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