Beautiful mature specimens and paths that wind into secret views—a passion for collecting plants—creating layered textures with antiques.
Welcome to the charming collector’s garden of Garden of Jean and Wayne Mitchell.
YOU ARE CORDIALLY INVITED to: Open Days
Saturday May 17 and Sunday May 18, 2014
Wayne is an avid golfer and enjoys relaxing with his wife and their family in the garden.
Meet my friend Jean Mitchell, the most gracious hostess. When not in her garden, Jean is a friendly welcoming face—volunteering at the J.C. Raulston Arboretum Bobby G. Wilder Visitor Center.
Entwined Life: What do you call your garden?
Jean Mitchell: Long ago, neighborhood children named my acre and a half woodland garden, “My Fairy Garden in the Woods.”
How long have you been gardening at this location?
What to you consider your gardening Style?
Informal Whimsical Woodland.
What kind of conditions do you garden in?
Rich woodland soil, but lots of roots and rocks. Very shady conditions. Hilly terrain.
Do you have any challenges in your garden?
Shade and large trees which make it difficult to dig holes because of numerous roots and rocks. Rabbits, voles and deer like to eat foliage.
What is the first thing you added, removed or changed in this garden?
Azalea beds were the original theme to the garden. Many of the original azaleas still remain and are now over 50 years old. The biggest change that occurred in the garden was the removal of many trees that were felled during Hurricane Fran in September 1996. This allowed an abundance of sunlight in many of the garden areas for the first time in the garden’s history, and reinvigorated our interest in gardening.
Do you collect plants and if so what?
Yes! I’m so lucky to be able to get many of my plants at JC Raulston Arboretum where I have volunteered since 1996. Native plants that like shade are my favorites.
What are favorite garden tools?
I love the mattock and shovel for my planting and gardening, and the rake for the leaves.
How much time do you spend working in your garden?
A couple of hours almost every day.
What is your mulch preference?
Ground up Autumn leaves.
Anything new added to your garden?
A Butterfly metal sculpture by Grace Cathey in Waynesville, NC.
What is your first memory in a garden?
Helping my mother plant flowers.
What is it that got you started gardening?
Each of my sons were given an azalea bed that they tended. Back then my passion was collecting antiques.
How many Gardens have you had?
Two—one on Ann Street in Cary and our present garden which we have now had for over 50 years!
Where do you go for inspiration?
Do you have a favorite Garden you’ve visited?
Chanticleer Gardens in Wayne, Pa and
Butchart Gardens near Victoria, British Columbia
Do you have a favorite Garden Book?
I enjoy all garden books!
Who is your Horticultural Hero? Or Garden mentor?
I have many, including my dear friends Mitzi Hole & Suzanne Edney.
The blue bench on the backside of the house.
If money were no object what would you add or do differently?
Nothing! I’m happy and at peace with my garden the way it is.
Do you have ‘garden wisdom’ to share? Or anything you’d like to say about your garden?
My favorite expression is Dr. J.C. Raulston’s motto, “Plan and Plant for a better world.”
Or anything you’d like to say about your garden?
My garden is my peace and passion; a place where I don’t think of anything but my immediate surroundings.
Long ago, neighborhood children named my acre and a half woodland garden, “My Fairy Garden in the Woods.” An antique wrought Iron gate welcomes as you enter into native Sassafras, Bower and Hydrangea lined paths leading to a 3-tiered water fountain. Further on a white Victorian style gazebo beckons to sit a spell and listen. A magnificent Climbing Hydrangea scrambles to the top of a huge Tulip Poplar. Many collector shade plants line meandering paths that lead to a crooked Straight Creek. A glade of native fringe trees winds to the side. Many rare and unusual specimen trees, shrubs and perennials acquired from the J. C. Raulston Arboretum share beds with antiques cleverly placed along paths in this charming collector’s garden.