Friday Tours

August 3

NOTE: Click the plus sign next to each tour name to see photos and read descriptions of each location. When you register, be sure to select the tours you wish to attend.

Friday Tour A – Sandhills

Weymouth Woods Sandhills Nature Preserve is a unique window onto the longleaf pine forests that once covered millions of acres in the southeastern U.S. The towering pines – some of them hundreds of years old – tower over expanses of wiregrass and rare and intriguing species, including the red-cockaded woodpecker, pine barrens tree frog, bog spicebush, fox squirrel and myriad wildflowers.

A network of short, easy trails provides an outdoor classroom for ranger-led hikes that teach about this ecology or for quiet contemplation. With limited understory, the forest is a natural theater for birding and viewing wildlife. The visitor center’s museum-quality exhibits explore the longleaf forest, its flora and fauna and its unique history.

In 1978, the Sandhills Horticultural Gardens became a reality with the establishment of the Ebersole Holly Garden. Over the years, additional gardens have been implemented, including the Rose Garden, the Conifer Garden, the Sir Walter Raleigh Garden, the Atkins Hillside Garden, the Fruit & Vegetable Garden, Hackley Woodland Garden, Ambrose Japanese Garden and the Desmond Native Wetland Trail Garden.

Today, the Sandhills Horticultural Gardens cover thirty-two acres. They are open to the public every day of the year from dawn to sunset and offer an educational adventure to anyone with an interest in plants, nature, and design composition.

Big Bloomers Flower Farm opened in its current retail location on Pressly Foushee Road in Sanford, NC in 1994 adjacent to its growing facility. From 1978 - 1994, the business operated in a smaller, retail facility on Hawkins Avenue as Wenger's Greenhouses. The current location is on six acres of an original 40-acre family farm.

Big Bloomers is a bona fide NC farm and is the grower and not just a retail outlet. Big Bloomers grows specifically for the home gardener offering substantial savings directly to the customer. Because of the numerous varieties of species offered, quantities are limited and thus sells retail only and does not wholesale or offer quantity discounts. Green goods constitute 80% of sales from our 17 retail greenhouses representing over 30,000 sq. ft. of enclosed greenhouses. An extensive selection of garden-related merchandise such as garden statuary, fountains, metalwork and pottery fill our 3,000 sq. ft. Garden Shop area.

Big Bloomers specializes in new, unusual, and native perennials, annuals, herbs and shrubs and offers seasonal crops such as poinsettias, garden mums, and Easter lilies and grows a fabulous selection of Pansies each and every fall. Most of the Big Bloomers staff are experienced gardeners that are knowledgeable and ready to get your garden growing.

Friday Tour B – Retail

Kiefer Landscaping was founded in 1984 by Mark A. Kiefer, a recent graduate of the Duke School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Since his first field botany class in the 9th grade to his botany classes as an undergraduate student at Moravian College with Dr. John Bevington, Mark realized he had a special connection to plants. Rather than pursuing a career in forestry, Mark chose the more creatively rewarding path of landscaping. Since its inception, Kiefer Landscaping has methodically grown to become one of the area’s most capable landscaping companies. Mark achieved his NC Registered Landscape Contractor’s license in January of 1988. In late 1988, Kiefer Landscaping moved to its current location on 12 acres in southern Durham. In 1995, Kiefer Nursery was opened for retail trade. And, in 2001, Kiefer Garden Center was established, specializing in water garden supplies.
This friendly, family style garden center was founded about two decades ago when it was started as a landscape and design firm. Their mission is to supply the community with all garden related tools, as well as a broad variety of herbaceous and woody plants, indoor and outdoor decorations and necessary supplies to attract and retain bees and other pollinators. Their very knowledgeable staff is excited to show our PPA members their secret to running a successful garden center in the suburbs of Raleigh.
For more than 40 years, Fairview Garden Center & Nursery has provided exceptional plants and flowers in Raleigh, NC and across the Triangle area. They boast two acres of greenhouse space used for growing annual flowers, houseplants, herbs, vegetables and seasonal favorites, such as poinsettias. In addition, they have several acres solely devoted to trees and shrubs, perennials, ground covers and more. Fairview’s Raleigh garden center was built in 2004 and features everything you need for a successful garden, including gardening tools and supplies, bird feeders and products, pottery and statuary and more. To top it all off, Fairview Garden Center & Nursery has a gift shop that’s ideal for finding the perfect gifts, home decor and Christmas decorations.

Big Bloomers Flower Farm opened in its current retail location on Pressly Foushee Road in Sanford, NC in 1994 adjacent to its growing facility. From 1978 - 1994, the business operated in a smaller, retail facility on Hawkins Avenue as Wenger's Greenhouses. The current location is on six acres of an original 40-acre family farm.

Big Bloomers is a bona fide NC farm and is the grower and not just a retail outlet. Big Bloomers grows specifically for the home gardener offering substantial savings directly to the customer. Because of the numerous varieties of species offered, quantities are limited and thus sells retail only and does not wholesale or offer quantity discounts. Green goods constitute 80% of sales from our 17 retail greenhouses representing over 30,000 sq. ft. of enclosed greenhouses. An extensive selection of garden-related merchandise such as garden statuary, fountains, metalwork and pottery fill our 3,000 sq. ft. Garden Shop area.

Big Bloomers specializes in new, unusual, and native perennials, annuals, herbs and shrubs and offers seasonal crops such as poinsettias, garden mums, and Easter lilies and grows a fabulous selection of Pansies each and every fall. Most of the Big Bloomers staff are experienced gardeners that are knowledgeable and ready to get your garden growing.

Friday Tour C – Private Gardens

Dan Krebill's Garden (The Uncommon Garden)
The Uncommon Garden is like nothing you have seen before — and this is your opportunity to experience it. Local artist Rik Hermanson began designing the Uncommon Garden in 2002, starting from a simple plan to enhance the owner’s backyard. Today, after hundreds of tons of rocks, concrete, soil, boulders, water and plants have been hauled in, this formerly ordinary backyard is an intricate web of sculptural landscapes. Every square foot is being transformed into an exotic natural wonderland, with artful snakes, dragons, water features, rock assemblages, secret rooms, torii gates, performance areas and unique twists everywhere. Wander around, discover its surprises, and marvel at a very unique collaboration of over 12 artists, stone masons, carpenters and other creative minds. Marcia Angle's Garden (Deer Chase Gardens)
Deer Chase Gardens is a magical Eden located in the heart of Duke Forest.  For invited guests, it offers year-round appeal with a stunning display of perennials, 200-year-old oaks, mature cedars and showy maples. The property offers an expansive vista from one of the highest points in Orange County, adjacent to some of the best-preserved forestland in the North Carolina Piedmont.

Guests will enjoy the experience of wandering through ingeniously cultivated "outdoor rooms" which highlight many creative combinations of plantings in different settings, including an Asian garden with an authentic hand-built Japanese tea house, an organic orchard, a native Pocosin habitat, poolside butterfly garden, and formal sun garden, connected by an alluring combination of cultivated allée, rustic handmade bridges, and arched passages. Sit and enjoy the garden’s many water features (including streams, fountains, and a formal reflective pool), and marvel at the variety of avian and amphibian visitors to this wildlife paradise. Sculptures from local artists, elaborate stonework, exquisite metalwork, and handsomely hand-crafted cedar structures enhance this unique garden experience.

Charming and intimate seating groupings (including hand-hewn from local fallen cedars) are nestled among the 5+ intensively-cultivated acres, and easily accommodate several hundred visitors amidst both sunny and shaded garden areas. The garden surrounds an architect-designed, beautiful home, built following the LEED (environmentally-sensitive) guidelines. Parking for large groups is subtly hidden thanks to the 10+-acre field, featuring multiple native grasses, shrubs and trees." Helen Yoest's Garden (Bee Better Teaching Garden)
In the heart of a Raleigh neighborhood, where azaleas and grass rein, sits a half-acre sustainable garden. Sustainability is key in creating pollinator/wildlife-friendly, organic, pesticide-free, waterwise, and various elements and uniquenesses. Doing less with our natural resources and more with plants, builds the foundation of life in the garden.

When we think of sustainability, it’s not only caring for the environment, but also creating a habitat to fully sustain wildlife, from brush, and trees and shrubs, ground covers, vines, berries, seeds, fruits, and general pollinator plants. Our main focus is to attract area birds, bees, and butterflies; and in doing so, all wildlife arrives.

BUTTERFLIES
For butterfly host plants, we created this list of host plants, then made certain we were growing at least one host plant to meet every area butterfly’s need.

For butterfly nectar plants, we have many umbel-shaped plants for easy landing, including liatris, lantana, dill, carrots, parsley, zinnia, yarrow, milkweed, pentas, and many others. They are planted in large swaths to make foraging easy.

BIRDS
We rely heavily on berry-producing trees and shrubs, as well as seed-bearing plants for a natural source through plants. While there are a few feeders around, we depend mostly on growing the plants to provide food needs.

BEES
For the European Honey Bee, We must confess, Helen a twice-failed beekeeper, yet she wanted to do her part to provide for the bees. Of course, being sustainable is the beginning and the end, but we’ve also studied the nectar and pollen best for the honeybee. When a garden has limited space, it’s best to first study the plants that provide the highest content of nectar and pollen. Frances Alvarino Norwood's Garden
The garden of artist Frances Alvarino Norwood and John Norwood is a romantic sanctuary of artful agriculture and passionate sustainability. Our 3+ acres of cultivated gardens offer a wide variety of grouped perennials in sun and shade bridged by generous swaths of annuals.  Hemlocks stand sentry over our sanctuary. Drifts of self-seeding heirloom annuals and salvia highlight the winding, herbaceous borders of peonies and roses with sweet pea intertwined. Peaceful, soft pastels and swaths of varying foliage textures unify the main garden. Hidden around one corner is an intensive vegetable garden. Plantings of ferns, asarums, hellebores, and pulmonarias are tucked under dappled shade.  Frances has been gardening here for 33 years.  The garden feels alive and cared for but it’s not as intimidating as the more formal gardens. It suggests anything is possible with a little work and a lot of love.

Peggy Titus's Garden
The three quarter acre garden of Peggy Titus has been developed over a 19 year period from the perspective of an artist and hostess. The original bones of the garden included three small spill ponds, a large man-made 50x20 ft. pond with waterfall stocked with over 200 pond fish, edged on one side by an extensive bog, a bridge over the pond entered an 18ft. octagon shaped gazebo on stilts. It also featured a 25x15 ft. vine covered pergola with the potential for dining. With an artistic eye and a sense of adventure, Peggy laughingly admits that she purchased “a yard with a house attached.”

The rear enclosed garden containing all of the original “bones” was developed with the idea of garden rooms, connected by a circular path of natural stone and gravel, with stacked stone edged planting beds. It is accessed through two entrances of laser cut bronzed steel gates in an egret design created from Peggy’s design. Plantings consists of large trees, and mostly shade tolerant plants including over 300 hostas. Astilbes, ferns, fairy wings, azaleas, rhododendrons, and over 200 distinct specimens, many from exotic locations round out the plantings. The garden combines different textures, leaf sizes and colors to add to the artistic palette. All of the natural elements are complimented by over 70 pots, mostly in hues of blue including three fairy gardens. Of the original “bones,“ the gazebo now is decorated as a seating oasis for 12, with a bar, the pergola now features a crystal chandelier with dining for 12, and a dozen adult koi have been added to the large water lily and pond fish filled pond.

The front garden completely redesigned and created on 2008, consists of four large raised island flower beds, filled with azaleas, rhododendrons, hydrangeas, hostas, ferns, daylilies, astilbes and New Guinea impatiens scattered across a sweeping lawn with a meandering stone path leading to the front door of the house. Peggy’s garden featured on two national open garden tours, has been the site of several weddings, political fund raisers, and both large and small parties all catered by Peggy. You are invited to spend some time being entertained by the sights and sounds of this lush, artistically designed sanctuary.

Friday Tour D – High Point

High Point University’s First Lady Mariana Qubein formed an Arboretum Committee in 2006 to develop an Arboretum and Botanical Garden on campus. With the help of numerous committee members, the landscape team at HPU and a team of students, the Arboretum and Botanical Gardens have developed dramatically to incorporate 22 gardens, several plant collections and over 350 different taxa of trees. The goal of the Arboretum and Botanical Gardens is to beautify the HPU campus and preserve the environmental surroundings using what God has provided. All this is done with the goal of also providing unique educational opportunities for students and visitors alike.

In recognition for her tireless efforts and vision to bring to fruition the Arboretum and Botanical Gardens, the High Point University Board announced the naming of the Mariana H. Qubein Arboretum & Botanical Gardens in late 2009. The First Lady has worked with faculty, staff, students, landscape designers, local garden clubs, donors and other institutions to seize the opportunity to create and establish a campus-wide arboretum that houses various themed gardens.

Paul J. Ciener Botanical Garden is in the historic district of downtown Kernersville, NC. They carry some of that history within their gardens featuring the 19th century coastal style Pattern Garden as well as the Moravian Quilt Style raised Kitchen Gardens.

Their master plan was established in 2005 with the first phase, planting and establishing a handful of garden spaces, in 2008. They are a young, nonprofit, botanical garden going on our 7th year of being open. The garden has about half of the 7 acres complete and are in the process of working in the bottom 2 acres. They have just around 2400 permanent plants on display with about 1000 waiting to be planted. Some of those will be getting planted in the bottom 2 acres (which happens to be the woodland garden). Won’t that be nice in August! The 2400 permanent plants are carried throughout 15 different garden themes including the Xeric Scree, Tropical, Hillside Boulder Gardens and Mixed Border just to name a few.

The garden’s perennial border received the PPA Landscape Design Award back in 2011. The border was designed by Doug Ruhren & Edith Eddleman and planted in 2009. It is along their front façade expanding 230 foot of frontage space and is 8 feet deep.

Spanning 11 acres, Gateway Gardens provides a stunning entryway into the City of Greensboro, a playful and interactive garden, and a horticultural oasis integrating elements of history, movement, discovery, and community.

Gateway Gardens represents the biggest project ever undertaken in the 45+-year history of Greensboro Beautiful. The garden is strategically located on one of the City's major entryways - E. Gate City Blvd., within 1/2 mile of Business I-40 and I-85 (exit 124). Phase I opened in 2011, and includes the Michel Family Children's Garden, the Heritage Garden, Rain Garden, Gateway Plaza & Icon, and the Great Lawn.

Gateway Gardens was certified in 2014 as a LEED Silver project by the U.S. Green Building Council.


Daily Agenda

| Monday Plant Talks | Monday Business Talks | Monday Tours |

| Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday Tours |