Show House to Spotlight Holly Hill's Rich Horticultural Tradition

Revered Horticulture and Landscape Expert Dr. Norman Hungerford is Honorary Landscape Chair

     LOCUST, NJ - Stately Homes by-the-Sea Designer Show House to benefit the Visiting Nurse Association of Central Jersey will take place May 3 to June 12 at Holly Hill; a historic country estate nestled in Locust, one of the most beautiful water view locations in New Jersey.

Holly Hill is the setting for the Designer Show House.  Photo: Shine Bright Studios

     Horticulture and landscape expert Dr. Norman Hungerford will serve as the Honorary Landscape Chair. Led by Dr. Hungerford, many of the region’s leading landscape artists will create over 15 gardens that call on the estate’s vibrant horticultural history while embracing the lifestyle and environmental concerns of today.

     Stately Homes by-the-Sea welcomes the following sponsors: Traditional Home – national media sponsor, New York Spaces – regional media sponsor, 1st dibs and Verizon.

     “We are thrilled to have such an impressive group of landscape designers contributing their creative talent to the Show House property,” said Nancy Mulheren who joins Liz Thees and Mindy Minerva as co-chairs of the event. “The creativity and vision each brings to this project is truly remarkable, as well as their admirable generosity of spirit all in support of the vital work of the Visiting Nurse Association of Central New Jersey.”

     Set on over 12 acres, Holly Hill was built in 1934 by New Jersey State Senator and Superior Court Judge Thomas Brown. An amateur horticulturist, Judge Brown devoted much time and effort to preserving and showcasing the indigenous trees and plants on the property, especially the dozens of holly tress that gave the property its name. In the 1940’s a selection of Judge Brown’s holly was included in a fledgling collection of every native New Jersey holly cultivar at Rutgers gardens. Initially tagged as Brown #9, the Holly Hill specimen was eventually renamed Jersey Knight and served as one of the parents of Jersey Princess.        

 Photo: Shine Bright Studios

     This unparalleled property serves as a backdrop for the creativity and innovation of the participating landscape designers. Among their creations will be a Rose Garden adjacent to the main house reincarnated as “Birdland”, blending the beauty of the classic flower with a tropical motif echoing the atmosphere of the eponymous ‘30s jazz mecca. Unique plantings will be set among vintage brown stones salvaged from New Jersey bridges to form the enchanting Cliffside. A Vegetable Garden will incorporate features that were common for kitchen gardens during the early 1900s, while addressing contemporary demands, to provide an area intended to nourish the soul as well as the body. Plus, a diagram of the garden and a planting guide with maintenance and harvesting tips will be provided. A relaxing outdoor garden room will be tucked underneath the mansion’s exotic “Alladin Stairs” and a Woodland Gazebo, set among the historic holly trees, will provide a serene vantage point. A charming playhouse will be surrounded with a riot of colorful annuals and perennials and the Pond will evoke memories of lazy summer days and frosty skating parties.    

     Stately Homes by-the-Seas Designer Show House is presented by Visiting Nurse Association of Central Jersey (VNACJ), a member of VNA Health Group. Founded in 1912, Visiting Nurse Association of Central Jersey is the largest voluntary, nonprofit home care agency in New Jersey serving more than 120,000 individuals annually throughout New Jersey.

 Photo: Shine Bright Studios

   In addition to touring the lavish interiors and extensive grounds of Holly Hill, attendees are invited to complete their day at Holly Hill with lunch at the Show House Café by Salt Creek Grille and shopping at the show house designer boutique. Stately Homes by-the-Sea is open Tuesday- Sunday, 10a.m. – 4 p.m. There are no rain dates for this event. Please note that the Show House is not handicapped accessible. Children under the age of 12 will not be admitted. Additional information the Show House, event and ticket sales can be found online at

For more information about VNACJ services and programs, visit www.vnacj.or or call 800-862-3330. The 2011 Stately Homes by-the-Sea landscape designers include:

Colonial Nursery, Lincroft, NJ 

Gold Coast Landscaping, Ocean, NJ

Susan Garon Smith with Greenleaf  Landscape Systems & Services, Eatontown, NJ                                                         

Grounds Keeper, inc. Matawan, NJ

Guaranteed Landscaping, Middletown, NJ

Guaranteed Plants, Middletown, NJ

Landscape Craftsman, Red Bank, NJ

Leigh Sorenson Landscape Design, Rumson, NJ

Linwyck Gardens, Freehold, NJ

Marlboro Flower and Garden, Marlboro, NJ

Sandy Henning Gardens, Rumson,NJ

Sickles Market, Little Silver, NJ

Twin Industries, Eatontown, NJ

Walpole Woodworkers, Rumson, NJ

Waterford Gardens, Saddle River, NJ

Landscape Support

Agritech Turf Maintenance, Inc. Freehold, NJ

Bartlett Tree Experts, Piscataway, NJ

New Jersey Deer Control, Red Bank, NJ

Siciliano Landscape Company, Red Bank, NJ