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Duke Gardens Are Now Closed To The Public

Where Have All The Flowers Gone?

After 43 years of operation, Duke Gardens were closed to the public in 2008. After an extensive strategic planning process and the beginning of a transitional phase, the 2,740-acre property at Duke Farms has refocused its programs and operations to become an environmental showcase and learning center. Since 2012, visitors have begun their trip to Duke Farms at a newly renovated "green" orientation center, housed in a 22,000-square-foot building known as the Farm Barn. From there, visitors can embark on numerous paths or hop aboard sustainably-powered trams to explore the property's diverse landscapes and habitats. A re-configured version of the display gardens now inhabits a different greenhouse conservatory, renovated to improve the energy-efficiency and environmental sustainability of the gardens. The gardens have expand to include an expansive outdoor component." Read more....

Comments

kathy petersen
11 Aug 2014, 19:22
went to see duke farms the old foundation is ok the statues can they be cleaned there is dirt on the statues bike ride was fantastic cant walk it to much ground to cover. nobody seems to know if doris wanted the eleven gardens for herself or the public did she want it destroyed or for the public view was it too expensive to maintain and she just didnt want to take care of it it would have cost a lot of money she grew up there her other estates look fabulous what happen to this one it needs some people to restore those gardens the cost is too high would you pay twenty dollars to see the new eleven gardens i would but would doris be happy too we dont know the estate wouldnt tell you about the real reason they were destroyed it wouldnt hurt the environment it had to be another reason you dont want to believe doris wanted it destroyed we dont know the full details too many rumors etc what was the real reason they should tell us. problem no relative will spend money to restore property mr duke worked so hard to make it a paradise and now its a environment thing i do like that aspect but it could be a place of culture too. isnt anyone rich enought to donate to restore the gardens where are you rich people spend your money to support the mission of rebuilding those gardens
David Tirella
11 Aug 2014, 08:18
Can anyone tell me if Eduardo Tirella was ever involved in any landscaping or gardening at any of Doris Duke's home up until his death in October 1966?
Robert E Kettenburg
10 Feb 2014, 14:37
When I was a young boy. I saw a train next to the House. Maybe I am wrong. But my grandfather was doing some work their. and I sat on the front porch waiting for him to get done. A woman came out an sat next to me and we talk . All I can remember is that she said see you next time. an gave me a kiss . When I got older My Dad took me over to the house
The train was still their. Never saw the woman .
NJ Native
26 Aug 2013, 06:31
Just visited the newly opened Duke Foundation. The rental bikes are a wonderful idea to see the estate & visit some of the more remote areas. I am disappointed they did not come up with a way to keep the Duke Gardens as that was a one of a kind feature & attraction. If it was so costly, then a small fee should have been considered. These gardens were indoors & would not have impacted the rest of the natural estate vegetation. All in all, it still a great place to get outdoors & the old house foundation,bridges,ponds & statutes present as great garden art.
LIFELONG NJ
23 Jun 2013, 06:20
My family and I decided to visit this place for the first time ever. We tried to visit it some years ago but the gatekeeper was so snooty, as if she owned the place, we decided not to visit.\r\n\r\nSo glad we tried again. What a stunning place and a treasure. \r\n\r\nFirst of all, it gives one a sense of how beautiful NJ once was and could be again, if someone else (presumably with billions in cigarette $$$) could just buy up all the for sale mcmansions and revert them to their former woods and grasslands. But sadness aside, whoever and whatever combinations of people are behind this remarkable achievement must be thanked. \r\n\r\nWe hear the chainsaws continuously on our own (once) wooded roads in Somerset county -- is was nice to once receive an environmental shock --of delight.Inspiring. And our NYC guest said, "better than Central Park!" \r\n\r\nThis is not a chance to pretend that you, yourself, are a billionaire daughter of a cigarette maker with a small family and a brilliance for, among other things, envisioning a splendid castle and estate . But it is a rare opportunity to enjoy a beautiful and uncynical effort to celebrate G-d's Earth for its inherent beauty, in combination with massive effort by so many talented people, over decades. BRAVO
Cindy Mutchler
18 Jun 2013, 08:53
My family just went down to Duke Farms this past week on one of our vacation days and we were very disappointed that there were no gardens to see! I had always heard how wonderful this property was, house & gardens w/statues, and all we saw was green scum on ponds--tram driver knew nothing about the place--he was just a driver--this was on Tuesday, June 11th at 11:30 AM. So sad!!!
Brian
16 Apr 2013, 08:48
I saw a young lady pull out of the gates that lead to the estate, right at the sharp curve heading into Raritan. This is not the first time either. I wouldn't be surprised if she is the daughter of Edward Henry (the President of DDCF) and is living at the estate where Doris once lived...If the Foundation had any brains they would of left the 2 most popular attractions open (the manor and the gardens) or at least keep one of them open and charge a higher fee to get in and cash in. They say it was costing to much to maintain but yet they spent $4M in renovations? It's a total discrace and a heartless move on their part.
Brian
16 Apr 2013, 08:39
I meant to say that I wouldn't be surprised if the daughter of the President of DDCF is living at the estate where Doris once lived...
Elaine Guhl
16 Aug 2012, 18:18
I was so excited about bringing my friends from Florida to the estate as I remembered it. It was so disappointing to see what has not been done. We saw so many dead plants & schrubs on the way in. The shuttle that took us around showed nothing. I spoke with a few walkers & they were also very disappointed in the whole tour. The tram car driver didn't even know what the flowers were. The orchid garden took about 5 minutes.
Bob F
26 Jul 2012, 09:09
I worked on the duke estate from 1966 to 1973. In the gardens in the from sept thru may and during the summer outside. I love my time there and meet Miss Duke many time in Somerville and in NYC. Made many trips to Newport to work on the estate there, deliver trees to the downtown center of Newport. Worked in NYC at her penthouse. During 1972 my families homw was hit my lighting and she invited my family to lived on the estate while the house was getting repaired at no cost. She always was nice to me and I have many stories about my years working there.
nancee
04 Jun 2012, 15:35
The grounds are now open, free of charge. The gardens are gone. There are some programs that have a small fee but you can walk around for free if you want. Be warned. Its very popular and the lot fills quickly.
Prius
11 Apr 2012, 07:04
Hi\r\nI want to come this place\r\nWhat is the ticket price?\r\nAnd where can I get them?\r\nWhat is the timings\r\nPlease let me know
kim steen
07 Mar 2012, 10:35
I lived in a house on the Duke estate back in 1979. I can't remember the addy, but the house set back off the dirt road extention where the bend in the road passing the estate ran. There was an old house that sat on the road, and our house shared a driveway with it. The home I lived in had a large porch with 2 sets of french style doors at either end. At the time, we ran it as a co-op. It had at least 8 rooms used as bedrooms,and a common living area downstairs. Does anyone remember it? I will never forget it as it was the most haunted place I've ever experienced. The things that happened there were scary. I lived in the room directly across from the top of the main staircase. I had a dog that refused to come upstairs,and would sit at the base of the stairs and bark at nothing. Things would disappear, only to show up in weird places later. Faces would appear in mirrors....very strange! I hope the home still survives.
Tom Ferris
26 Jan 2012, 12:12
My grandfather ran the powerhouse located in Raritan and lived on River Road in the first section of the two family house. I have meany memories of stay with my grand parents. I worked on the estate from 1963 to 1965 while a lot of the work was being done on the show gardens. they were very impressive. I can't help but echo a lot of the previous comments about wghat a shame that they have been closed. I only hope that they can be reopenned to the general public.
John Rehm
18 Dec 2011, 19:37
A visit to Duke Gardens served as a great outing, many years ago. Like all botanical gardens, great or small, staff attention to detail and the cost of maintaining the Gardens must have been tremendous. \r\n\r\nI will miss all the separate themed garden settings. The Persian garden was part of my very slim contact with that wonderful culture. I will miss it.
Carl Suk
08 Dec 2011, 21:15
I too grew up on the Doris Duke estste, My grandfather and uncles worked for her since 1925 until there deaths. the house that Henry Totten grew up in is the house my grandfather lived in and raised his family and my family too before the Tottens moved in, Roy you will remember me too. I worked at the orchid range and then the display gardens while attending Delaware Valley College from 1967 until going in the service in 1969. So many people gave their life's blood and guts to make that a world class institution just to have a board of ignorant asses destroy an icon with a swoop of their illiterate corporate wand. Indeed Doris is rolling over and over in her grave. At least the memories cannot be destroyed.
roy fisher
31 Jul 2011, 07:15
What a sad ending to a wonderful era. I worked at the Gardens and for the Farm as a security guard from the late 50's thru the 70's. I talked to Doris many times. I can tell you without hesitation that if she were to come back, she would clean house of all these idiots responsible for this destruction.But, in life she was always taken advantage of by one scheme or another. I have so many memories now, that's all that's left. I wish the worse for everyone responsible for this.\r\n
chuck shoemaker
10 Apr 2011, 21:04
I was just there today for the first time in about ten years. What a dissappointment to find the breathtaking displays in the greenhouses EMPTY!!!!....and the "nature trail" that looked like it had been abandoned and left to rot I know the trustees are saying they're spending millions removing the non native species of plants, in other words EVERYTHING the Dukes planted!!!!,...so they can reintroduce native species, but I find that very hard to believe. I think they're just making it soooo unattractive to the public that no none will come to visit and then in a few years they can use that as an excuse to sell off the whole thing and make a fortune for themselves!!! What a disgrace to the Duke family! They had the house open to the public from 2004 to 2008 then SO:D off the entire contents at auction!!!!! They could have made thet a permamnent attraction! What a waste!!!!
Pat
01 Apr 2011, 12:28
There is a website. You all should visit it.
Elaine Wood
03 Mar 2011, 11:32
March 2011\r\nHave the gardens been restored and are they currently available for tours?\r\nElaine
staten island joe
03 Nov 2010, 06:39
I cannot fathom how this travesty could occur. is the state of new jersey and its judiciary so corrupt as to permit the closing of the gardens?
Kenneth Kavanagh
01 Oct 2010, 20:26
I grew up nearby the estate and visited the gardens many times. When I was a kid my father would sneak us onto the grounds to see the amazing lakes and foundations (for a never built mansion). It is stunning that they elected to dismantle the gardens that Doris Duke designed and loved to work in. Certainly, this direction is not what she had intended. And the cutting of trees to eliminate invasive species is absurd. James Buchanan Duke cleared the estate property and re-landscaped the place with hills and reservoirs and then replanted everything with imported trees and shrubs. Are they making this stuff up or just unaware?
Linda Knierim
23 Jul 2010, 17:39
I lived at Duke Farms for a very short time in 1968. The farm was such a pretty place.I have been back to the farm a few times but never to the garden. Am looking forward to revisit. I grew up on Miss Dukes Estate in Newport Rhode Island. Have been back to Rough Point many times. Each time brings back memories of Miss Duke and her guests.\r\nLinda
Valerie Bael
18 Jul 2010, 15:26
My partner (Rod) and I just returned today (Sunday) from a trip to Duke Farm and was deeply disappointed at the condition of the property. Although the woman at the Welcome Center was informative and polite; it was apparent that she and the gentleman at the entrance gate (the only two officials I saw the entire day)were as depressed as I at the run down condition. The walking tour (only option available to visitors) was unimpressive and boring. After 15 minutes, my partner and I returned to our car and drove back to Virginia. We should have expected this, as there were only 3 other cars in the parking lot and the broken down Tour bus parked on the grass. Pity they couldn't have kept up this property as they have at Rough Point (RI) which was well worth the trip. \r\n\r\nRegading another commenters question about the many downed trees - we were told the Foundation was cutting out all "invasive" (not indigenous) vegetaion on the property. Wow - that's a lot of trees - will there be any left?
Molly Williams Holler
06 May 2010, 02:03
God bless Will Faison and Sam Pearsall.
Grace Mineo
29 Apr 2010, 08:44
I used to live in Hillsborough and would take the road through Ms. Dukes estates every night on the way home from work (off 206). It was always such a peaceful drive home after a long day at work. I would watch the deer along the path. It's a shame that its gone. I've been out of the area for over 20 years now, but still think about it as some of the best sceneary I have every driven through.
VAS
15 Apr 2010, 15:31
Hmmm. It's been a long time since 2008. Time to update the above paragraph people. I'm very disappointed and had hoped to read info at least from 2010. My husband and I were planning to come for a visit. What's to see of the gardens now?
Barbara P
05 Apr 2010, 17:31
I am appalled that the management of the estate has killed off all the deer. Doris Duke is probably rolling over in her grave. I had called the attorneys in charge of her estate a few years ago to see why they were allowing all the hunting on the estate and I just about got hung up on. The people were rude and definately didn't want to answer any questions. They just said that they had the right to thin out the deer population. They never admitted to the fact that they we going to kill off all the deer. They said that the deer population was keeping the different species of birds away from the estate that found refuge there. The entire estate is not keeping to her wishes. They are running amuck with the property. First the greenhouses, then the barn, now the gardens. I have only lived here 9 years but I ride on Dukes Parkway almost everyday and am truly saddened by the changes going on .
Henry Totten
02 Mar 2010, 19:09
My name is Henry Totten. I was raised on Duke Farms. I grew up and worked on the farm until i was 20yrs. old. I'm the oldest of 7. We lived in the fisrt house on the left of the cow barn. I have so many menmores. I met Doris Duke so many times. She would stop by the cow barn while i was milking. We would talk for awhile. There are people i went to school with that would come over and go fishing or swimming in mermaid pool. My friends would say what a nice place i lived at. I would love to bring my wife out there. And show her where i grew up. I've seen pictures of what is going on at cow barn. I can't believe that they tore down so many things around the place. What a shame . I told my wife after watching the movie of Dores Duke. I said there goes the farm to hell.
Lynda
02 Feb 2010, 11:25
I checked into this site to find out how to plan a weekend excursion from Baltimore to the famous gardens (my 85 yr old mother had never seen them)that we had not had the opportunity to see...wow, this is such a disappointment. Not sure we need to travel that far to see an environmental compound. Where is the romance of the garden?
Patty & Tom
23 Jan 2010, 08:30
Why are they cutting down a lot of trees along Doris Duke \r\nwest?
P Archibald
29 Dec 2009, 13:44
I was there years ago - loved it and wanted to bring a group. Now I see it's gone. Hopefully will be back, bigger and better.
Danny Woodson
16 Dec 2009, 20:44
I have never been to the Duke Estate but after reading so much about Ms. Doris Duke and her love of the beautiful things given to us by God and Nature, how can anyone feel good about the way her wishes have been totally ignored and that the monies she left to be certain her projects were maintained for future generation have been put to such a great use by the court appointed administrators. I am sure that they have not lost one red cent in their great management. tsk tsk shame on all of you for your greedy and non caring attitudes.\r\nMAYBE MS. DORIS WILL HAUNT YOU IN YOUR DAYS TO COME.
ANN ZINTNER
18 Sep 2009, 06:35
MY HUSBAND AND I LOVED GOING TO DORIS DUKES GARDEN EVERY YEAR. WE HOPE SOMETHING CHANGES AND THEY BRING IT BACK THE WAY IT WAS!!
Mike Dalessio
06 Sep 2009, 10:45
Everyone should calm down. The old greenhouse building was inefficient and bad environmentally. It could only be used for a portion of the year because it would get too hot during the summer. The new building will be more environmentally safe and able to be used year round. They are allowing some of the grounds of the estate to go back to a more natural state...it is not lack of maintenance, but a deliberate part of the plan. This is not about money but trying to best carry out Doris' wishes. I am a resident of Hillsborough and drive through the estate everyday.
Rich
23 Aug 2009, 12:52
My girlfriend and I just got back from Duke "gardens". It is sad. It is completly run down. The greenhouses are empty. For some odd reason the are still having tours of the grounds which are a wreck. It looks like the bare minimum is being done around the walking path. For a place that I thought was supposed to reopen this coming spring it looks like no actual work has happened. It was just depressing. What a shame. It used to be amazing.
Veronica Victor
21 Aug 2009, 05:58
Doris Duke was our neighbor growing up in Raritan/Somerville NJ. My mom would get all the news on Doris Duke's comings and goings on the farm from the newspapers. Our first home was in the old Frulinghusen mansion on Somerset St. in Raritan a hope skip and a jump from the Duke farm. I was told to keep off the Duke estate property which was just over the bridge on Canal St. because Doris had doberman pincers and they were nasty dogs, we had a chihuhua at the time. One day I did wander anyway onto the estate which was I remember dark, woodsy and full of trees at the time, but turned around quickly when I remembered what I was told about the dogs. The state and national register of historic places did a fine job of restoring the Frelinghusen estate which now houses the Raritan public library so I'm sure the Duke estate restoration will probably become another historical asset to Somerset County and the state of NJ. That's if they restore and not tear down the owner's creativity and hard work.
Barbara Mc
09 Jul 2009, 17:40
Why are so many people money hungry?? to take this dream away from Doris Duke, thay she herself left to all to enjoy Gods beauty, I and my family were their many time , it is the most beautiful place I'v every been in New Jersey!!!!!! so sad for heartless people to tear it down for money, and spend more money to bule something else, what a shame, SHAME on You heartless money hungry people!!\r\nMR and Mrs Mc and Family
Joseph
30 Apr 2009, 16:07
maybe the state of Nj could take over to save this gem for the common man.
buz aldrich
19 Apr 2009, 14:51
Who killed all the Deer at Duke's??? I went today and they are all gone. Doris would be upset.
Chris
17 Apr 2009, 12:48
I heard her accounatant ripped off the estate when she was dying, getting her to sign off on things.
clara
25 Feb 2009, 19:13
I was informed today the gardens were going to close and that they are going to use some of the estate for offices. I am very disappointed because. I was told the gardens as well as the estate was an amazing site. I did some reading about her life and found out she was an strange yet interesting woman. I'm sure she never would have want to change the estate and would have try to preserver it all.
Bruce Havourd
25 Jan 2009, 06:16
ARE ANY of these comments being answered? I would like to know what happened to the contents of the displays... for example, the bonsai display... which constitute historical content. Certain plants are now protected by law (cacti) or are unavailable because their habitat have been destroyed. Are they now lost? OR...\r\nHave the contents been auctioned off on dBay to pay for the "improvements" being planned?\r\nPLEASE REPLY TO MY E-mail address.\r\n\r\n
DiStar
26 Dec 2008, 08:38
What a shame--acres and acres. Do you really have to close the entire facility. That doesn't seem fair. In addition to depriving the public to the gardens, you stop all income to sustain the place,too. I don't think that is what Doris Duke had in mind, honestly.\r\nSome responses to this action, feel it is closed for a few years, others seem to think you can still view partial parts. Which is correct? Please let me know.
Kourtney Gala
17 Nov 2008, 13:00
I visited Duke Gardens in elementary school and it was so much fun. It was like my favorite class trip. I was so sad to hear about its closing. It was an educational class trip but was fun at the same time. It is very important to make learning fun so I feel the closing of Duke Gardens is a mistake.
Ron Signorino
26 Oct 2008, 10:12
We're hopeful that the decisionmakers for the Duke estate have the wisdom to be true to those who made these gardens possible, and the heart to appreciate their passion in creating the gardens' beauty.
Tom Balchunas
14 Oct 2008, 14:46
Still hope to see the lovely indoor gardens in the next couple years.
Anthony Deja
06 Oct 2008, 09:06
What is the current status of the estate. Is the estate open to the public? If so, what are the visiting hours and dates.
Donald Cote
22 Sep 2008, 09:29
I seem to have gotten the a different message from the announcement than most responders. Is the "old" garden actually being destroyed? I understood that new components are being added along with a different way for visitors to tour the Duke property. Actual destruction of the garden would be mind-boggling to me If I understtood that to be the case. I spent 3 summers on the estate working during my college years and was fascinated by each visit to the gardes, which I did often. I am hoping that folks have interpreted this announce incorrectly.
M. Hamilton
08 Sep 2008, 09:06
I was thrilled to find out that the gardens were still in existence, only to be saddened to hear that they are being moved. I recall going there several times as a child and the gardens left a profound effect on my life, making me aware of the sensitive balance of our ecology, as well as the glory that is in nature. While I can appreciate that there must be a great expense involved in maintaing the gardens, it was Miss Duke's desire for the gardens to be constructed as they were, with her specific planning for their format. The purpose of her foundation was, in part, to continue the work of making people more aware of nature. Whatever the issue, when the gardens are moved they should be recreated in their new location in exactly the same manner which Miss Duke chose for their layout. To alter them in any way would destroy both their beauty and their lesson.
Joy Ciesla
08 Sep 2008, 07:40
I have seen these extraordinarily beautiful gardens, and for someone to move them around is just wrong! Why can't they be left as is?? They are stunning, and something personal that Doris herself has done? Why are you messing with beauty & perfection? There isn't another in this state like it!\r\nIt's not broken why do you feel you have to fix it!?\r\nThis board of "Trustees" is making the worst mistake ever. After 43 years......WHY?!?!?\r\nThe almighty buck! and NO heart! Doris is still being taken advantage of! \r\n:^(\r\n
Kay
02 Sep 2008, 20:11
I just recently researched the story of Doris Duke & how people just "used" her for her money. Please do not destroy the wonderful gardens she created in honor of her father. If she were alive today, it looks like people are still mean to her. Give Doris Duke the dignity and honor she deserves for her kind generosity and knack of making things more beautiful! New Jersey people, unite and save these beautiful gardens, I do hope the trustees and governor reconsider destroying them!
Debbie Perez
01 Sep 2008, 07:30
Please save the gardens for all to enjoy. I think that is what Doris would want.
Joe Traina
28 Aug 2008, 12:11
....And so, as all can see, why bother with comments? They are going to do as they damn well please!\r\n\r\n.....And once more the words to the song ring true, ".....you don't know what you have till it's gone. They paved paradise to put up a parking lot."\r\n\r\nWhat a shame. The power of the dollar!!\r\nGreed is destroying the Amazon forest and making beautiful animals extinct and anything else that isn't protected by law. Hell, even some that ARE protected are not being respected either.\r\n\r\nAnd trams, too! The beautiful gift is now to be turned into an amusement park.\r\nI am wondering if anyone on the board is willing to let someone destroy their home site so we can have another park or garden, or even a parking lot. Come to think of it, they are all rich and as long as the public is PAYING why not? They'll just build elsewhere!
d.dicso
27 Aug 2008, 06:25
AS ALLWAYS SOMBODY IS GOING TO MAKE A HUGE PROFIT AND DESTROY SOMETHING GREAT
Rob Johnson
27 Aug 2008, 05:40
Rather than work to preserve and improve something that has given a lot of people pleasure for 43 years, the "committee" that runs the Foundation has chosen to sink to the Lowest Common (Politically Correct) Denominator, and jump on the "Green"-"Sustainable"-blah-blah bandwagon. What a shame!
Susan Mennell
22 Aug 2008, 15:01
I too am deepley sad about the closing of Dukes Garderns...please let me know any new information.\r\n\r\nThank You,\r\nSusan Mennell\r\n\r\nPS. The tram rail...how tacky!
Susan Rehm
20 Aug 2008, 19:10
I am from Piscataway. I am both saddened and outraged! I have boarded my horse on the Duke property for over 23 years....my first horse for over 6 yrs and now my present horse for over 17yrs....this horse is 80% blind and now we are told that the lease for Ron David is not being renewed. I have to find somewhere else or put her down......what kind of an ultimatum is that???? The Board of Trustees (every one of them)is both cruel and heartless. Why dishonor Doris Duke's wishes in her will and destroy the gardens.....I have seen the beauty and now the ugliness of this property....imagine...running a tram throughout the woods.......are you crazy????? This property is a haven for deer, foxes, and other beautiful wildlife....when I first came there,I couldn't believe Ms Duke was so kind as to drop bales of hay from planes for the deer and grow field corn for them to hide in......whatever happened to her desire to "save both flora and fauna"???? How dare you all sit in your offices behind your desks and make such awful decisions....have any of you ever once walked through those woods? My 1st horse & I could ride through the woods to the Raritan River....beautiful! What are you planning for the little cemetary on River Road???? Do you plan to dig up the remains and move them also????? You all seem to have absolutely no respect, except for the almighty dollar. This is one more reason that people should want to get out of New Jersey....the "unknowing, uncaring decision-makers" just keep making it worse for those who care about the beauty of nature........I'm just glad I don't have money....I know no one would fight over my will and destroy my wishes......you people (Board)are hateful, money loving, monsters......and I hope no one ever visits your new endeavor...I pray that it fails miserably........you deserve nothing more than that..
Joe Traina
31 Jul 2008, 08:59
Unless there are safety factors involved, I don't understand why any kind of changing or destroying of these beautiful gardens should ever be made. This was the Duke's gift to the public. Why should any board or anyone decide it's not good enough?
annhjelle
16 Jul 2008, 20:52
After reading about Duke Gardens for the first time as the news of their closing came out, I rushed down to see them. I arrived on a beautiful day worthy of a stroll both indoors and out. But the processional walk through each greenhouse gallery of different gardens was uniquely special. Doris Duke's oasis of joy deserves to be preserved for all time. No green replacement can equal what is already here. Plenty of green installations are coming that will be the new masterpieces of our era. Let them turn into that! But don't destroy something irreplaceable that already exists. Don't tear down the cathedral of Doris Duke!
Nancy
15 Jul 2008, 10:12
It's an outrage that these beautiful gardens are being destroyed simply on the whim of a board of highly-paid and privileged people. They can travel when and wherever they like and see natural wonders in their country of origin. Most of us cannot. That's the beauty of touring these gardens, as I did in May. Maybe the world doesn't really look like this any more, and maybe this is indeed an expensive artifical utopia, yet it does allow for dreaming, doesn't it? But I guess for this misguided board, dreaming no longer has any value.
Marc Sound
14 Jul 2008, 14:47
I wonder why I can't get this off my mind. I only recently discovered who Doris Duke was and what her life was about. Never had the chance to actually walk through one of her garden creations. Now - it's an impossibility - right? I mean, I have signed the petition, I have sent it to friends, how much does this help anyway? Viewing how much these 'trustee's make freaks me out to think how little actual work they do and then to hold Miss Duke's wishes in such low regard - I dun get it - seems they would only want to uphold her wishes. At least we have photos right?
kenneth trent
07 Jul 2008, 11:34
Have the gardens ,in fact, been destroyed?? What is the present status? Your kind response will be appreciated.\r\n Thank you
Marc Sound
23 Jun 2008, 13:48
What has happened to these Gardens? The 14th has passed - does anyone know? What a terrible thing to do in an age where true beauty and artistic expression are disappearing from our gorgeous planetary home. What a sad, sad thing.
Frederic C. Detwiller
13 Jun 2008, 19:56
I worked on a tenant house at Duke Farms years ago. She was very proud of the extensive landscape and historic horticultural resources created by her family over many years. I can't help but think Miss Duke would be surprised and dismayed by the lack of consideration for their original intent in developing the gardens. It seems that, if economic hardship is not the explanation, then there should be no excuse for not perpetuating their concept of educational gardens as they were originally conceived. I hope the Trustees have thought long and in depth on this subject since they will have to sleep with their decision. Happy Father's Day.
Petra Ross-Macdonald
02 Jun 2008, 10:53
The Gardens will not be destroyed until after June 14th. There is still time to save them!\r\n\r\nPlease go to www.savedukegardens.org. You will find an email link to contact Governor Corzine, asking him to meet with the Trustees and re-negotiate their decision to destroy a piece of New Jersey Heritage.\r\n\r\nAdd your voice to the 2000 people from all over the country who have said just what you are saying here, but have said it directly to the Trustees and/or the Governor. Unless you say it to them, your opinion does not get counted.\r\n
Ernie Grecsek
29 May 2008, 12:21
I read with interest the article on Duke Gardens; it is sad that the new vision does not include sustainng the original gardens created by Doris Duke. I was a tour guide in the mid- seventies and guided many groups through these beautiful gardens;I never got tired of talking about all the individual gardens and the uniqueness of each; Each group commented to me that they were so pleased they had the opportunity to view such beautiful displays.I regret that I will not get the opportunity to view the gardens before they are replaced. Doris Duke brought many of her close celebrity friends to see the gardens.\r\n\r\nPerhaps the leadership of the Duke Foundation will see the folly of going green and decide to avoid destroying these incredible works of live art and beauty.\r\n\r\nErnie
Leila M. Lane
28 May 2008, 19:20
My heart sank to my stomach when I read that the beautiful indoor gardens will be closed! As a small child, I was fortunate to have visited your indoor gardens. The memory of this tour has followed me my entire life and cultivated my love of gardening. \r\n\r\nAfter moving to NC in my adolescence, I was thrilled to learn of the Sarah Duke Gardens in Durham, NC in my teens. I was disappointed though, that it didn't match the beauty of the Gardens in NJ. \r\n\r\nNow that my own children are grown, I wanted to bring them to Somerville to share my memories of your gardens. I looked you up tonight with the intention of planning for this event. You can not imagine my sad disappointment when I read that the gardens are now gone. \r\n\r\nI only hope that your plans for the 2010 gardens although in a new location, will incorporate the style and beauty of the original gardens.\r\n\r\nVery Sadly,\r\n\r\nLeila Lane\r\nNorth Carolina\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n
gary messina
28 May 2008, 10:46
This is a real tragedy. With so few beautiful things left to see in New Jersey and the uniqueness of these gardens to be eradicated forever, is cultural genocide. I pity these people's "vision" of what they expect to "create" by destroying something so beautiful for future generations. Anyone can make the decision to destroy such a wonder, only a visionary has the capability to save it. I sincerely hope that on all photographs, videos and remembrances of Duke Gardens, the following caption appears: " destroyed forever, by the likes of Mr. Taylor and his board, entrusted with its care." \r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n
Frances
27 May 2008, 10:26
I do not like the idea of closing them. Is there any other way of going GREEN without destroying the GREEN?\r\n\r\nIt just doesn't make that much sense to me!\r\n\r\nPlease reconsider. I think it is a lot more costly to destroy and construct from scratch than to renovate. But, well, it is just me.\r\n\r\nThanks!
Rita Vanvourellis
26 May 2008, 19:40
To Whom it may concern,\r\nI am so very sad to hear the news of dismantling the tremendous gardens. Just having the Duke Estate here in the city where I live has been an extraordinary honor. We have visited many times and would love one last time if at all possible. I have made my nine year old daughter aware of Doris Duke and her life and she has come to feel blessed to have this tourist attraction in her neighborhood as well. Please reconsider, I am sure there is another way to achieve the finished product you want. It would be clearly a sin to dispose of such beauty. Please find another way. Isn't there something we can do as a community?\r\nThank you for listening. \r\nRita Vanvourellis
Denise Esola
24 May 2008, 15:56
These gardens are stiking as anyone who has ever visited them would have to agree. People from young children to seniors, from all walks of life and of all educational levels many aspects of botany in our world so that everyone can walk through the gardens and learn something from them. These gardens were made to show plants from all over the world, but we all seem to be forgetting something very important. We have forgotten the fact that these gardens were made in the late 1950's/early 1960's. They were built of that era through Doris Duke's eyes, her experiences, her idea of beauty. Although having something nice & new and shiney can be nice, it is not always appropriate. I feel very strongly that although the new gardens will certainly be very nice, we will all lose something in the trade off that we will never be able to regain.
Marianne Lang
22 May 2008, 10:10
How can you do this to the people of NJ? You are just like the politicians--not listening to the public and determining plans according to your wishes. Do you think Doris Duke would have approved of this? Why can't you leave the greenhouses and add additional gardens also? There are such things as fundraisers. I know a lot of people would participate to keep these beautiful gradens there. It is a shame to dismantle them as some of the plants will surely die if moved. Everyone I have talked to is really disappointed about closing the indoor gardens. Maybe you will change your minds and leave this rare beauty intact in NJ. \r\n From a Master Gardener
misi mcadams
20 May 2008, 05:11
Is your facilities available this weekend for a 1 year old birthday party?
Elaine manion
19 May 2008, 20:28
Over the years my friends and I have enjoyed visiting Duke Gardens. When I read that these beautiful gardens are going to be closed I could not believe it. To have such a delightful treasure of gardens from all over the world to visit in our own state of NJ is a joy beyond words, especially in the dead of winter when we all need a lift. I hope and pray the trustees will reconsider and find a way to keep the gardens open to the public.
Dottie Sieber
19 May 2008, 10:12
Please reconsiderr closing your exquisite gardens. One of the most sensational things in New Jersey\r\nand enjoyed by so many\r\nThank you
Barbra
16 May 2008, 16:43
With all this talk about renovations and the new and improved structures on site complete with local plant life, does anyone know what's going to happen to the old plants that were taken from all over the world and have been residents of Duke Gardens for decades? I sincerely hope the powers-that-be do not turn them into mulch! What a devastating waste that would be!!!\r\nBy the way, what's wrong with the Garden to warrant such a destructive project in the name of environmental improvements? Don't they realize that keeping Duke Gardens the way it is is the best way to foster a love of horticulture, and thereby fostering a deeper respect for the environment as a whole?
Julie Choe
13 May 2008, 17:55
Do you have weddings at the garden?
Jackie Rollack
13 May 2008, 07:35
This is truly a work of art. To see pictures does nothing for the hardwork that went into these displays! I can't believe that they won't exsist in the future as Doris Duke would have wanted! Every year I look forward to going to see the displays every spring! Please don't destroy this work of art!
Ann O'Malley
11 May 2008, 15:58
To the Trustees of Duke Garden:\r\n\r\nI simply cannot believe that you would\r\ndismantle one of the lovliest greenhouses ever created. I believe Doris Duke would be appalled.\r\n\r\nPlease reconsider. There is more than enough space on the estate to allow for environmental projects and classes.
Sue M
08 May 2008, 14:47
The Duke Gardens are a treasure for the state of NJ and for the Nation. They represent a piece of history. I know your focus is shifting to encompass "green" initiatives, and I totally respect that, but these gardens are extraordinary. Dismantling them will be a loss for all time. Please reconsider this decision -- surely these can still be used to teach "green" practices, and there is plenty of room on the estate to house other "green" interests. Even if orchids in December does not constitute a "green" initiative, it still constitutes beauty, art and an appreciation of the world -- all things that Doris Duke held in high esteem.
Elizabeth Hettmann
04 May 2008, 17:04
I've been to Duke's Gardens many times and the news of closing makes me so sad I just want to sit down and cry. My friends and family are also upset. Isn't there some other way? Could the Trustees please reconsider closing? Please don't distroy the most cherished display of magnificence and beauty in the state of New Jersey.
Catherine McKernan
02 May 2008, 03:37
My husband would like to pay a visit to Duke Gardens to celebrate our 56th Anniversary. Are there any tickets available? If there are we just need two. Perhaps there is a cancellation we could get. Any weekday in May is fine with us. Thank you.
bjkorson
30 Apr 2008, 18:31
How do we get tickets for admission to the gardens for Friday, May 1, 08?
jackie fiorentino
30 Apr 2008, 07:43
I would like 3 to 5 tickets for Sunday May 4th if there is A cancellation. THANK YOU
m. judy waller
27 Apr 2008, 14:42
I am interested in a reservations for 2, Sat. May 3, at about 2:30 pm. Please notify me if this is possible, or if a later time would be better that day. Thanks, Judy Waller
Ann Markus
24 Apr 2008, 04:12
My husband and I were just there yesterday for our 20th anniversary. What a beautiful way to spend the day. I would like to spend many more anniversaries the same way at Duke Gardens. Please don't close down such a beautiful and wonderful place.
Emery Fekete
23 Apr 2008, 07:18
...---... Duke Gardens.\r\n\r\nTime is running out fast to prevent the closure of Duke Gardens, a wonder of the State of New Jersey and a source of pride for Hillsborough and Somerset County. May 25, 2008.\r\n\r\nAlthough smaller in scale would Duponts trustees consider closing "Long Wood Gardens" and then would the state of Pa.\r\nallow it to occur without exploring all the other options? I don't hink so.\r\n\r\nDuke Gardes is too important attraction for the "Garden State" to be treated like some pink elephant.\r\n\r\nI trully feel the Trustees actions are\r\ndriven bby "Greed" not going "Green"\r\nWith over a Billion dollars at hand\r\nit is much easier to hide excess amounts in new project cost overruns \r\nand pocket excesses.\r\n\r\n\r\nIn New Jersey the fauna may be nice in the forms of poison ivy or oak and rag weed or pussy wilows but can they compair to the variety of orchids or bird of paradise? \r\n\r\nDO Not let this happen this way. \r\n\r\nThe Property can use improvements in landscaping but presearving this Duke\r\nIcon as part of the estate is essencial.\r\n\r\n\r\nEmery Fekete\r\n\r\n\r\n
Anne Wright
21 Apr 2008, 13:19
To the Trustees,\r\n\r\nI strongly urge you to reconsider changing the format of Doris Dukes = Duke Farms. It would be unfortunate to change 43 years of a success. And to destroy the loving patient care provided by the many gardeners in preserving this gem.
Petra Ross-Macdonald
14 Apr 2008, 20:30
NJskylands is not a website that can be used to make bookings. All Duke Gardens tours from now to the Closure are booked (try 908-722-3700 for cancellations).\r\n\r\nThe internationally-themed Gardens will be dismantled after May 25th, 2008. If you wish to ever see these Gardens, please go to: \r\n\r\nwww.savedukegardens.org\r\n\r\nUse the simple email links to ask the Trustees to reconsider the closure, and to ask the local and national press to cover this story.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n
Karen Miller
13 Apr 2008, 19:55
Are tickets available for the week of April 14th? How do I go about applying for visitors' pass or purchasing tickets? Thank you.\r\n
Jacqueline
13 Apr 2008, 11:48
I like to know if I can have a wedding at your garden and if so, how many and do you have a structure to serve food. thank you.
rose marie buzard
12 Apr 2008, 08:08
Can 3 of us come to visit 1:00p.m. April 20 or April 27? we love gardens.
rose marie buzard
12 Apr 2008, 08:08
Can 3 of us come to visit 1:00p.m. April 20 or April 27? we love gardens.
susan bogden
12 Apr 2008, 05:25
We would like to visit the Hot Houses today that are free to the public with 2 visitors from Conn. Our preference would be about 1:30 if available. Otherwise, anytime today. Our second choice would be tomorrow after 10:00 since they are leaving early afternoon to go home. There would be 4 of us. Thank you and will look forward to yout return reply. \r\nSusan Bogden
Barbara Jones
11 Apr 2008, 16:41
I need to reserve for two people next Saturday the 19th of April. We will be there sometime in the mid morning around 10am. Please send an email to confirm this date and time. Mrs. D. Jones
Deborah Gecik
11 Apr 2008, 10:12
If their is any tickets available, please let me know. Or cancellations.\r\nThank You,\r\nDeborah\r\n
JT
10 Apr 2008, 10:24
Dear Duke Gardens Gardians,\r\nI've tried making phone reservations by phone and found that you are all booked up.\r\nIf any tickets become available ANY DAY AND TIME please let me know.\r\n\r\nThank you for your time.\r\n\r\nJT
Lisa
09 Apr 2008, 04:16
I would love to get to tickets for the garden tour before it closes in May. I have always wanted to tour the gardens and am so upset that it will be closing. Please contact me.
Hope Bucci
08 Apr 2008, 20:47
Can a winter wedding in January of 2009 be held here?
Susie Mackay
07 Apr 2008, 18:56
I have a reservation for 2 people on May 10, 2008 at 1:45pm and I need to add another person.\r\n\r\nPlease confirm tomorrow, April 8 by return email or phone: (908) 234-9169\r\n\r\nThank you,\r\n\r\nSusie M. Mackay
Maureen Ziegler
07 Apr 2008, 10:45
I would like to get a ticket for May 11 at 11:45 Please let me know how I go about doing this \r\n\r\n\r\nThank you
Dr. Kistler Osborne
05 Apr 2008, 09:29
Please reserve space for two seniors to visit the garden and house tour on June 25, 2008 in the morning hours please.\r\nThank you, Dr. Kistler Osborne and Dr. Giles C. Floyd. See you then
lynn barattucci
04 Apr 2008, 17:27
MY DAUGHTER AND I HAVE WANTED TO TOUR THE GARDENS, I HOPE THAT YOU STILL HAVE 2 SPOTS AVAILABLE FOR US BEFORE THE CLOSING / RESTRUCTURING . THANK YOU LYNN
katie
03 Apr 2008, 11:47
Can weddings be held at the Garden? If so, please send me more information. Thanks.
rosemary mc govney
03 Apr 2008, 10:09
please send me information about your gardens and the seasonal displays. to rosemary mc govney\r\n20 2nd lane\r\nseaside park, nj 08752\r\n\r\nthank you
Jane Gilley
28 Mar 2008, 07:05
I would like to purchase a ticket for this Sunday, 3/30/08. How do I do that?
judith burinda
27 Mar 2008, 15:26
What is the complete address of the estates. Thank you. J Burinda I need directions from South Plainfield NJ
Karin Cermele
25 Mar 2008, 05:53
Several church members asked me to inquire about tickets for 6 perons. Is it possible? We are all seniors and have seen the Gardens with our young families years agao and would like to say Good bye to a beautiful piece of acreage in New Jersy. Sorry you must go.\r\n\r\nAre weekends available? Any Sunday in April would be fine. If not, any day in April week of 21.\r\n\r\nThank you kindly,\r\n\r\nKarin Cermele
Ellen Cohn
20 Mar 2008, 14:22
I would like info about reserving space for a visit this spring for 3 seniors. Thank you\r\n\r\nEllen
robyn ebner
17 Mar 2008, 15:55
are you open Easter Sunday and if so what are your hours?
Cindi Chettum
09 Mar 2008, 13:28
I recently had the pleasure of seeing the HMO movie Bernard & Doris and am very interested in taking a self guided tour this summer. \r\n\r\nUnfortunately, reading some of the previous comments, this may not be available.\r\n\r\nPlease contact me via email and let me know the times of the tours on weekends. If you are closing, please let me know when. \r\n\r\nThanking you in advance.
Mariette Corcoran
09 Mar 2008, 12:07
I am interested in having a wedding ceremony here! Can you give me more info? Thanks!
Lori Diamante
06 Mar 2008, 13:51
I heard that you were closing some time in May of 2008. Is this true? If so, when? We would like to visit both the gardens and the mansion, if possible. Thank you, sincerely.
Stephanie
04 Mar 2008, 09:35
The garden tours are free now through the end of May. Please make reservations either on the website (www.dukefarms.org) or by calling 908-722-3700. Duke Farms does not host weddings, corporate events, or private parties of any kind.
Frank & Anita Duke
03 Mar 2008, 15:19
We are four seniors who would like to visit the gardens.Do you have any March or first two weeks in April available? Thank you. Frank Duke\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n
Deanna Kindler
02 Mar 2008, 10:43
Are weddings held here?\r\n\r\nI would also like to purchase tickets for a tour. I called the office today within the designated time but it said it was closed.\r\nI had heard that this would be closing soon. Is that true? So sad! When is the last possible time for tours?\r\nThank you for any consideration.\r\nThank you,\r\nDeanna Kindler\r\n
Michael +Christine Weber
26 Feb 2008, 14:49
We would like information on estate and garden tours. We would like to schedule a visit. We are originally from New Jersey and would really enjoy visiting this historical masterpiece from America's Gilded Age.Thank You for returning our inquiry...The Weber Family
helen martens
26 Feb 2008, 14:23
Please send info regarding a tour for the Three Village Garden Club. We are a group of 35- 40 and would like to see the estate and gardens sometime this spring or summer. Thank you.\r\n\r\nHelen Martens\r\n35 Hawthorne Street\r\nMount Sinai, NY 11766
Joe Lipari
19 Feb 2008, 09:39
I was wondering if you have any home school rates and or tours available for late March?Tuesdays would be the best day for us and I can bring along a group. Thankyou!
Mireille Rabut
16 Feb 2008, 07:28
I would like to visit Duke Gardens and Manor. Please let me know if it is possible in the spring.\r\nRegards.\r\n
Brandon Ranney
14 Feb 2008, 07:18
Can I hold a wedding at this facility?
Catherine Decastro
12 Feb 2008, 06:16
Please send me info on tours of the estate and gardens for a group of seniors.
AnnaRene' Jeremiah
09 Feb 2008, 19:59
I would like to find out more about tours at the property. Please e-mail me at inhomepiano@yahoo.com. Thanks. \r\n
Barbara Steinberg
09 Feb 2008, 12:18
Please send me information regarding tours for seniors.\r\n\r\nThank you
Jeannette Glennon-Morrissey
07 Jan 2008, 10:44
To Whom It May Concern,\r\nI would like to know, who I should contact about possible employment opportunities, at Duke Gardens. My expertise and skills are in horticulture, customer service and resources/outreach. Thank you for your time.\r\nJeannette\r\n

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