Essex County Brookdale Park Rose Garden



Established in 1959 by the North Jersey Rose Society and the Essex County Parks Commission, the much-loved Rose Garden has been a jewel of Brookdale Park for over sixty years. 

The Rutgers Master Gardeners of Essex County and community volunteers have maintained this beautiful garden for the public’s enjoyment since the early 2000s. We work in partnership with the Essex County Department of Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Affairs and with the Brookdale Park Conservancy. The Rose Garden is primarily funded by Master Gardeners with some additional funding from the Brookdale Park Conservancy.  The Rose Garden is about 15,000 square feet with 25 beds of hybrid tea, floribunda, shrub, hybrid musk, polyantha, rugosa, and antique roses. There are over 500 individual rose bushes of nearly 150 different varieties! Roses are selected for disease resistance, color, and fragrance. The beds are arranged by color: red, pink, yellow, white, bi-color, orange and mauve. The circle bed is white with orange surrounds. (Click here for a current directory of the roses.)

The peak bloom time for the Garden is in June, but with all the different varieties of roses we have, something is in bloom somewhere in the Garden from late May through October, sometimes even into November. The Garden is located in the Montclair section of the park and can be accessed from the Grove Street entrance to West Circuit Drive. (click here for a map of the park) There is no fee to the public for admission to the Rose Garden. So that everyone can enjoy them, we request that visitors not pick the roses! 

The Rose Garden is 15,000 square feet and has 25 beds of hybrid tea, floribunda, shrub, hybrid musk, polyantha, rugosa, and antique roses.The beds are arranged by color: red, pink, yellow, white, bi-color, orange and mauve.  The circle bed is white with orange surrounds.

How You Can Help

Over the past 20+ years, Master Gardeners have been instrumental in maintaining the Rose Garden and keeping it beautiful. In 2003, under the leadership of Master Gardener Bob Kroeckel, the Brookdale Park Rose Garden Committee was first formed within MGEC to successfully restore and revitalize the Garden. Then for twelve years, ending in 2020, Master Gardener Susan Jankolovits led a very dedicated team of volunteers, many of whom have worked in the Garden for years and years, and together they made many improvements. Hundreds of bushes have been replaced or replanted over the years and improvements from new trellises to fencing to an on-site tool shed to an irrigation system have been installed. To these dedicated leaders and their hard-working teams the public owes much gratitude.

And the Master Gardener work in the Rose Garden continues! Whether you are an experienced rosarian or are completely new to roses, there is useful and much-needed work to be done for everyone who has an interest in helping the Rose Garden. It is a fun team and an excellent learning opportunity. It is also very gratifying work – beautiful results, recognized and much appreciated by the public. Hardly a workday goes by that the volunteers aren’t thanked by passers-by for their efforts.

If you have any interest in helping out in the renowned Brookdale Park Rose Garden – even if you have NO experience with roses at  – you are very welcome to join us! Please send a note to Master Gardener Don McLoughlin at and we’ll get you set up!


Essex County shows its appreciation for the work done at the Rose Garden. Red T-shirts with the county’s logo were given in appreciation to the Rose Garden volunteers. From left to right are Gary Tonucci, Susan Jankolovits (Chairperson), Suzi Butler, Don Moore, and Jan Tonucci.

1 thought on “Essex County Brookdale Park Rose Garden

  1. […] the late 1990s, the Essex County Master Gardeners took over the rose garden maintenance. They replanted bushes, improved the soil and cleaned up the […]

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