Tag Archives: garden travel

Wordy Wednesday

I’m a bit forlorn I’m not in London this week for the Chelsea Flower Show, but after a month of back-to-back trips, I’m relishing a couple of weeks at home.  Recently, I was able to squeeze in a pleasant morning at the Joyful Garden Tour sponsored by Christ Church Episcopal, where I captured the enticing image below.

A Charleston-style garden featured on the Joyful Garden Tour.

A Charleston-style garden featured on the Joyful Garden Tour.

Although not at Chelsea, I’ve found a pretty good substitute—four episodes of a recent British television show, now on YouTube, called The Great Chelsea Garden Challenge.  This link is to the first show, a cottage garden design challenge.  If you watch this one, the other episodes should pop up in a “suggested” box.

I never tire of garden tours, which is a good thing, as I’ll soon be in Toronto for the 2015 Garden Bloggers Fling, quickly followed by this year’s first visit to England (outlined here).  If interested, the September tour to England, which includes a visit to the private gardens of HRH the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall at Highgrove, still has a couple of openings, as does the August tour to Boston & the Berkshires.

Wherever your upcoming travels take you, I hope they’re filled with flowers and fun…

Terry Gentry's salmon-colored Louisiana iris.

Terry Gentry’s salmon-colored Louisiana iris.



Busy Days Ahead

My husband, Tim, thinks I keep all the plant nurseries in Greenville in the black, but he’s wrong. My boundaries extend much farther than he knows. Where patronage is concerned, I’m completely nondominational. In other words, I do my best to support them all.

BB Barns in Arden, NC.

BB Barns in Arden, NC.

This Saturday, April 13, I’ll be speaking at BB Barns at 11 am on garden travel and how to get the most from a garden tour. To tempt you to visit too, the nursery is offering a discount coupon for SC gardeners. But truth be told, you shouldn’t need an incentive, because if you’re a gardener BB Barns has everything you could possibly need, or want!

Everything you could need or want...from accessories...

Everything you could need or want…from accessories…

to houseplants...

to houseplants…

to garden plants!

to garden plants!

Just up the road a short piece, find BB Barns at 3377 Sweeten Creek Road in Arden, NC (roughly 10 miles east of Asheville). I hope to see you there at 11 am Saturday.

I also want to mention the GARDEN TOURS on my calendar. If you’re in my region, please note these terrific opportunities to enjoy and learn more about plants and garden design.

Open Days in Raleigh, NC.

Open Days in Raleigh, NC.

The Garden Conservancy’s Open Days program in the Raleigh (NC) area begins on April 13 & 14, featuring six private gardens open to the public. Saturday hours at each garden are 9 am to 5 pm; Sunday hours are 12 noon to 5 pm. Admission to each private garden is $5; children 12 and under are free. Open Days are rain or shine, and no reservations are required. Call 1-888-842-2441, or visit http://www.opendaysprogram.org for more information.

Greenville Council of Garden Clubs Tour

Greenville Council of Garden Clubs Tour

The Greenville (SC) Council of Garden Clubs will sponsor “Harmony…Something for Everyone,” from 10 am to 5 pm on both Friday and Saturday, April 19 & 20. The tour highlights six gardens in the Simpsonville area, from beautiful country gardens to an in-town bed & breakfast, a historic farm, and Durant Ashmore’s Landscape Nursery. Some gardens will feature local chefs serving tasty samples in outdoor kitchens and entertaining areas, while others will showcase local artists at work. Advance tickets are $18, tour-day tickets are $20. For more information call 864-232-3020 or visit http://www.kilgore-lewis.org.

Christ Church Tour

Christ Church Tour

Christ Church’s “Joyful Garden Tour,” (also in Greenville, SC) is planned for 10 am to 5 pm on Friday and Saturday, April 26 & 27. The tour will include five private gardens in the McDaniel Avenue area and a tour of the historic church grounds. Local artists, featured on the tour, will donate their works for a silent auction. The event will also offer musical concerts at the church, an afternoon tea party ($17.50), and lunch on the lawn ($20). Tour tickets, $20 in advance or $25 the day of the event, can be purchased at numerous local businesses or online. For details, call 864-271-8773 or check the Web site at http://www.ccgsc.org.

On the Road Again

After managing to spend all but one night at home since the beginning of the year, I kicked off 2013 travel with relish by visiting Camellia Forest Nursery in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, on my way to a family weekend in Virginia. Only a few miles off my usual route, I was eager to examine the camellias and other winter-blooming ornamentals offered by this highly-regarded plant nursery.

Camellia Forest Nursery is considered a "gem" by gardeners and industry experts alike.

Camellia Forest Nursery is considered a “gem” by gardeners and industry experts alike.

Camellia Forest, along with Plant Delights and Pine Knot Farms, are opening their doors for winter visitors over the next two weekends (Feb 22-24 and March 1-3) and are expecting the usual deluge of gardeners from the Southeast, from Maryland to Georgia, and even points further afield. (Please check nursery websites to confirm days and times.)

Choisya ternata 'Sundance'

Choisya ternata ‘Sundance’

Ardisia japonica

Ardisia japonica

Priula vulgaris 'Drumcliff'

Priula vulgaris ‘Drumcliff’

Lucky for me, I had the opportunity sneak in before the crowds. With the help of Brie Gluvna, Cam Forest’s knowledgeable and vivacious propagator and grower, I chose three plants for my (mostly shady) Greenville garden: Choisya ternata Sundance (Mexican orange), Ardesia japonica (Marlberry), and Primula vulgaris ‘Drumcliff’ (primrose) from the Kennedy Irish Primrose collection.

I wrote a profile on Choisya termata recently for The Greenville News after seeing the eye-catching shrub at the SC Botanical Garden in Clemson. The young leaves of Sundance are a brilliant yellow, and since they are arranged at branch tips, the brightly-colored foliage is as decorative as flowers.

The Ardesia japonica with its cheerful berries was selected as a ground cover for dry shade, while the Primula was picked for its handsome dark foliage.

I’ll be on the road again this week and next for top-notch gardening events, so stay tuned to see where I land next. You won’t be disappointed, I promise.