Sunday, January 29, 2012

Changes in the Gimghoul Road neighborhood

I started this post with the intention of publishing it for last week's Blooming Friday theme of "Metamorphasis", but obviously I am late. I have been visiting the Gimghoul Road neighborhood over the last 30 years and it's my favorite place in Chapel Hill.

Like all neighborhoods, the Gimghoul Road neighborhood is changing and evolving. Gimghoul Road is home to the garden of twin sisters Bernice Wade and Barbara Stiles, which itself has undergone a lot of changes in the 57 years that Bernice Wade has lived there. A children's book has been written about the garden, but I wish there was a book for grown-ups documenting the changes in the property, with photographs and interviews with the sisters.

Originally the Gimghoul Road neighborhood housed many faculty members from UNC. Now it looks as though many of the houses have changed hands and work is being done on several of the houses which had started to look a little run-down.

The plaque on this freshly landscaped and manicured yard reads: "The last residence of Frank Porter Graham, February 16, 1972" (the date of his death). Graham was a graduate, professor, and 19-year President of UNC.

This new house was built where St. Thomas More Church used to stand.

Some of the houses maintain their patina and compactness of use

while others have been extensively but tastefully renovated and expanded. This house was always in beautiful shape but must be twice as big as it was originally. The expansion was almost seamlessly executed though

starting with the breezeway-type room and 2nd storey addition and extending to the right.

Over the years more azaleas have been added too. :)

All of the lawns in this neighborhood are like green velvet.

Chapel Hill is famous for its stone walls, both mortar and dry stacked

and along with house remodeling there has been a lot of new stonework, brickwork and landscaping.

In addition to the house expansions and other construction, there has been in a change in the yards of this neighborhood. Inspired by the twin sisters, more people in the neighborhood now have gardens than they did several years ago.

Who wouldn't be inspired by this?

Front border in the garden of Bernice Wade and Barbara Stiles

back garden

to be continued...

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Fanciful Part II The Winter Version

We've had a mild dry winter so far. The rugosa leaves were still golden at Christmas.

The garden in December

Which is a good thing because gray wet chilly days make me want to stay inside and curl up on the couch with the cats.

Instead, we've had lots of sunny days which are a real godsend in winter. Such winter days are an an invitation to do whatever strikes the gardener's fancy.

Weeding, planting, clearing the ditch behind the big bed of woody plants and briars

or just hanging out in the sunshine for a bit.

(Prince sucks on his tongue when he's happy.)

Winter is a time to appreciate the fine details in the garden.

Some years the Japanese Flowering Apricot comes into flowering-all-at-once spectacular bloom, and other years it stays in a half to third bloom over 2 months. This year is one of the latter years.

Warm winter days bring out the Honeybees

and even a native Hoverfly.

All of the winter bloomers are following the same pattern as the Apricot trees; Winter Honeysuckle and a Witch Hazel (a child of 'Jelena', and holding on tight to those leaves! but beautifully fragrant) have been in bloom for over a month now.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Blooming Friday ~ Fanciful

In a truly fanciful garden May roses would bloom year round.

Cl. Old Blush



Foxi Pavement with Knockout and R. palustris scandens in background

Rosa palustris scandens

with Alberbic Barbier and possibly Dorothy Perkins in background.


Caldwell Pink

This picture was taken in 2010; currently Sombrueil is leaning against a Wax Myrtle next to the driveway while it awaits a home next to a new trellis that we don't have yet. Since Sombreuil has such stiff thorny canes I'm thinking perhaps some sort of rustic cedar structure where Sombreuil could be loosely draped or tied since it's very difficult to weave through anything.


Rosa arkansana

One of my very favorites, Hansa, on the left

Hybrid China

with Sir Thomas Lipton in background and Foxi Pavement on the right.

However the wait makes their presence that much more sweet. Join Katerina at roses and stuff for more Blooming Fridays from all over the world.

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