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A Taste of the Mediterranean in New Jersey

By Linda Tancs

Inspired by the beauty and warmth of a Mediterranean villa, Van Vleck House & Gardens is a peaceful oasis in Montclair, New Jersey. It originated as a 12-acre private estate more than 140 years ago when successful businessman Joseph Van Vleck and his family moved to Montclair from Brooklyn in 1868. Of all the dwellings that once graced the property, the current home (built in 1916) remains and is surrounded by magnificent gardens open free of charge from dawn to dusk year round. The grounds are prized for a strong representation of ericaceous plants, particularly rhododendrons and azaleas. Other gems include the Chinese wisteria planted by Howard Van Vleck in 1939 and the stately Dawn redwood and Blue Atlas cedar in the rear garden.


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