Photo Essay: Edith Duff Gwinn Gardens: 50-Plus Years and Growing Strong

Photo by Ryan Morrill.

Barnegat Light — Pansies, daffodils and violets – oh my!

The Garden Club of Long Beach Island maintains the Edith Duff Gwinn Gardens outside the Barnegat Light Historical Museum, seen here, in addition to the Beach Haven Library Garden. Both gardens are open to the public all year.

Botanist and environmentalist Edith Duff Gwinn was a member of the Barnegat Light Historical Society and the Garden Club of LBI. In the 1960s, she set out to see the Barnegat Light Museum grounds, at 501 Central Avenue, transformed from a barren yard to a beautiful garden, one that featured indigenous plants and other vegetation that would thrive in the seashore environment.

“Her hope was to inspire other gardeners to use native plants in their gardens,” the club’s website, thegardencluboflbi.com, explains.

Edith Duff Gwinn Gardens was founded in 1968, and the Garden Club assumed financial and caretaking responsibility for the land. Each Monday from May to November, a dedicated group of workers is on site at the gardens, planning and planting.

The LBI Garden Club itself, meanwhile, was initiated in 1958, with 13 women “concerned about rapid development on LBI and the disappearance of native trees and shrubs,” notes the club website. “They … set their goals: preservation, conservation and beautification.

“Adopting the motto ‘Watch Us Grow,’ the club has done just that for more than half a century.”

Last fall, the Garden Club celebrated the 50th year of stewardship of the Edith Duff Gwinn Gardens. This spring, as in every spring, the gardens have come alive with color – thanks to the Garden Club of LBI.

Stop by and smell the flowers!

—J.K.-H.

Reposted from The Sandpaper