Spent the morning touring Chatwood Gardens, a beautiful 6-acre gardenscape on a historic estate not often open to the public except by appointment. They were celebrating their 200th birthday, and my pal B had been once before and highly recommended we go. So db, our pal Pablo, and I trucked it over to B's for the jaunt to Historic Hillsborough, NC (which also happens to be home to most of NC's writers, it seems).
Chatwood Gardens is simply gorgeous. So lovingly tended, so beautifully laid out (though not fussy), so naturally abundant, I couldn't take enough pictures. I also took a few notes; had a nice chat w/ one of the master gardeners who was responsible for returning Chatwood Gardens to its former glory (Helen Blake Watkins, who bought the home in the mid-50s, created and tended what we now know to be Chatwood Gardens until she passed away in the 90s). Being under 99% shade and being aesthetically choosy and financially strapped, I'm always on the lookout for interesting shade plants. If you're in the same boat, I'll recommend epimedium, euphorbia, styrax tree, money plant, and various funkalicious ferns, with which I fell in love, and for which I do not, sadly, have names. Some were marked, some were not, but texture, height, color, they've got it all!
Chatwood's known for its world-famous heritage roses, but the gardenscape has everything from modest to expansive beds, hedge rows, a woodsy pond, climbing roses (and other pretties), centuries-old trees, new shoots, trellises, nooks, crannies, gates, ironwork, yard art, and rock walls, all on a gorgeous, hilly meadow. It was inspiring to say the least. And we could not have dialed up better weather today.