Gardens of the Through the Garden Gate Tour

Dates: Saturday and Sunday, September 16 and 17th
Hours: 10 am – 2 pm

Some gardens will only be open on Saturday, while others will be open both days.   Please check the list below as you begin your tour to see which day the gardens you elect to tour are open; gardens that are open on Saturday only will be marked as such.  For ease in planning your day, the gardens are listed in geographical order – East, Central Ewing, and Western Ewing gardens.  But don’t feel compelled to go in that order; there are some truly excellent gardens in our Western section of town.

Colonial Kitchen (or Dooryard) Garden

Hosted by: the Ewing Township Historic Preservation Society
Benjamin Temple House, 27 Federal City Road, Ewing NJ 08638 Directions
Eastern Ewing garden

In Colonial times the woman of the house would keep a small kitchen garden near the house to provide mostly herbs for flavoring food, medicinal purposes, and for dying wool. A portion of the garden would have a small collection of flowers and possibly a few heirloom vegetables.  The flowers were grown for the same uses as the herbs and also for their fragrance. The vegetables were for the immediate use of the housewife and supplemented the larger vegetable gardens located further away from the homestead.

The ETHPS Colonial Kitchen Garden was designed and built by Mary Vernam Rice in the 1970s. She was a charter member of the Friends of the Benjamin Temple House. The fence was built and the garden restored by Stephen Marsh for his Eagle Scout badge in 2006, with help from members of the Ewing Boy Scout Troup #184. Volunteer members of the ETHPS have maintained the garden throughout the years.

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Palise Rose Garden – Saturday Only

Hosted by Terry Palise
24 Hopkins Drive, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648 Directions
Eastern Garden

West Trenton Garden Club member Terry Palise’s backyard is lovingly maintained.  Walk around the large expanse of meticulously manicured grass, bordered by 7 separate rose beds.  Enjoy the sights and smells of 13 varieties of roses, including: Hybrid Teas, Grandifloras, Floribundas, Minifloras, Miniatures, Polyanthas, OGRs-Old Garden Roses, Hybrid Gallica, and many more.  The oldest rose bush is from 1999.  This beautiful garden is not to be missed!

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Zofia Feulner’s Happy Garden – Saturday Only

Hosted by George and Zofia Feulner
82 Federal City Rd. Ewing, NJ  08638 Directions
Eastern Ewing garden

Imagine a place where you can get away in the midst of a fast paced life and – relax – be Happy! This beautiful expandable garden space opens up to bring you in and invite you to sit and experience the sights and sensations of gorgeous flowers and fresh air shared with friends. Breathe!

As you stroll up the incline to the back garden, you can take a moment to observe the natural habitat for birds and pollinators. The niche is filled with all the “creature comforts” for our feathered friends and fuzzy bees. Then you can go over to the vegetable garden where the produce is picked and prepared for delicious home cooked celebratory meals – Heck – every day is a Celebration in this lovely space!  Finally, you can take a seat and contemplate, meditate and visualize all the wonderful things in your life and the fruits of your labor. It’s all good!!!

As Federal City Road does not support on-street parking, tour organizers have made arrangements for tour participants to park BEHIND the Grace Community Church of the Nazarene at 100 Bull Run Road.  Please park in the parking lot and walk across the street to Zofia Feulner’s Happy Garden.

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Mullowney Garden

Hosted by Joanne and Bill Mullowney
20 Alexander Drive, Ewing, NJ 08638 Directions
Eastern Ewing garden

When Joanne and Bill Mullowney took ownership of this property in 1978, the landscape consisted of a little more than some ratty foundation plantings and a few trees.   Six of the trees have since gone on to their final rewards, so with virtually a blank slate to start from, the landscape has been in a continual state of change.

The current focus of the landscape provides not only a pleasurable oasis in which the owners can relax and enjoy nature, but also food for both human inhabitants and whatever birds and critters the owners can entice to visit.   This year’s projects include the installation of a rain garden alongside the driveway along with a section of new picket fencing, completing the front of the yard.

The property has little lawn left and the site is gardened in accordance with organic principles.  The sunny front yard has a courtyard garden for growing a few vegetables.  It also has an old-fashioned front porch and where the owners  can engage with neighbors walking by.  The shaded backyard features a wildlife pond and habitat.  It is a work in progress as the owner is removing some of the nonnative species and replacing them with plantings that will also provide some of the food and habitat lost with suburban expansion.

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Ron and Sue’s Garden

Hosted by Ron and Susan Jacobsen
55 Ewingville Road, Ewing, NJ  08638 Directions
Eastern Ewing garden

We first came across Ron and Sue’s garden when they submitted their entry for our garden contest.  We were immediately enchanted.  Why did we not know about this garden before?   So we contacted them and arranged to tour their garden and it is indeed a hidden gem.

When you walk into the Jacobsen backyard, you enter into a very private oasis. The garden contains an eclectic mix of foliage of trees, shrubs and flowering plants. The garden features raised beds, stone walls and gravel paths and is beautifully maintained.

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Chelsea Avenue Wildlife Habitat

Hosted by Eileen Antolino
201 Homecrest Ave. Ewing, NJ  08638 Directions
Eastern Ewing garden

This yard has a wild appeal and has been a certified Backyard Wildlife Habitat with the National Wildlife Federation for 5 years. The owner incorporates all the elements of food, water, places to raise young and sustainable practices to meet the requirements for certification.  The garden is mostly native perennials, flowering trees and shrubs, attracting hummingbirds, butterflies and a variety of songbirds and raptors. Plants with wildlife value include echinacea, centaurea, phlox, agastache, veronica, caryopteris, lavender, leucanthemum, roses, hibiscus, buddlea,elderberry, viburnum, fox grapes, crabapple, sweet gum, maple and eastern red cedar.  The owner promotes the Network of Backyard Habitats which creates oases for migrating birds and compensates for the urban sprawl which threatens a contiguous Atlantic Flyway.

Migration remains one of the most compelling aspects of the avian world. Twice a year, billions of birds migrate the longest distances across the globe. Many species migrate along broadly similar, well-established routes known as flyways. Along the flyway, important habitats for migrants are under threat from infrastructure and housing development, energy development (e.g. mining or drilling for fossil fuels), tropical deforestation and especially agricultural expansion.

Unfortunately, many of the world’s migratory birds are in decline. Many characteristics of migrants render them particularly vulnerable to a variety of threats. Undertaking such dramatic movements pushes birds to the limit of their endurance. They are reliant on favorable weather conditions and must find sufficient food resources at multiple sites throughout their migratory journey. Within the Atlantic Americas Flyway, several species are now regarded as globally threatened.

Urban Wildlife gardens such as the Chelsea Avenue Wildlife Habitat contribute to the Network of Backyard Habitats creating oases for migrating birds and compensating for the urban sprawl and agriculture which threatens a contiguous Atlantic Flyway. The Atlantic Flyway encompasses some of the hemisphere’s most productive ecosystems, including forests, beaches, and coastal wetland. The Atlantic Flyway is home to a wide variety of ecosystems—and more than a third of the human population of the United States.

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Five Fountains – Saturday Only

Hosted by Linda and Gary Rostron
474 Parkway Ave. Ewing, NJ 08618 Directions
Central Ewing garden

One might not expect such a retreat on bustling Parkway Avenue. As you approach, note the colorful curbside garden planted with perennials, tough enough to resist drought, road salt and hostile pedestrian traffic.

Enter through the courtyard, where fountains and wind chimes hint at what lies beyond the cedar gate. If lucky, you may spot a hummingbird supping at the courtyard’s trumpet vine.

At the rear of the garden, looms a Silver Maple, estimated at 160 years old. Under this tree, the homeowners were married 27 years ago. Since then, they’ve worked to create a haven for birds, beneficial insects and even their gardening nemesis … squirrel and rabbit. Compost bins and five rain barrels support eco-friendly gardening; pathways throughout are of natural mulch.

Take the arbor lined pathway to rest on the shady back patio. Here, colorful window boxes accent the circa 1926 garage. The patio fountain, with its large basin, is a favorite of the feathered friends.

The garden features multiple seating areas including a central gazebo, and yes, of course it has a fountain. An adjacent water garden, is early in its development. Objects placed strategically throughout the garden and a newly planted Sweet Bay Magnolia provide interest at the growing season’s end.

Parkway Avenue does not support on-street parking.  We suggest you park two doors down at Parkway Elementary School.

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Dupee Garden

Hosted by Karen Marut & Family
2434 Stuyvesant Ave, Ewing, NJ 08618 Directions
Central Ewing garden

Step through the garden gate into a charming garden oasis, and tap into all of your senses. Listen to the birds, bees, and chimes while you meander through this manicured garden.

Don’t miss any of the outdoor garden “rooms”.  The ornamental grass garden provides privacy from the adjoining road, as does the Osmanthus shrub border along the side of the property.  The perennial border provides curbside appeal; Fennel has been planted for a host plant for the Swallowtail butterflies; see why the bees and butterflies are attracted to this plant. The grouping of bamboo, which they call the Deep Dark Forest, creates a cozy, enclosed space, hiding them from the neighbors.  Sit under the garden canopy of honey locust and watch the hummingbirds hover at the feeders.  Make sure you make your way to the back of the property and say hello to their Silver Fox Bunnies.

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Trenton Psychiatric Hospital

Hosted by Craig Dupee (Certified Horticulturalist)
101 Sullivan Way, Trenton, NJ 08628 Directions
Central  garden

The Trenton Psychiatric Hospital’s gardens include a cutting garden, vegetable garden, a straw bale garden and landscape beds planted with annuals and perennials. All of the gardens are maintained by patients who are enrolled in the New Leaf Gardeners, a horticulture vocational program that teaches job  skills for the green industry.

The flowers from the cutting garden are used in teaching floral design concepts.  The organically grown vegetables provide the patients with healthy produce and exposes them to the process of growing vegetables organically.  These vegetables are also for sale to the public.  The straw bale garden teaches sustainability by using a fall decoration product that would normally end up in a landfill. The annuals and perennials help in teaching plant identification and how to properly maintain a herbaceous border.


Make a left into the Hospital’s Gate 2 on Sullivan Way, across from the Village Charter School. Parking is on the left next to the garden.

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Buckingham Gardens

Hosted by: Pam and Rich Toft
116 Buckingham Ave. Trenton, NJ  08618 Directions
Central garden

Step into a tropical oasis nestled in the urban landscape located in one of the premiere neighborhoods located in Trenton. With a mix of annual and perennial flora, you can sit and relax in the secluded hard spaces within the yard.

There are a variety of plants used to create a colorful and vibrant space. Sun patients, Dragon Wing begonia’s, Hibiscus and other stellar flowering plants create an atmosphere of serenity and peace. Cana lilies add a dramatic tropical sense that washes your cares away.

Scattered throughout the gardens are an eclectic mix of garden art to add visual and functional appeal.

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Pizza Garden – Saturday Only

Hosted by Joseph and Anna Maria Pizza
29 Carlton Ave., Ewing, NJ 08618 Directions
Central Ewing garden

A new addition to the tour this year, we found this garden as we were driving by and thought: “A gardener definitely lives here!”   So we inquired, and the owners were happy to let us tour their garden and share it with you all.

Traverse the front walkway and birds skitter out from amongst the shrubbery letting you know that wildlife is welcome here, a thought that is further reinforced by the myriad bird houses and feeders located throughout the property.   Gardener Anna-Marie maintains a chemical free environment stating that the “weeds just have to make nice because the bunnies have to eat too!”

Ascend the steps of their secluded front porch to a calm and serene oasis, tastefully decorated with a country feel.  A vintage sign collection nestled amongst the luxuriant plantings in the backyard further exemplifies the landscape’s country tone.  When you finish your tour of this property we’re sure that you’ll walk away feeling the same sense of peace and serenity that we felt after we first visited this lovely home.

Parking is difficult on Carlton Ave.  We suggest that you might park along Van Duyn Drive, the side street a bit further down the road.

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Railroad Garden

Hosted by Ed & Georgette Lied
40 Bayberry Road, Ewing, NJ 08618 Directions
Central Ewing garden

Mr. Lied has been an avid collector of train signs, lights, signals and other railroad memorabilia for decades.  He even has a Pennsylvania Railroad grade crossing building, used by the crossing guard when he was not outside stopping oncoming traffic from crossing the tracks for a train.

Mr. Lied was never employed by the railroad system, but his lifelong love of everything train-related motivated him to amass the wonderful collection you see in his yard today. Most of his collection is from the Pennsylvania Railroad and Philadelphia & Reading Railroad.  His collection consists of Red & Gold and Blue & White approach signs, as well as larger signs that bear the names of certain train stations.  Some of the older signs have no keystones while the newer signs do.  The Wigwag signal in his backyard was given that nickname due to the type of railroad grade crossing signal it has. Mr. Lied’s Banjo signal was once used by the Reading Railroad for locomotives, which are no longer in use.  Mr. Lied also has a cast iron window sill from Baltimore & Ohio Railroad (B&ORR) dating back to 1862 — President Lincoln’s time!  The sill was used on a round house building where engines were stored.  The building was demolished, and Mr. Lied obtained the sill, which is now used as a small table.

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Pop’s Garden

Hosted by: Rick Lazarick
8 Blackwood Drive, Ewing, NJ 08628 Directions
Central Ewing garden

This backyard garden is filled with colorful perennials and containers featuring cannas. The side yard gardens are primarily Dahlias (about 30 varieties) and also includes border and tall zinnias, canna, and a decorative garden bench alcove in red and white.

Gardener Rick Lazarick enjoys exhibiting his dahlias in the Greater Philadelphia Dahlia Society’s annual Dahlia Show and Competition.  So you know you will be seeing some excellent specimens!

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Stewart Garden

Hosted by Bill and Virginia Stewart
774 Lower Ferry Road, Ewing, NJ 08628 Directions
Western Ewing garden

The Stewart Gardens began 30 years ago when Bill & Virginia Stewart moved in to 774 Lower Ferry Rd. There were beautiful azaleas and a heavy shaded lot from large oaks and maples.

Since then they have planted over 1000 bulbs and plants which most bloom in spring. They have 13 different gardens and hostas and ferns anchor every garden. In the summer we have a meadow garden by Palmer Lane and the perennial garden turns into a woodland garden. They have a Tropical Garden with bananas and cannas that provide bright colors. August provides the most color so a ride down Palmer Lane will show the flowers and colors of late summer early fall blooms. 

Park on Palmer Lane to view gardens.

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Pollinator Garden

Hosted by Dianne Dickinson
4 Riverview Dr., West Trenton, NJ 08628 Directions
Western Ewing garden

“Choices Make Changes (TM pending): Create a Healthy Habitat”

What’s a poor “bug” to do?  With the ever-increasing encroachment on our open space and the use of sterile landscaping designs in our neighborhoods, how can a poor “bug” make a living? The answer to this question is that we all must make an effort to help our garden friends: we are in this together and it takes all of us to make it work.

The Dickinson garden exemplifies many of the methods we can use to “Create a Healthy Habitat” and improve the landscape for all of us and our partners. We have to “make the choice to change” from deadly pesticides and herbicides to eco-friendly, biodiverse alternatives to name a few options.  The good news is that it’s not all that hard to do!  Set up a compost pile, upcycle your “trash” and/or grow your own produce truly locally. Jump in – the water’s fine!!!

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The Garden at Erini Restaurant

Hosted by Nick Fifis
1140 River Road, Ewing, NJ 08628 Directions
Western Ewing garden

Nick Fifis, chef and co-owner of Erini Restaurant, has a driving passion for beauty. His creative outlet is in his food and in his garden. Both are awe-inspiring and are the force behind Erini’s continued success. Daily, weekly, yearly, he strives to improve what has come before. The energy Nick imbues into the garden is showcased with herbs and produce, which is used in Erini’s food and drink program, believing that the great energy put into the garden is transferred into what you eat.  “People eat with their eyes. What they see in the garden inspires their appetites.”

Nick wants Erini’s passion to be showcased. He believes that the garden is the grand welcome that our guests deserve and as such, he tends to its needs with dedication. The garden should “pop” and its energy must transcend the guest experience from fine to magical. Interspersed throughout the meandering garden are interesting accents – metal flowers, frogs, glass ornaments, waterfalls, cornstalks, hay bales and witty signs. He personally designed and built the Tiki Bar and garden. He is mindful of different plant dimensions to create height and depth, which draws the eye. He borders the grounds with eye-catching red and yellow Cannas. It is a living WELCOME sign.

Erini is the gathering point for friends and relatives to bask in the unique outdoor concept while catching up with each other. Nick instinctively knew to create a place known for relaxation, good food and fine spirits. Erini has a beating heart and it is nestled within the abundant plant life. A prized possession is the Brown Turkey Fig trees that hail from Nick’s grandfather’s house in Greece and to which Nick literally showcases his commitment to rooting his life, love and success in the Ewing community.

Featured on Erini Grounds:

  • Mint, Sage, Lemongrass, Rosemary, Basil
  • Lettuces, Cabbage, Chili Peppers, Figs
  • Canna and Dwarf Canna, Giant Elephant Ears
  • Mums, Marigolds, Gerbera Daisies, Hydrangea
  • Pink, White and Purple-grape Petunias
  • European Fan, Cat, Lady, Fishtail and Banana Palms
  • Silvergrass, Coleus, Calibrachoa, Sweet Potato Vines
  • Arborvitae Topiaries, Bamboo

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Birmingham Park

Hosted by the West Trenton Garden Club
Corner of Bear Tavern & West Upper Ferry Rds., Ewing, NJ
Western garden

Parking: recommend on-street on Hinckle Rd., a short block away – next to the bank.

This Historic area was a cross-road for George Washington and his army in the Christmas season of 1776 as they traveled to Trenton for the pivotal Battle of Trenton during the American Revolutionary War. The park has been here for more than 25 years, and as many of you might remember, the West Trenton Hardware store stood on this site originally.

Today, the park is maintained by the West Trenton Garden Club and Ewing Township and plans are underway for a Blue Star Memorial and renovation of the park as a Pollinator Garden and Monarch Butterfly Retreat.

At this busy intersection, it is often the case that visitors will be sitting on the bench admiring the plantings or having a quiet meal. They may recognize a friend as he or she drives by honking their horn to say “Hi”.  It is kind of an awesome feeling when you remember where you are – If it had not been for the success of the Battle that day, we might still be British colonists with a whole different idea of “Football”!  Oh dear!

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