January 15 2016
jan blog

Why New Jersey is Called the Garden State (and Other Fun NJ Facts)

What’s in a name? When it comes to New Jersey’s nickname, “The Garden State,” many of us will admit that we don’t really know.

Sure, the name seems fitting given New Jersey’s vast scenery and some 10,000 farms. But the story has much more to it than that, including a bit of mystery. Read on for a quick and fun history lesson on the beautiful state we call home.

New Jersey: “The Garden State”


So, here’s the thing: there’s no 100% definitive explanation for how New Jersey got the nickname, “The Garden State.” But the consensus is that Attorney General Abraham Browning of Camden coined the term in a speech at the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia on Jersey Day, August 24, 1876.

“In his address Mr. Browning compared New Jersey to an immense barrel, filled with good things to eat and open at both ends, with Pennsylvanians grabbing from one end and the New Yorkers from the other. He called New Jersey the Garden State, and the name has clung to it ever since,” wrote Alfred M. Heston in his two-volume 1926 work, Jersey Waggon Jaunts.

The supposed loose end to that story, though, is that the barrel image actually dates back to the days of Benjamin Franklin.

Nevertheless, in 1954, the New Jersey Legislature voted to officially add “The Garden State” to New Jersey license plates, despite an adamant veto from Governor Robert B. Meyner. You can read his veto message here.

Other Fun Facts


New Jersey is arguably the proudest, most diverse state in America. Our character is unique, and our culture makes the Garden State feel like home.

Here are a few more fun facts about NJ:

  • The state bird is the eastern goldfinch, also known as the wild canary or the American goldfinch. This little guy got the nod as the official state bird in 1935.
  • The state bug is the honeybee. In 1974, Governor Brendan T. Byrne signed the bill designating the honeybee as the official state bug after a group of Hamilton Township schoolchildren visited the State House with a song and poem about the bee.
  • The state tree is the red oak. This is the one that bursts with bright red and fiery orange in fall.
  • The state flower is the violet, which blossoms across just about every NJ county in spring.

Your New Jersey Home

If you’re lucky enough to live in the Garden State, you’ll agree that there’s no place better. And if you’re looking to beautify your New Jersey home, call on High Tech for all of your landscaping needs, from design/build to tree services, lighting and lawn care. To learn more, call us at 732-356-4975 or email us at info@hightechlandscapes.com