Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wilmington, North Carolina ~ Part Deux ~ Airlie Gardens

When I re-read my last post, I had to laugh. I sure mentioned the pub a lot, didn't I? Even Mr. A's shirt says 'PUB' on the front. Maybe I should change the name of my blog to 'The Inebriated Gardener'? Or 'The Lush Landscaper'? Or 'The Tipsy Tiller'?

It's all right, I only have pints on days ending in 'Y'. Or when my brother in law is visiting...woo! It's been a busy/fun last few days during his visit. Didn't make it to the Azalea Festival, but we made it out to some other cool places that will be the subject of my next post. So you better come back and read it!

On to the Airlie Gardens in Wilmington!!

This place was beautiful. It's open all year round, people rent it our for weddings and events. I'm sure it's the cornerstone of the Azalea Festival.

If you want to read more about the Airlie Gardens, click here. There's so much history involved, I don't think I have the patience to type it all out. The gist is that this was owned by a family for many, many years, there was a mansion on the property at one point. And the gardens were opened for public enjoyment in 1999 (I think).

The admission was very inexpensive, $5 a person. I love gardens and flowers, but if you're charging $40 a head, you better bring on da serious funk or I'll be pretty upset.

There were drifts of beautiful, pink-tinged, ruffly daffodils right outside the entrance. Mr. A made fun of me for taking pictures when we weren't even inside the gate yet.

I'd kill for this arbor.

Well, that sounds kind of harsh, doesn't it? Ok, I'd slightly maim for this arbor.

The place was full of tulips. Just awesome to see such vivid drifts of colour...

My favourite part of the tour was seeing all the very old live oaks on this property. The oldest live oak in North Carolina is on the grounds. It's estimated to be about 400 years old. And it's breathtaking. Pictures don't do justice to the awesomeness of the thing. Almost, though.

More live oaks. I LOVE the Spanish Moss. I know it's the scourge of some of you Floridian gardeners, but I can't help it. It just looks so haunting.

Mr. A showing the scale of the size of these things

There was a camellia garden, which was still quite beautiful at this point.

This is the area called The Pergola Garden. The path of the pergola ended at a large pond, and there were stone benches where you could sit down with a fountain.

I think this Dionysian fellow kind of looks like Sean Connery.

'Yesh, you shexshay beasht...'

There is a small family church on the grounds, and a quaint little graveyard. The church is still used. They have pictures and bios hanging up in the main building of all the family that owned the grounds and were buried there.

Crazy name on this one...

Here are some more random pictures that I took of all the beautiful trees and flowers:

Mr. A likes to tiptoe through the tulips...

...and play with microphones...

This next section is my FAVOURITE find of the whole trip. I really should have made it into another blog post, but I wanted everyone to see it NOW. :)

Like, my boat has been floated. My fancy has been tickled. My cookies have been frosted.

There is a little sculpture garden on the grounds. When I saw it from across a meadow, it's like light was shining down from the heavens in one of those God paintings. I fancy myself an artist, and it would be my dream to create something like this. In my backyard.

The main gazebo-esque sculpture was made mostly out of glass bottles and mosiacs. AMAZING looking. From the outside of it, you could see all the bottle bottoms.

You could see something different from every angle that you looked at it. I could have spent a couple of hours finding new things to see in the patterns.

And from the inside, you could see all the bottlenecks. This picture is simple, but probably one of my faves of the day.

Aunt Jemima bottle family...almost looks like it has a religious connotation. Or maybe it doesn't, and I need to work out some issues with a psychiatrist.

WOW. :)

We ended the visit with a stroll on a long pier they had out over the water. People were floating by in their was so beautiful.

Hope you enjoyed my little tour. Sorry I had to cram so much into one post...I felt like if I didn't do it today, I'd never get to it. :D


Bangchik said...

It is alright to cramp things in a post. As you rightly said, If you didn't do it today, you would never get to it.

After all, it's about a visit to a beautiful place. Releasing a few of the pictures taken into this post is a sweet gesture. I truly enjoy the pictorial trip as if I was actually there!


Kyna said...

Thank you for the nice comment Bangchik, and I'm glad you enjoyed the pictures! :D

Noelle said...

I can understand why you wanted to include so many photos. I am glad you did so we could see all of the beautiful things the garden had to offer. I particularly loved the mosiac :-)

Edith Hope said...

Dear Kyna, I read 'War and Peace' in less time than it has taken me to read this posting. And, although I have not actually counted, I think that they have fewer pictures in the Hermitage than you have posted here. You may comment, as you did, about admission prices to gardens open to the public, well no-one is being short changed here! This, dear Kyna, is what I call value for money.

A lovely tour of a very splendid garden.

Jayne said...

Thanks for taking me on a tour of Airlie. How lovely! I don't know what I like best! Those live oaks are awesome, but so are all the flowers, and those sculptures - WOW!

Curbstone Valley Farm said...

Goodness, all that for $5? I didn't think that was possible these days. So much to see! The gardens are beautiful, and what a lovely bonus the sculpture garden was too. As for the beer, I agree, only on days ending in 'Y'. I rather like 'The Lush Landscaper''s subtle...only the Zymurgists in the audience would catch the double meaning :P

Floridagirl said...

Wow! That garden has so much to offer! Beautiful drifts of flowers...spring-blooming trees...water...gorgeous old oak trees...crazy sculptures (that bottle thing!)...a graveyard with strange names carved in the headstones. I love roaming through our old graveyard and reading the names and special words. I noticed this stone memorialized a fairly young woman...and what nice words were inscribed...but yes, really strange names! Thanks for sharing your trip and these great photos with us. : )

Heather said...

What a cool place to visit - I kinda liked the huge pergola. Looks like you had a great time together!

Kyna said...

Noelle: I love mosiac too. I've always wanted to turn my back patio table top into mosaic, but I'm not really sure how to do it. I'm better with pencil drawings than 3D art ;)

Edith: I'm glad you enjoyed my lengthy tour! :) Unfortunately the prices changed just before you stopped by to take it.

*holds out hand*

That'll be $40 please :)


Jayne: I know! My head was on a swivel lol. My husband suggested we go back in the early summertime, so see what new things are growing :) And they have a butterfly enclosure opening up soon, which I'm sure I could spend HOURS sitting in. I did enjoy the spring-themed show though...

CVF: When I saw the admission price, I thought it was either going to be very cheesy garden, or a very short tour. I was very impressed! And yay for pints! :D I so wish I could have thought of a more clever name when I came up with my blog. I just don't like changing things once they've been established. I have a username that I use for message boards that I've used for years that is kind of like that. I wish I could change it, but people wouldn't know me lol.

FG: I LOVE going through old graveyards. The one that we took my B-I-L to this last weekend is my favourite. He said there's one in Northern Florida near his house that has people in it from the 1500's. THAT would be cool! I've always wanted to tour the above-ground ones in New Orleans as well. I just find it so interesting to guess what people's life story (or death story) was. And I feel like I'm visiting them, just in case no one else does. :)

Heather: That pergola was SERIOUS, wasn't it? Solid concrete.And loaded with blooming Carolina Jasmine. The smell was awesome!

Urban Dirt Girl said...

Hi there, First of all...never apologize for booze, drink, pubs....its all good. :-)

The photographs are fabulous and you were soooooo lucky to visit when so much was happening. I loved the artwork too but my favorite is the oaks. They are incredible. In LA you can walk under them and feel the temperature drop. lovely and funny blog. Love it! UDG

Kyna said...

UDG, thanks for stopping by and checking out my blog! :D I'll have to buy you a drink sometime ;) Those are amazing oaks, aren't they? Standing under them was a crazy feeling...almost like they were Ents from Lord of the Rings lol.

Msrobin said...

You're right Kyna, that bottle mosaic is amazing! I love it too! I thought I had planted pink tinged daffodils, but they ended up being apricot. Pretty, but not pink!

pamsenglishgarden said...

Love that pergola garden! Have added this garden to my list of "must visit". Thanks for the fabulous tour!

camissonia said...

Kyna, chances are that a lush landscaper is probably a happy one, too! Love the moss-draped oaks and the beautiful deciduous trees in full bloom. The gardens look so inviting and steeped in history.

Kathryn said...

oh mosaics...I used to do those...hey, I just wanted to say hello to a 'Mumford and sons' fan...thanks for leaving a comment...lovely blog...I just wish the photos were bigger...

Kyna said...

MsRobin: Actually, in that photo I took they look a little more peachy than in real life. :/

Pam: I'm glad you enjoyed it so much :) I'm sure I could have taken more pictures lol.

Camissonia: You're right, I sure am a happy person! lol I keep telling my husband, next house we buy is going to have a nice, big live oak already matured in the yard. I could plant one, I have enough room, but I won't live the 150 years to see it get a decent size lol.

Kathryn: If you click the photos they get bigger...unless you did, and they weren't big enough? If I make them any bigger than that, takes forever for me to upload them., I'm sorry :) I'm glad you liked my blog though :D