Just steps from the ocean, pansies, impatiens, and dianthus thrive on the grounds around a historic lighthouse.
Mexican sunflowers, monarda, and hollyhocks attract hummingbirds and butterflies. "This is why the New Jersey Audubon Society lists Hereford Inlet Lighthouse Gardens on their Butterfly Map of Cape May County," Steve says.
A scalloped-edge birdbath surrounded by vibrant salvia blooms reflects the lighthouse gardens’ Victorian style
A path bordered by rustling pampas grass, maiden grass, and spotted joe-pye weed connects the historic lighthouse to the ocean.
Near the water's edge, the tower comes into view behind a barrier wall of Japanese black pines.
Paul J. Pelz, an architect known for designing the Library of Congress, conceived the Carpenter Gothic―style lighthouse.
In a dappled spot, hot-pink zinnias and the tropical-like foliage of Persian shield complement one another.
"Those who know this plant refer to it as Persian sword or Persian shield, but its botanical name is strobilanthes," Steve says. "Its burgundy and silver colors make it a dramatic standout in the garden."
A formal, Victorian-era design laid the foundation for the fragrant herb garden. A decorative urn and beds brim with lavender,
rosemary, scented geraniums, and pineapple sage. Visitors delight in brushing up against orange mint, Russian sage, and lemon