Central Virginia Organic Gardener

"And 'tis my faith that every flower enjoys the air it breathes." - William Wordsworth, 1798

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Field Trip: Elizabethan Gardens, Manteo NC

When we travel, we look for two things: brew pubs and botanical gardens.  About a 15 minute drive from Nags Head, NC, we found the Elizabethan Gardens, and enjoyed it greatly, despite drizzling rain.  The garden is themed to match the era in which the "Lost Colony" at Roanoke Island was ever-so-temporarily settled, but it also necessarily  includes elements of the New World in which the doomed colonists found themselves.  Started in the 1950's by the Garden Club of North Carolina, the garden expanded to 10 acres and was designed to mimic a pleasure garden, like those created for Queen Elizabeth the First (see second photo above of a contemporary statue of the Queen, located on the main garden walk).

This is a charming garden.  You are greeted at the entrance with a small scale, crenellated castle wall entrance (top photo), and meander down brick and unpaved paths to encounter both antique and whimsical statuary (find the gnomes!  And see a depiction of Virginia Dare, the first English child born in the New World). (By the way, the name of my current home state, Virginia, is derived from Queen Elizabeth, known as "the Virgin Queen").  My favorite part of the garden was the sunken garden (third photo).  This garden is enclosed in a hedge, so you cannot fully see it until you enter it, a "surprise" effect I enjoyed.  This garden is actually ringed with a double hedge- you can walk the paver path in the middle of the two hedges, and come to cleverly designed opening in the hedge, maintained by an arched trellis-very lovely.  An ancient Italian fountain is at the center, and it is ringed by statuary.

Admission is $8 and well worth it to support this lovely garden.  One more note: it is advised that visitors bring mosquito repellent.  We did not have much trouble with bugs, perhaps due to the weather, but were also sprayed up (soon I will be posting on effective herbal mosquito repellents, so stay tuned!)

Happy Gardening!

1 comment:

Anita said...

These are very lovely and well manicured gardens. How did you hear of them? I suppose you have a whole list of gardens to visit on your bucket list. :)

It's good that it has a historical theme that provides a bit of knowledge. Thanks for passing it on.