Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wing Haven Gardeners' Garden Tour 2010

The weather was perfect for the Wing Haven Garden Tour this Mothers Day weekend.  On the tour were six beautiful private home gardens as well as Wing Haven and the Elizabeth Lawrence garden.  I have chosen a few images for you of the private gardens which you can go ahead and jump to, but don't forget to come back so I can tell you a little bit about each garden.

Here is the photo album:
Wing Haven Garden Tour 2010

No. 1 Judy Bratton began her garden (unbelievably!) only three years ago.  She told me she took her old landscape and started over except for a couple of old crape myrtles at the back of the property.  Working with a designer, she arranged the garden into rooms which she furnished with whimsy and a wide variety of plant material, some of which is quite unusual.  A highlight or two - the dry river bed in her front lawn, a shed out back complete with jazz music and drinks, a fire pit, and a bottle tree.  She has created a relaxing place that knows how to have fun, too.

No. 2  
Nan and Biff Bracy began their garden in 1994 with the removal of English ivy - as so many of us do in Charlotte. (Always grow that stuff in a pot!) They were able to keep camellias, aucubas and azaleas which were well established.  Highlights of their garden are wide stone steps leading up the hillside in the backyard, a beautiful brick patio, and several grand (huge!) old tulip poplar trees.  I like how they include things for children to enjoy in their garden.

No. 3
Arrington and Burch Mixon also updated an old landscape.  Their home was built in 1928 and had beautiful mature trees when they began renovations. Burch Mixon designed this elegant garden as his final design project at The English Gardening School in London.  Brick walls, imported iron, and stone create a sense of formality that the plants gently soften.  The garden includes many shade plants along gravel paths, a side porch which used to be a porte-cochere, a courtyard behind the home, and a sunny side yard for their children and dog to play in.  

No. 4
Valerie and Alex Kokenes's is a sentimental and spiritual retreat.  There are many passalong plants, a memorial garden to beloved pets and beautiful containers and statuary all around.  There are roses, herbs and wildflowers like trillium, bloodroot and foamflower.  Stepping stone paths lead you through all the garden rooms.  It was a sweet, pretty garden and one of my favorites this year.

No. 5
Cindy and Jack Trlica had the challenge of a very steep slope and lots of wooded area.  They created eight rooms of their yard with several different hardscaping materials, and now have a "mountain retreat in the city."  Some notable features include a tree house "for adults," a pond, a circular patio with fire pit, a creek planted with many woodland species, and a greenhouse with orchids and tropical water lilies.  They are fortunate to have a twenty-something son who works on the garden with them. (I would have to pay mine big bucks for that!)

No. 6
Madeline and Alan Aron have a 1 1/2 acre garden in a little clearing in the woods.  Their front garden includes many hosta-filled containers and an island bed in the driveway as well as an interesting assortment of ferns and shrubs at the foundation of the house.  Their ten year renovations include a gazebo and bluestone patio, and the reworking of a giant pool to a smaller one which is the stunning cherry on top of this garden.  Lots of interesting plant material throughout and right up to the edges of the pool.

One more thing - Lunch was offered this year for the first time and it was...luv-leee!!!  (Hear my Oprah voice there?)  Roasted vegetables and feta on homemade flatbread, raspberry topped brownie, and more!  I recommend Delectables by holly if you have any catering needs.  Delicious.  And pretty.  Yum.


  1. I'm so glad you posted about this Garden Tour! I was so sad that I had to miss it, but your post made me feel like I was there. Thanks! :)

  2. I enjoyed the pictures so much - beautiful gardens. It's always fun to see the different styles and personal touches.

  3. Great virtual tour. I get a lot of good 'real' ideas on home garden tours, and am looking forward to tomorrow's Master Gardeners home garden tours here.

  4. My favorite thing on a blog is a garden tour. I've always wished to tour Wing Haven. Thank you for sharing yours.

  5. i love the pics. you need to show me how to make a picture mosaic like that. lovely.

  6. Renee, Ginny, Swimray and NellJean, I am so glad you enjoyed seeing my virtual tour! That tour is something I look forward to every year. It is such a pleasure to be in the gardens in May and there are always lots of great ideas and ideas for new plants to acquire when you get home! The lunch they added this year was an exciting little extra, too. :) Thanks for stopping by my blog.

    Suzy, I did the collage on Picasa, but I'm sure you can do it with whatever you use. I'll be glad to show you any time!