Grace Episcopal Church Gardens: Beauty, Peace and Service. The grounds of this Waynesville church have been tended and developed by church members for more than 160 years. The church has several distinct gardens, including a circular drive and lawn with magnificent flowering almonds, flowering cherry trees and hollies at the Haywood Street Entrance. The understory contains a bed of blue and white iris along with Stella d’Oro and many multi-colored daylilies, as well as yellow callas and evergreens of all types. A memorial garden offers beauty and peace, shade-loving ferns and hellebores, and a pet wall cemetery — providing visitors with several places for quiet contemplation. The lower grounds are busy with a food pantry garden where children, adults and volunteers grow food and flowers for clients in the community.
The Christopher and Marjorie Carrie Garden: The Wild Cultivated Garden. This high woods garden at the edge of Haywood County is the work of Christopher Carrie. A vegetable garden complete with “Uncle Ernie,” the metal art bird scarecrow, is near the entrance of the home, and across a small creek is the woodland garden of Carrie’s mother Marjorie, which includes drifts of scilla and vinca, black-eyed Susans, phlox, iris, hostas, flame azaleas, mountain laurel, rhododendrons, and many woodland wildflowers. Paths lined with black locust and poplar and fringed with butterfly weed, echinacea and aster also make for a beautiful stroll.
Fitts Garden: Well-Mannered Town Garden. This stone home in Waynesville is landscaped with hostas, azaleas, black-eyed Susans, rhododendrons and anise hyssop. An exceptional gingko tree is showcased in the front lawn and the backyard opens on a path around a large, semi-shaded pond with a fire pit, picnic area, bog garden, Adirondack chairs and peaceful native landscaping. The green lawns and tranquil trout pond are accented with geranium, Japanese maple and shafts of sun. The yard also features a shade bed, fascinating lichen specimens, bat houses, a garden shed, garden art and more.
The Fangmeyer Garden: An Abundant Mountain Manor. Stone pathways lead to a beautiful raised-bed vegetable garden, a grape arbor and pergolas. The landscaped swimming pool is next, then closer to the house echinaceas and daisies flow near rhododendrons and spruce trees. A creek and natural pond near the house contain water lilies and a family of koi near a waterfall. A greenhouse landscaped with garden pinks, roses, sage and more is around front, and suri alpacas graze nearby. Across the drive is a deceptively casual perennial cutting bed that includes iris, day lilies, specimen evergreens, roses and phlox. Down the hill, hostas grow and goats graze on the hillside. Finally the horse stable with another garden above an impressive rock wall completes the picture. There are bird feeders and houses, occasional lamps that direct the eye, tuteurs, statuary, fencing, stone pathways and walls.
Hazelwood Elementary School Garden: Young Gardeners Dig It! Students plant this garden as first graders and then come back as second graders to harvest and eat what they’ve grown. They learn how to use tools, about plant life cycles, insects, kinds of plants and garden care. Learn how to prepare your soil using the Lasagna Gardening method, learn how to use earth boxes to grow vegetables, observe several different ways to build raised beds, and how to plan and plant in square foot gardens. Ask a young gardener to show you what they’re learning and what’s growing this year in the ever-expanding Hazelwood School garden.
$15. No pets or smoking allowed, though cameras and note-taking are encouraged. Wear good hiking shoes.