Chapel Hill biennial garden tour scheduled to begin

A tantalizing honeysuckle (Lonicera) in the Conger garden beckons pollinators. Photo by Vicki Russell.

COMMUNITY NEWS

By Jane Delano Brown

The Chapel Hill Garden Club will present the 14th biennial Garden Tour from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 27 and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, April 28.

The 2024 Tour, Tucked Away Treasures, gives visitors the opportunity to spend time in five beautiful private gardens and the North Carolina Botanical Garden (NCBG). The gardens, ranging from forested to shady and sunny, have been created by visionary gardeners with delightful points of view.

In the past decade, Stephen and Cheryl Carnahan turned their undeveloped lot into a certified wildlife habitat with unique native trees and pollinator plants. Ageless hardscaping, delightful focal points, and custom containers achieve small garden perfection.

The Conger garden is a great example of incorporating deer-resistant, mostly shade-loving plants that boast a variety of textures and year-round interest. The canopy of mature pines, magnolia trees and sinuous curves of the garden enhance the sense of cohesive, serene elegance.

An acre of quiet sanctuary just minutes from downtown Chapel Hill features rock paths, a large Japanese maple, and an artful placement of plants that add to the Zen atmosphere of the Eberts’ garden. Surrounded by majestic old trees and mature shrubs, this is a place to contemplate the many shades of green and textures of leaves and grasses.

On a four-acre woodland preserve west of town, Katie Loovis has created nearly a dozen garden rooms that invite visitors to sit and soak in the soothing quality of the forest. Near the house, a permaculture ecosystem provides edibles and medicinals—including berries, asparagus, artichokes, and mushrooms.

The Yost’s sunny hillside home beckons visitors through a jasmine-trimmed archway that leads to beds of hellebores, purple iris, roses, and a large firethorn pyracantha. More beds feature peonies, candytuft, lamb’s ear, and ferns. The sweet patio garden out back has hosted many family parties, while the delightful hand-crafted bird boxes have attracted many avian neighbors.

Children will enjoy NCBG’s Wonder Garden, where they can build with natural blocks, dig in the dirt, and write notes to the fairies. Everyone may explore NCBG’s habitat gardens, which display native spring blooms from the mountains to the coast.


The Yost’s inviting backyard patio is framed with lush plantings and containers brimming with bright spring color. Photo by Daphne McLeod.

Tickets are $30 in advance and available online at chgc2024gardentour.eventbrite.com. Local ticket sales begin April 1 at the NCBG Gift Shop, Southern States (Carrboro), and Victoria Park Florist. Tickets are $40 on Tour days. Youths 16 and under are free with a ticketed adult. Rain or shine, the Tour will go on.

Proceeds support the NCBG‘s Children‘s Garden, ongoing programs at the NCBG, and the Chapel Hill Garden Club’s many service projects. For garden descriptions and updated tour information, visit chapelhillgardenclub.net or email chgc1931@gmail.com.

BuildSense is the tour’s presenting sponsor; additional sponsors include I Must Garden, Trust Bank, Wells Fargo, and the Town of Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation.

Since 1931, the Chapel Hill Garden Club has showcased the pleasure of gardening and championed good stewardship of the environment.


Jane D. Brown taught in the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media for 35 years and has lived in Chapel Hill since 1977.

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