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Cape Fear Garden Club’s 2016

Azalea Garden Tour Story by Virginia Holman • Photographs by Donna Thompson

6328 Greenville Sound Road

Mrs. John Camp’s favorite garden feature is an elegant lead fountainhead she calls “the Butterfly Girl.” As Camp has moved over the years from Greensboro to Franklin, Virginia, and back home to Wilmington, so has her fountainhead. “She’s been around.” Camp purchased her in New York in preparation for her daughter’s backyard wedding reception. “That was a hot, hot summer in Greensboro, but we had the most pleasant weather at the reception.” Perhaps the Butterfly Girl was good luck. All these years later, Camp’s voice swells with emotion when she talks about her. “She’s just so beautiful!” Come see for yourself.

Airlie Gardens, 300 Airlie Road

At Airlie Gardens, Superintendent Scott Childs and his staff have planted more than 50,000 tulip bulbs for the spring bloom. “That, in combination with the daffodils that come back every year, brings our count to over 80,000 bulbs to usher in spring — and the Garden Tour.” Childs’ arch nemeses are the Airlie squirrels, “who sometimes try to eat the bulbs as fast as we can plant them!” The feature of this year’s garden tour will be a family of otters “who have just taken up residency in Airlie Lake. We know the visitors will love them.”

2312 New Orleans Place

When gardener Fran Summerlin first began working on the back half acre of her property, she discovered she had an overabundance of yellow jackets. “During the three years it took to clear the vines and vegetation, my first helper with his machete and chainsaw and me


Salt • April 2016

with my loppers and handsaw found twenty-three yellow jacket nests!” They have the stings to prove it. Eventually, she installed designated paths and cleared out the dense vegetation. “No more yellow jackets!” she says proudly, and her sun-dappled paths now wind beside her woodland plantings. Another feature is her rustic wooden pathway lined with over 250 wine bottles.

UNCW’s Kenan House, 1705 Market Street

Kathy Sartarelli, wife of UNCW Chancellor Zito Sartarelli, gets all dreamy: “My favorite memory of the garden is the first day I arrived to unpack boxes — when I did not even go into the house but instead looked around the garden! The gardener, Dale, told me all about the things growing there as he gave me the ‘tour.’ When it came time to put in fall flowers, the UNCW gardeners asked which flowers I would like. Of course I said, ‘Let’s have a chrysanthemum extravaganza!’ — and we did! We had dozens all over, including yellow mums lining both sides of the front steps, in homage to a beautiful display I saw in a temple in Beijing. I’ve grown chrysanthemums for years and love visiting Chinese gardens, as we lived in Singapore and did a lot of travel in Asia.” Her favorite space is the walled white garden off the back terrace. “White gardens are actually also called ‘moon gardens’ because one is able to see the white blossoms and silver foliage by moonlight. They are quite famous in Chinese gardens. I try to show our ‘moon garden’ off to guests visiting the Kenan House. The gardeners will bring branches they have pruned and nice blossoms for me to use in flower arrangements. One showed me how to float gardenias or camellias in bowls. And as an additional sign of our UNCW pride, we even have a hawk that perches on our fence!”

The Art & Soul of Wilmington

April Salt 2016  

The Art & Soul of Wilmington

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