An unapologetic plant geek shares advice and opinions on gardening, the contrived and the natural landscape, as well as occasional topics from the other side of the gate.

May 30, 2009

Currituck Garden Tour - Part I

Today was my first Saturday off since March, and what does any nursery worker do with a free day at hand - he heads out of town for a garden tour. This one was in Currituck Co., North Carolina which is just south of here. The tour was sponsored by the North Carolina Cooperative Extension and the Currituck Master Gardeners and was their first time holding this event.

The first garden I went to was Dixie Gardens, named for the owner's very svelte and very affectionate English bulldog. The husband and wife gardeners spend a portion of the winter in Key West, are real plant collectors and this showed in the varied palette of plants they had. Their passion has gotten to the point where they now have two green houses for production as well as a plant room in the house where they keep some of their tropicals. They had plants for sale and I was able to pick up a Papyrus (which they mulch heavily and keep outside) plus an unusually thick-stemmed Ice Plant on steroids for only $8 and she threw in some extra non-steroidal Ice Plant as well.

Another garden on the tour used less exotic plants, but the Dowdy garden was my favorite. I am not good at estimating acreage, but I think this was easily 2 acres of weed free, healthy gardens. The garden was an open field 15 years ago, and now it is a series of garden spaces and rooms surrounded by a very tall holly hedge - from the street you would not know what was behind the hedge. There was a shady wooded walk under Birch trees that led you to a cutting garden, a rose garden, perennial borders and a vegetable garden that was three times the size of my whole yard. The amazing thing is that the homeowners do all the work themselves.


  1. What a great way to spend your day off Les. I never get tired of looking at plants or gardens. That last one was especially tidy, not a weed in site. Sounds like you found some great plants for your garden too. :)

  2. Roses and hydrangea, that is right up my alley!

  3. I guess it would have been good to read this one first, so I knew where you had gone. Nice garden tours -- through the MG's ??? Will see about our group going for a short study trip. The light green conifer was interesting looking. I think the wheelbarrow in the center planting is great!! I have a little red wagon that is rusted out, may use it for a planting.

  4. Racquel,
    I did find some treasures and got some ideas. I can also assure you that there is plenty of room for weeds in my garden.

    I could not resist that shot of the Knockout with the Hydrangea behind it.

    That Spruce was 'Skyland' which I have drooled over in magazines not thinking it would grow here, but if they can do it so could I. Unfortunately I think a Spruce would throw my whole haphazard design in a different direction. The Peninsula MG should think about a garden tour, maybe to raise funds for the learning garden.


  5. Nothing like touring gardens without having to actually go outdoors! Thanks for the shows.