tour the ten Seward Johnson Living Sculptures at Willowwood. A self-paced tour brochure will be available while viewing the sculptures (¾ mile loop). Visitors may also listen to the Willowwood cell phone tour.

A post concert reception will be held in the Stone Barn with light refreshments.

Test Sounds for Sculpture 9-10-23 Concert

Sounds for Sculpture Concert

September 20, 2023

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Buy Tickets Here

and here (50)

Spring 2023 Message

Dear Friends of the Willowwood Arboretum,

I hope you are enjoying the splendor of spring.  Despite our recent whiplash of weather, the blooms have arrived and Willowwood is putting on a splendid spring show. It seems that a new variety of flowering tree and shrub reveals itself each day. Grab your camera, take a walk, and enjoy the serenity that nature provides.

Some exciting news to share regarding an upoming partnership between MCPC and the Seward Johnson Atelier whereby a selection of sculptures will be on display at Willowwood for a period of about four months beginning this July.

In lieu of our Lilac Party for 2023, The Willowwood Foundation will host a most unique fundraiser in conjunction with the Seward Johnson sculpture display. We will host a jazz concert this fall featuring the Christian Tamburr Quintet. This collaborative venture between renowned composer-vibraphonist Christian Tamburr and internationally acclaimed sculptor Seward Johnson will feature The Awakening, “Sounds for Sculpture” inspired by Johnson’s sculptures. The musical performance premier was performed at Dizzy’s Coca Cola Club at Lincoln Center.

We are very pleased that the concert will be held in collaboration with The Willow School. Following the concert at The Willow School, attendees are invited for an independent tour of the sculptures at Willowwood Arboretum. Light refreshments will be served. September 10, 2023. Tickets $50.00. Ticket availability through this website after June 1. Stay tuned!

With best wishes,

Meryl Carmel, President Willowwood Foundation