The South Rock Garden is located at the southern end of the arboretum.
Dorothy Knippenberg had a special interest in rock gardens and created what is known as the South Rock Garden at Laurelwood many years ago. The Watnong Chapter of the North American Rock Garden Society is partnering with FOLA’s staff and volunteers to restore this display garden, which had deteriorated over the years.
The first group of Watnong Chapter volunteers came to Laurelwood in the spring of 2014 to begin an initial exploration in a small area of the rock garden. They excavated in an effort to uncover the tufa, the limestone rocks that were integral to the original design. The designated area was dug to about three feet down, and any existing plants that could be saved were potted up. All rocks were set aside for later use. The group later returned to rebuild the area with tufa and quality soil. In 2015, they will begin restoring and planting.
The Watnong Chapter is committed to the renovation of the South Rock Garden as a five-year project that will offer its members and FOLA volunteers opportunities for hands-on experience in planning, building, planting and maintaining a rock garden. The chapter expects to schedule workshops and demonstrations at Laurelwood in the future. When their work is completed, the South Rock Garden will reflect Dorothy’s original vision.