BRIGANTINE– Cindy Smith has been hard at work getting the new expanded garden section of Brigantine’s Ace Hardware ready for an onslaught of residents looking to improve the appearance of their homes.
The plants – particularly a new line of native plants including milkweed and butterfly plants – is part of the green initiative Smith is developing.
“We wanted to get ahead of the game,” she said in an interview noting that her family’s seven hardware stores are all going green. Part of the new direction includes the elimination of plastic bags as well as balloons and anything else that may threaten the environment.
“We like what the Brigantine Green team has done and we will support their initiatives,” Smith said. “We want to encourage other retailers to do the same.”
Store manager Keith Pitt has been working with her to expand the garden section.
The addition of milkweed and butterfly plants is based on supporting the monarch butterfly.
“We are in the Atlantic flyway,” Pitt said. “These plants are important to the monarch.”
There’s also a new selection of water plants and a bigger selection of perennials than before. The staff has been trained to advise and help out challenged gardeners.
“We are stocked and in shape” Pitt said.
Smith confirmed that the family, which includes her husband Joe and son Joe III, has purchased the adjacent car wash, with plans to expand the garden center. Plans have been submitted and are awaiting approval from the Planning Board.