I had time to tour two gardens last week. The first was during Plant Delights Nursery’s open house/garden. This mail order nursery, owned by plantsman Tony Avent, is open for several weekends a year. During these weekends you can view the plants in Tony’s gardens and purchase them at the nursery. The second garden was the Stevens garden in Cary, NC. This garden was among four on the Garden Conservancy’s Open Days tour. Sadly, I was only able to see one of them. Luckily, I chose Stevens’ Lakeside Paradise. Entering this gorgeous garden is like entering a different world.
Tony Avent’s place is a great garden to see his plants as grown in demonstration gardens. But these aren’t typical demonstration gardens. Tony’s philosophy of “masses of one” has created lovely gardens containing a great many species and cultivars of plants. Tony trials new plants that he and others have collected, bred or found. Those that turn out to be garden worthy are propagated and sold in the nursery. Tony has some plants that are impossible to find elsewhere. During this open house, Plant Delights also showcased copper sculpture by a local artist, J. A. Cobb. His fanciful and figural pieces are charming. I took some photos to share here, click them to enlarge and find out more about each.
Stevens’ Lakeside Paradise
The Stevens garden has a wonderful deck overlooking the back garden and lake. The centerpiece of the deck is a very well trained Japanese Maple pruned in a distinctly Asian style. Below the deck is an inviting gazebo. At lakeside there’s a dock from which we were invited to feed the fish and turtles in the lake (the catfish were huge!). A charming water garden and front courtyard finished off the tour. Click photos find out more about the garden and learn a few great tricks the homeowners have used to solve some problems.
The Plant Delights pictures are the first four rows with the Stevens garden after. To view all the photos after opening one of these below, just scroll down under the picture to see a thumbnail of the next photo. Click on it so see more.