Spring heralds the return of favorite vegetables and fruits to our local farmers’ markets, as well as vibrant blooms and verdant greenery in gardens. Beginning this month, we can tour several unique and picturesque gardens in the Triangle, and perhaps find inspiration to bring color to our patios, porches and garden patches.
The Uncommon Garden Tour – Saturday, April 28th (Rain date May 5th)
A fundraiser for The ArtsCenter in Carrboro, the annual Uncommon Garden Tour is described as “a sculptural landscape that defies words and challenges traditional ideas of the garden.” Visitors can stroll pathways in this private space, enjoy harp music and view artists painting during the one-hour tour of Carrboro’s “secret” garden. The one-hour tours occur only during the morning. Later that evening, gala participants will occupy the garden. To purchase tickets to either the morning tours, or the benefit gala visit the website.
Chapel Hill Garden Tour – April 14th (10 am – 4 pm) & April 15th (11 am – 4 pm), rain or shine
Eight Chapel Hill gardens will be open for self-guided tours and your ticket gains entry to the tour on either date (or both dates if you prefer). Proceeds benefit the NC Botanical Garden, which will also be open for a staff-led one-hour tour April 14th (see the website for full details).
Duke Gardens – On going events through Spring and Summer
A visit to Sarah P. Duke Gardens any time of year is delightful, but especially during the peak of Spring. Several events are scheduled throughout the year, including kid and family friendly events, early morning birding walks, gardening workshops and the outdoor music series, Music in the Gardens. Learn more about education and events for 2012 here.
Oakwood Garden Tour & Tea – May 5th & 6th, tea seating times at 10 am, noon, 2 pm & 4 pm
Tickets are now available for the 23rd annual Historic Oakwood Garden Tour & Victorian Tea, sponsored by the Oakwood Garden Club. Tour attendees are welcome to join the complimentary tea, then participate in the walking tour of homes in one of Raleigh’s historic downtown neighborhoods. Comfortable walking shoes are encouraged!
*Update* – Many thanks to Anita B. P. for providing her photos from the 2011 Oakwood Garden Tour & Tea (above & below). Due to the popularity of this event (as covered in this article from Southern Living magazine) additional tea times, as well as a special Mommy and Me Tea (Sunday, May 6th at 4 pm) have been added. Also, the walking tour this year will include Raleigh City Farm.
Teas are provided courtesy of Raleigh’s Tin Roof Teas, while the sweet and savory bites will be provided by PieBird, Side Street Restaurant, Kiki’s Bakery, Market Restaurant, The Oakwood Inn and Celtic Tea Treats. Tickets ($30) are available only in advance, online through May 1, or by contacting The Oakwood Inn at 919-832-9712. Most of the Saturday tea times are sold out, so buying tickets sooner, rather than later, might be a good idea.
Juniper Level Botanic Gardens Spring Open House – May 4th – 6th and 11th – 13th
On the eastern edge of Wake County, the curious gardener will find Plant Delights Nursery at Juniper Level Botanic Gardens. The botanic garden area is a five acre display of more than 17,000 plant varieties, that doubles as a research and development facility, evaluating the adaptability of plants from outside the Southeastern United States to our climate and interactions with native species. Plan to spend a few hours exploring the plant varieties in their various eco-systems.
Herb Fests in Wake Forest and Cary
Beginning April 20th and continuing through the 29th, Herb Fest 2012 hits the streets of downtown Wake Forest (525 S White Street, just a couple of blocks from The Cotton Company), and is billed as the “largest herb garden sale”. In its 12th year, the Wake Forest Herb Fest brings a vast selection of herbs for home gardeners, and the selection of organic heirloom vegetable and tomato plants increases year over year. Naturally, a fest isn’t complete without entertainment, food and beverages. You’ll find plenty of those items to enjoy as well.
In early May, the Friends of Page-Walker Hotel and Town of Cary co-sponsor the Third Annual Herbfest at Page-Walker Arts & History Center. May 4th, at 7 pm, Joe and Terry Graedon of “The People’s Pharmacy” will engage attendees with discussion about herbal remedies. Guests are invited to join in a wine and hors d’oeuvres reception and book signing following the discussion. Then, May 5th, from 9 am to 3 pm (rain or shine) festival goers can tour the Page Educational Garden, watch herb cooking demonstrations, enjoy a special folk concert, while gleaning bits of herb knowledge to apply to home gardens.