Early Spring at the Elizabethan Gardens
The Elizabethan Gardens in Manteo, North Carolina (on the Outer Banks of the State) are one of our favorite places to view cultivated flowers. It is really a conservatory and classical gardens. Those who aren’t familiar with the area should note that the name is a token of honor to Elizabeth the First, who sent Sir Walter Raleigh to the area to found a new colony, over a decade before my relatives made it to Jamestown. Alas, it was not meant to be. When the Colony’s founders returned from other duties (England was at war with Spain at the time, which slowed things down considerably) they found the Colony gone, a mystery yet unsolved. There had indeed been conflict with the local Native Americans, but the evidence suggested that the departure of the surviving colonists was not hurried and the agreed upon sign, a Maltese Cross carved on a tree to indicate that hostilities had taken place, was not to be found. Thus the name: The Lost Colony.
The Gardens themselves are, for me, as much about their classical design as their horticulture.
Carefully planned paths and a wonderful tree canopy, coupled with statuary that is nicely integrated with nature make for a very contemplative experience.
I am, however, always drawn to the designs created by this great, and greatly loved, trees.
You mean you went to the Elizabethan Gardens and didn’t photograph any flowers? I wouldn’t make that mistake. Even though it was only the third week in March, the flowers were on the field.
The tulips were well along.
We asked the Hostess there about the unusual weather. She explained that the plants were running roughly a full month ahead of schedule. Yes, it was beautiful, but one had the eerie since that something was wrong. The Azalea’s were already past their prime.