MGC Speaker’s Program: “A Walk in the Leonard J. Buck Garden—Four Seasons of Beauty”

Join the Maplewood Garden Club on Monday, February 7, at 7:30 p.m. and discover the Leonard J. Buck Garden, one of New Jersey’s most beautiful and unique gardens. Kathleen Podgalsky will explore this woodland-and-rock garden with a virtual stroll among rocky outcrops, ponds, shady paths, and open meadows. She will reveal the many faces of the garden through photographs taken throughout the garden year, showing the beauty of nature in all seasons.

Leonard J. Buck Garden is one of the premier rock gardens in the eastern United States. Begun in the late 1930s, it has reached a breathtaking point of maturity. It consists of a series of alpine and woodland gardens situated in a 33-acre wooded stream valley. Named for Leonard J. Buck, who developed the garden as part of his estate, it was donated to the Somerset County Park Commission by Mrs. Helen Buck in 1976.

Mr. Buck worked with Zenon Schreiber, a well-known landscape architect, to develop a naturalistic garden that incorporated several large rock outcroppings found on the property. Their aim was to create a garden that would be ecologically correct and not recognizable as being man-made. Each outcropping is slightly different, creating varying exposures and microclimates that enable different plant associations to thrive. One of the greatest delights in visiting the garden is discovering its variety of plants. Tucked among the rocks are rare and exotic rock garden plants, while the wooded trails connecting the outcroppings are lined with beautiful wildflowers.

Kathleen’s presentation will follow a brief business meeting and conclude with a Q&A session. For meeting details, please go to MGC’s website, For information on the Leonard J. Buck Garden, visit

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