A small inclined suburban corner property— chocked full of ideas, a garden executed impeccably on a corner lot — creates a sanctuary for this charming do it yourself duo. Continue reading
For the Love of Gardening— The Thompson Garden by Kathleen Thompson.
The beauty of this suburban garden begins at street side where a path beckons you to enter and enjoy a preview of the abundant plantings that follow. The front garden is a delight of shrubs and perennials showcasing a spectacular thread-leaf Japanese maple. Upon entering the brick walkway at the arbor, you view a gently sloping garden with curved borders and pathways outlined with recycled concrete. Beds, with ever-shrinking lawn areas, are richly planted with perennials featuring a mix of native and specialty plants including tropicals, all in perfect harmony in both shade and sun. A number of the plants are rare and unusual, collected and propagated at the J.C. Raulston Arboretum. A small pond can be found along the network of twisting trails that lead through the woods to a community lake. Each area of this garden will elicit a sense of serendipity and discovery of plants, woods, and water.
Walt and I started designing this garden even before we designed and built the house over 25 years ago. Our style is Southern Informal, our goal was to design a garden utilizing the best characteristics of the slope of our land. Continue reading
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.
Time to Garden Tour… Garden Conservancy Open Days!
Garden Conservancy Gardener Cecil J. Dykes is offering us a peak behind his garden gates…
Jayme B: What do you call your Garden?
CJ: English Garden-Woodland Paradise.
My gardens are 20 years old. When I first moved to Raleigh in 1985 I lived in an Apt and had a small garden around my patio and many pots. Continue reading
Guest Blogger – Panayoti Kelaidis
Over the years, I have inquired of many friends and found that there is a sort of Edenic garden experience that haunts almost every keen gardener. There have been many such moments in my life – throughout my childhood I would walk past a magical and mysterious garden on the way to school. I yearned to enter. I am not sure how, but I got to know the man who owned that garden, Paul Maslin and his wife Mary, and they eventually became my closest friends and mentors. Or there was that golden April afternoon when I was half the age I am now as I write this, when I had Savill Gardens in Windsor Great Park practically all to myself – filled with literally millions of daffodils in peak bloom, glowing in late afternoon light. I shall never forget watching the occasional giant pink petal waft down from towering Campbell’s magnolias by the brook – lined with hundreds of white Japanese Skunk cabbage amid marsh marigolds.
This sort of garden epiphany lies at the heart of the Garden Conservancy’s Open Days program. Gardens are selected because they possess that special magic of design and execution. The owners are hoping the weather gods allow visitors to come away refreshed and inspired. Of course, there are a few gnarly paradoxes that lie athwart the very heart of gardening, which challenge and also perhaps propel this program – gardens are by nature intensely personal, intensely private affairs. The notion of “garden tour” is practically a contradiction of that notion. And pile on top of that the expectation that these tours can be arranged far in advance, structured and organized! Horrors! Can you imagine anything more contrary to the spontaneous, private and intimate quality of gardening than to impose this sort of steely structure upon it? Nevertheless, the experience of these garden tours invariably seems to rise to the occasion.
After all, the Gardens are primped and fluffed, and there are always lots of helpful people around. Meeting like-minded gardeners has been a hallmark of my experience with them over the years. I have made permanent friends and I have seen inspiring gardens and plants that I would never have had an opportunity to experience otherwise.
There is something incredibly festive about Open Days, something memorable. Most gardeners have a bit of the introvert in them, but when you bring us out of our shell, please do so among other gardeners! I participate in many communities, but none do I find more wise, more kind or thoughtful that the brotherhood and sisterhood of the trowel!
Panayoti Kelaidis is the Senior Curator and Director of Outreach at Denver Botanic Gardens, and an Open Days Regional Representative for the Denver, Colorado area. He is also an avid and experienced garden visitor.
Reprinted with permission of the author and the Garden Conservancy – from the Open Days’ Directory 2012.
Note: I had the pleasure of meeting Panayoti Kelaidis when he spoke on “Extreme Gardening” at the “JC Raulston Arboretum Horticultural Madness Symposium September 2011. The Denver Botanic Gardens is now on my Hort Bucket List! Thanks Panayoti!
Visit 6 Private Gardens in Raleigh, Apex & Cary this weekend!
Enjoy – living the EntwinedLife