Saturday, June 17, 2023
1pm – 4pm

Here is your invitation to explore the private plants, blooms and landscape designs of passionate Cape May area gardeners. See both public and private gardens and take home ideas for your own garden. Smell and see what’s blooming and flourishing in several different seashore locations dominated by sunlight, ocean breezes, sand and salt, but each uniquely situated. Physick Estate gardens are included as well as the The Nature Conservancy Garrett Family Preserve included!
The grounds of the Emlen Physick Estate will host nature and garden themed local vendors as well as a complimentary wine tasting by Cape May Winery!

This tour is self-guided.

Emlen Physick Estate ad

Properties on Tour June 17, 2023

The Dwyer Residence
911 Farmdale Avenue, West Cape May

“Wild and Weeds” – The garden has been planted using native plants that provide support for wildlife. Birds, bees and butterflies all have a place in this garden.  Flowers were chosen to attract hummingbirds, feed butterflies and provide a host for caterpillars. Birds use the shrubs for shelter as well as enjoy the berries.  Frogs and dragonflies use the pond to lay their eggs.  Toads hide in the underbrush. The human residents are sustained by the vegetable, herb gardens berry bushes. The garden has been a eight year project to create a natural oasis to attract and support nature. The flowers are beautiful but the real enjoyment of this garden is watching the various visitors to the garden throughout the year.

The Emlen Physick Estate
1048 Washington Street, Cape May

 Tour six different gardens on the grounds of Cape May’s only Victorian house museum.

The Gaines-McKenzie
1148 Washington Street

Don’t expect a well-groomed, perfectly neat, landscape here. Instead, witness the results of an impulsive gardener with a limited budget, cranky knees and a willing husband. A pollinator border of mostly natives defines the north side with anise hyssop, fennel, bee balm, aster and varieties of echinacea framed by a butterfly bush. A crape myrtle, beauty berry, two lace-wing hydrangeas and a thuja dominate the border along the house. There’s a vegetable garden, a cutting and fragrance garden, potted herbs arranged on an old boat, and a pond surrounded by two beach plum and Joe Pye. A boxwood anchors the south side of the front yard, with perennials and colorful annuals.  Camellia vernalis anchors the other side, and a bird-planted crabapple centers it.

The Garrett Family Preserve
Off Seashore Road at the end of Wilson Street in Lower Township, NJ

Visitors can hike or bike on more than four miles of trails at this ecological gem, watch wildlife from the bird blind, see beneficial bugs in the insect hotel, snap a photo with the Dream Machine Monarch statue, or bring paints and pencils and capture the landscape at one of three permanent art easels. The Nature Conservancy acquired the property in 1999 to manage a significant piece of land to increase much-needed stopover habitat for migratory songbirds at the southern tip of the Cape May peninsula. A generous donation from the Garrett family in 2013 enabled expansion of the site as well as improvements in habitat and visitor amenities.

The Hipples Residence
1116 Pittsburgh Avenue, Cape May

The garden has evolved over a period of 20 years. Borders along the perimeter create a natural privacy fence. All borders were hand dug and planted with shrubs, trees and many favorite sun-loving perennials. Divisions of plants and reseeding have filled in spaces over the years.

The Lovitz Residence
1012 Cape May Avenue, Cape May

Evelyn Lovitz welcomes you to her garden, a wildlife-friendly garden comprised of  trees, bushes and perennials that attract, feed and protect wildlife. Evelyn chooses to grow these plants to enjoy beautiful, hardy plants, to save time and money, to bring in birds and butterflies and to improve water quality. You will see mostly South Jersey native herbaceous plants shrubs and trees here. Native plants have evolved over thousands of years to be adapted to conditions in a particular region and to the other plants and animals around them.

The Ruzzi Residence
1342 Vermont Avenue, Cape May

This hidden gem of a garden not only includes many annuals and perennials, but also some plants not often seen in Cape May. Come see the fig trees and Italian persimmons along with the full herb and vegetable garden. Make sure to take a moment and see the unique Japanese fan tail willow tree!

The Viguers Residence
501 Broad Street, Cape May

This garden located at the corner of Bank and Broad Street keeps within the historical tradition of Cape May. The original owner of the home (Mr. F. Boerner ) was a gardener and the landscape designer/caretaker for the Physic Estate located just blocks away. The success of this garden can be attributed to the on going love of flowers. The gardening season starts with daffodils, tulips, and Siberian iris followed by a variety of asiatic lilies, heirloom roses, and mophead hydrangeas. In the fall you will find wine colored garden mum’s planted along the cypress fence line. The cypress fence was hand made by the late Howard Viguers. The garden also features a fish pond. The pond, which is a former hot tub, hosts gold fish and a variety of aquatic plants which include water lilies. Take special note to the container plantings on the porch. You will find phalaenopsis orchids, a collection of begonias, and other house plants which enjoy their time on the porch all summer long.

Interested in learning more about the Victorian language of flowers?

Click below to read our blog post on Victorian Floriography.

Physick Estate Garden in Cape May New Jersey

Emlen Physick Estate Gardens