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Colonia's Babbling Brook Opens Its Gates to Passionate Gardenistas

The gorgeous Colonia estate opened its gates and gardens to nature enthusiasts this weekend as part of a Garden Conservancy program.

Located on three- and one-half acres, Babbling Brook has long been a beautiful staple in the Colonia section of Woodbridge. The New Dover Road estate, presently owned and operated by Jeffrey Zirpolo (whose father, Walter Zirpolo, served as mayor of Woodbridge from 1962 to 67), has been owned by the same family for the past five decades.

For the last 30 years, the grounds were maintained by Dimitri Kofsky, the expert gardener charged with the upkeep of the magnificent grounds. However, since Kofsky passed away earlier this year, Zirpolo has undertaken the challenge of the garden maintenance himself.

A passionate gardener, Zirpolo has always had an active influence on the floral landscape of his inherited estate, but even more so since the passing of Kofsky. Zirpolo enlisted the help of Cathie Springer, who applies her gardening expertise on a weekly basis to maintain the beauty of Babbling Brook. Both Zirpolo and Springer keenly feel the loss of Kofsky, their longtime friend and estate garden expert, especially during this time where the grounds are frequented by eager garden enthusiasts.

Each year as part of the Garden Conservancy program, Babbling Brook opens its gates for one special day to guests and allows self-guided tours throughout the gorgeous garden. The date is selected by the Garden Conservancy and is county-specific.

As Springer explained, past garden tours have been scheduled during summer, fall, or even winter months. Regardless of the season, Springer said "there is always something going on at the Babbling Brook gardens, even in the winter. In each season there are different things blooming. No matter what, you see gorgeous things here."

Though the event was advertised as an unguided tour, both Springer and Zirpolo were kind enough to educate curious garden guests on the floral arrangements and explain its rich history on the grounds.

Babbling Brook is home to some of the most beautiful garden gems New Jersey -  and Woodbridge - has to offer. In addition to floral arrangements, there are also two ponds on the premises, a greenhouse, a waterfall with fishpond, and decades-old trees. The photo gallery included in this article provides an elaborate illustration of the beauty that rests on the Babbling Brook landscape.

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