There is a garden in a neighborhood just across the street from UNC-Chapel Hill that I have admired for many years. The caretakers of this garden are twin sisters; one moved there with her husband in the 1940's, and when the husband of the resident sister became ill over 20 years ago the second sister moved there too. You can read more about the sisters here. They are now 94 years old.
I took these pictures when we visited this garden last April. Chapel Hill is about an hour away from our farm and we visit four or five times a year. I grew up near Chapel Hill, my dad is a professor at the university, and my husband and I went to college there so we have a lot of ties to Chapel Hill.
Isn't the house charming? It's so elegant and simple in its lines. Perhaps I haven't seen much architecture but I've never seen anything quite like it. Even the green shingle roof is perfect.
To me their garden is the quintessential Southern garden: *lots* of azaleas and camellias. It reminds me of a beautiful Charleston garden, except that it's roomier and backed by the expansive Battle Woods, which is owned by the university. On each side of the lawn are curvilinear beds planted with tulips (which are replanted every year), iris and perennials, which merges with a huge bank of azaleas at the sides and back of the house.
Isn't this a gorgeous azalea?
It reminds me of a cross between a freesia and an apple blossom.
At the back of the house the garden is beautiful too: a large tree underplanted with iris and tulips in the center, a huge bank of azaleas and camellias on the side (a continuation of the bank of azaleas that began in the front yard), and then a terraced garden with more iris, azaleas and perennials that slopes down to an alley that backs the property. I love alleys like those. They were also in the small town in Indiana that my grandparents lived in.
A row of azaleas at the bottom of the terrace.
Visitors then ascend a narrow stone staircase, beneath this beautiful camellia and azalea
to an amazing expanse of azaleas at the other side of the house.
A view from the front of the house.
And standing next to the sidewalk. So many tulips!
There are other gardens in the neighborhood as well; I think the neighbors have been inspired by the two sisters. :) I love this lavender-flowered azalea.
and the low stone walls that are surround the yards of many of houses and buildings in Chapel Hill.
Thank you to Katarina at roses and stuff for hosting Blooming Friday.