In 1935, notorious New York mobster Vito Genovese purchased a 40-acre estate in Middletown as a retreat to get away from his stressful life in the city.

He made a lot of money bootlegging booze in the Prohibition era and wanted to put his ill-gotten gains to good use.

He had his landscapers design an Italian-style villa garden, complete with a Mount Vesuvius-like smoke-belching structure in the rock garden, reminiscent of his native Naples, Italy.

Via Deep Cut Gardens on Facebook
Via Deep Cut Gardens on Facebook

Monmouth County acquired the property in the 1970s, which was quite overgrown at the time but still had the original flora and greenery that Vito had planted. He fled the country in 1937 and the garden project was never completely finished.

The property changed hands a few times until the county of Monmouth took possession of the estate in 1977.

Deep Cut Gardens is operated by the Monmouth County Park System and is open to the public. Spring and early summer are especially stunning there as everything imaginable is in bloom.

Via Deep Cut Gardens on Facebook
Via Deep Cut Gardens on Facebook

The 54 acres of gardens and greenhouses are planned as a living catalog of cultivated and native plant materials. The Rose Parterre features 52 varieties of roses with over 180 bushes.

Deep Cut Gardens is dedicated to the home gardener but will be enjoyed by everyone.
For those who've been lucky enough to visit, it's a yearly tradition and for those of you who've never been, it's a must-visit. Perfect for a family outing, dates, wedding photos, or a leisurely stroll in a unique Jersey treasure. Just don't bring Fido. Pets are not permitted. 

How to start your first garden

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Dennis Malloy only.

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Dennis is putting the garden in ‘The Garden State


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