Tag Archives: chapel hill spring garden tour

Upcoming 2018 Chapel Hill Garden Tour

UNC President’s Garden, Franklin Street, Chapel Hill, NC

When you have worked and worked in your own garden until every inch is perfect, or if it is not yet perfect, but you just need a break from planting and weeding, or you are in need of some inspiration, or if you just love and appreciate exploring well-turned gardens, or if you are looking for something fun to do the weekend of April 28 and April 29, 2018, get tickets now for the Chapel Hill Garden Tour.

Every two years the Chapel Hill Garden Club sponsors this charitable and educational event. Tour proceeds support the interactive Children’s Wonder Garden and programs at the North Carolina Botanical Garden, as well as community outreach programs of the Chapel Hill Garden Club.

This year’s theme is Town & Gown Gardens ~ Synergy in Bloom. Highlighting the cooperative relationship between the University of North Carolina and the local Chapel Hill community, the Tour will feature the UNC President’s Garden, current and former UNC officials’ private gardens, four distinctive local gardens, UNC’s Coker Arboretum, and the NC Botanical Garden.

Plein air artists, musicians, select educators and vendors will add additional charm to several gardens. A Tour photography contest with prizes and an exhibition is open to all who attend the tour.

On Saturday of the tour in what has become a tradition, I will be touring the gardens with three former work colleagues and longtime friends. We enjoy walking and talking, taking our time and drinking in the flavor and character of each property.

Currier – Unique collection of Maples and Conifers accompanied by fascinating perennials and shrubs.

Then Sunday morning I will be stationed as a guide in the Currier Garden. It was once home to The Unique Plant, a recently closed retail garden store. Over 26 years, the owner Joann Currier created a sprawling, 3.5-acre private botanical garden legendary for its unique vegetation, pristine maintenance, and spectacular use of texture, layer, form, and rhythm in garden design.

Currier told the tour committee, “Some people collect shoes. I collect Japanese maples.”

Currier Garden

Visitors to this garden can see 130 species of maples and a host of rare conifers, mixed borders and a recently added rock garden that sports unusual, colorful cacti hardy enough to brave North Carolina’s winters. Did I mention the parterre pocket garden or the greenhouse area, filled with rare plants?

Currier Garden

I am looking forward to exploring all the gardens on the tour. If you are local (or even if you’re not), come take advantage of the opportunity to see these special gardens. Descriptions and photos of the other tour gardens and ticket information are at Chapel Hill Garden Tour. Hope to see you there.

Photographs courtesy Daphne McLeod and Kathy Swendiman.

Eleventh Chapel Hill Spring Garden Tour

Keepsake tickets/booklets - 2016 Chapel Hill Spring Garden Tour

Keepsake tickets/booklets – 2016 Chapel Hill Spring Garden Tour

Love visiting gardens?

Every two years the Chapel Hill Garden Club sponsors a spring weekend tour of private gardens in the area. This year’s tour will be Saturday, April 30 and Sunday, May 1, 2016. The theme for this 11th Chapel Hill Spring Garden Tour is Garden Journeys : Through Time, Change and Challenge.

Already in possession of tickets, I am looking forward to visiting the 7 diverse gardens with friends on Saturday, then switching roles the next day.

On Sunday of the tour I will serve as a docent at one of two small cluster homes next door to each other in an adults-only suburban neighborhood. One features a garden designed to accommodate the owner’s accessibility needs, while the other illustrates how a master gardener redesigned her landscape to resolve drainage issues discovered after moving in.

Not to be missed are a 115 year-old farmhouse garden, a contemporary design on a steep, forested slope, a 1920s classical restoration, a 1970s five acre personal arboretum and an early 1900s Mission/Arts and Crafts and Prairie style garden. Photographs and descriptions of all the gardens, along with ticket information, are available on the tour website.

At certain hours tour visitors may encounter Plein air artists at work and enjoy musical selections by NC Opera. Proceeds from the tour benefit the NC Botanical Garden and the garden club’s community/educational service projects.

See you there?

Chapel Hill Spring Garden Tour website

A Spring Garden Tour

My local garden club organizes a well-run and significant garden tour every two years known as the Chapel Hill Spring Garden Tour. The dates this year are May 3-4, 2014.

Long before I joined the club I had enjoyed discovering hidden garden gems in the Chapel Hill area by participating in this tour. It is instructive to see different garden styles, to see what plants others gardeners nearby are growing, to get ideas for interesting combinations of plants. Of course, it is also pleasant to walk around Chapel Hill in springtime.

Chapel Hill Spring Garden Tour, May 3-4, 2014

Chapel Hill Spring Garden Tour, May 3-4, 2014

In addition to featuring seven private gardens, this year’s tour also includes the North Carolina Botanical Garden (NCBG) and the local university’s community garden.  Funds raised from the tour this year will help support the new Children’s Wonder Garden at NCBG. Artists will be painting en plain air in three of the gardens and the North Carolina Opera will give two performances, so the tour weekend will be quite busy and exciting.

If you are interested in seeing a preview of the gardens that will be on the tour, visit the tour website. In the sidebar there is a list titled “Garden Preview” with links to each garden’s photographs and description.

And if you will be in the Chapel Hill area May 3-4, I encourage you to make plans to tour these special gardens.

Garden Tour Weekend

Touring the gardens on the Chapel Hill Spring Garden Tour this weekend was a great way to gather gardening ideas and see plants that work well in this area. Each garden had a very distinct personality and it is fascinating to see the different styles and approaches to gardening.

I was particularly charmed by the Marson Garden, where I helped out as a tour guide on Saturday morning. The enthusiastic and talented owners, Pat and John, were on hand to answer questions as people walked around their garden, setting a comfortable and friendly atmosphere. Unfortunately the pictures I took do not do this garden justice, but one feature I really like is this bench, created from a rock uncovered during some grading work. Something like this would fit in well with my concept for a seating area in the center of my meditation circle.

Bench at Marson Garden

Back at home

After seeing so many well designed and well tended gardens it was easy to grow an ever longer task list of things to do in my own garden—plants to add, plants to remove, paths to build. Plantings in the meditation circle really need to be completed…

But for today around this garden there was just time enough for a quick glance.

Meditation Circle

Clematis 'Jackmanii'


Batik Iris

Scabiosa columbaria 'Butterfly Blue' (Pincushion Flower)


After cooler days last week the temperature today was about 82 degrees F. There has not been rain for a week and things are starting to look stressed and dry.