Blossoms are everywhere, including Historic Norcross. Come join the celebration of spring gardening during the Blossom Garden event on Saturday, April 28, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event includes plant sales, garden art, garden-related workshops and open houses hosted by the downtown merchants. Best of all, there will be a free garden tour!
There are six gardens featured on the free self-guided tour. Visitors can begin at the Norcross Garden Club where they can shop at the Club’s spring plant sale and pick up a map of the gardens on tour.
Gardens to tour for ideas you’ll love:
Norcross Garden Club, 33 College Street
Pick up your map and visit the Garden Club plant sale.
The Norcross garden club was founded in 1958. The members of the club own their clubhouse which they were “gifted” in 1978 by the Norcross Civic Improvement Club in the form of a quit-claim deed and one dollar. The building originally resided on Autry Street but in the early 1900’s was moved by a pair of oxen to it’s current location.
The club members planted and maintain the beautiful gardens surrounding their clubhouse. These gardens are always open to the public to enjoy. They offer a great opportunity to see different plants in bloom during the various seasons. Many of the plants are low maintenance natives which perform well in our hot humid climate.
The members are also holding their annual plant sale to raise money for charity and for the maintenance of their clubhouse. This annual plant sale is a great way to meet the members, and to purchase plants dug from their own backyards. Each year they offer beautiful hellebores, hosta and unusual ferns among other things. It is a great way to accumulate “passalong” plants at fabulous prices!
Norcross Community Garden, 17 College Street (behind the Community Center)
The Norcross Community Garden is a thriving year round organic garden used to grow food. It is a great place for the community to come together to experiment and learn from one another. The creation of the Community garden was spearheaded by Sustainable Norcross Chairperson Connie Weathers and is the result of the culmination of efforts by many people.
Currently, the garden consists of 11 raised beds. Rental of a 4 X 8 foot raised cedar bed for personal use is $50 through January 31, 2013. Sponsorship of a bed for the same period is $100 with volunteers tending the beds and donating the produce.
Over the past year, volunteers have removed dead trees, kudzu and other invasive plants, set up compost bins and a rain barrel, planted blueberry bushes and a fig tree, added mulch and removed litter.
The Board of Directors is working on implementing a master plan donated by Gardens By Design as resources become available. Periodic workdays are held throughout the year and volunteers are encouraged to join the board. A Wish List of needs offers another way to participate by donating the items requested or money to purchase them. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information.
Kim and Tom Doherty, 530 Mauldin (Chastain Manor subdivision)
The Doherty’s “wanderlust” is evident throughout their garden in the charming vignettes created with items collected through years of travel. During their travels through Tuscany, Kim fell in love with the angel statue that welcomes visitors to the front porch and had it shipped home.
As visitors tour the front porch, they will enjoy seeing the custom porch swing, creative containers and unique decorative items. Strolling through the backyard, the main focal point is a beautiful pond and waterfall that fills the space with the calming sound of flowing water. A patio off the house with a unique hand carved table from their recent visit to Thailand, offers a place to relax and enjoy the pond. Creative touches such as an antique fireplace mantle and window boxes complete the outdoor room. A path leads visitors up a hill and into a woodland garden in the center of which stands a Paris inspired wrought iron gazebo complete with a chandelier and stained glass windows. Another outdoor room built from vintage window frames contains an antique biergarten table from Germany. Gorgeous glazed pottery containers create great focal points along the paths. A large sundial from Greece and a “totem pole” listing the many places the Dohertys have visited add another layer of interest. The creative ideas and touches throughout this garden will inspire “wanderlust” in visitors as they glimpse different elements of the world!
Lenos and Jerry Mucklow, 433 South Peachtree
The Mucklow landscape is a great example of how to use interesting edibles while creating a charming cottage garden. In the sideyard, an outdoor dining area under a substantial gazebo is surrounded by stacked stone beds. The gazebo is covered in hops vines which Jerry uses to make his own beer. Table grapes, blackberries, blueberries, apples, heirloom veggies and herbs grow nearby.
The front yard seating area contains a firepit and is the perfect place to sit and visit with neighbors. Japanese maples and a birdbath filled with succulents create interesting focal points.
In the front yard, visitors will notice a small elm. This tree holds a special place in the Mucklow’s hearts. It is a seedling from the historic elm in Oklahoma City known as the “Survivor Tree.”
Miraculously, the historic oak survived the 1995 bombing. It is now the centerpiece of the Oklahoma City Memorial where it pays tribute to those who lost their lives as well as to the survivors. Lenos’s mother is a survivor of that tragic day. University of Oklahoma gave each of the survivors a seedling from the “Survivor Tree” and Lenos was able to propagate her tree from that. Visitors will enjoy seeing how all of these elements come together to create a unique and welcoming space.
Nancy and Buddy Edwards, 281 Dogwood Walk Lane
The potting area on the side of the Edward’s home will be the envy of all the gardeners on this tour! Complete with running water, a roof and plenty of space to work, the area also oozes charm!
Visitors will first enjoy seeing Nancy’s collection of unique conifers which add evergreen interest to the front yard. A meandering creek between the road and the house flows under a wooden bridge. Paths lead visitors through the area where they will enjoy seeing a variety of shade loving perennials and shrubs.
The backyard is a wonderful retreat complete with a beautiful pool, waterfall and jacuzzi. An outdoor kitchen and fireplace make the space complete. Notice the lovely wrought iron detailing inlaid into the wooden fence surrounding the space. The perimeter of the backyard is filled with lovely shrubs and perennials. Creatively composed containers are placed strategically around the garden.
Tom and Julie Foster, 498 Ridgecrest Drive
The rocking chair front porch of this circa 1903 foursquare overlooks a colorful perennial border in the sunny frontyard. In the backyard, mature trees rise up creating a cathedral effect as they provide shade for the huge variety of shade loving plants. Winding paths with whimsical vignettes along the way create a pleasant walk. Edible plants such as raspberries, blueberries, a fig tree and an herb and vegetable garden have been worked into the pockets of sun.
The majority of the lush landscapes surrounding this home are recently planted. The acre yard was a blank slate when the Fosters bought the home and renovated it five years ago. Many of the materials used in the garden have been repurposed from the construction. All of the patios, walkways and the retaining wall were created using concrete from the old driveway that was removed. The garden shed which is a focal point in the backyard incorporated antique doors and lumber that was removed when the home addition was added. Many of the plants such as the hydrangeas, kerria, ‘Fairy’ rose and three varieties of viburnum were propagated by layering plants from the gardens of friends. Most of the perennials are divisions from the Fosters’ previous home or from friends.
Activities along the Tour Path:
Kids can participate in the plant a seed activity and take it home in a container they decorate. A Gwinnett County Master Gardener will be dispensing gardening information and answering questions. Community gardeners will assist the Latin American Association families in planting beds that the families will maintain for the rest of the season. Visitors are invited to help decorate a rain barrel for use at the garden. Downtown shops will be open with spring specials and items for your home and garden.
The Green Reyno LLC, 5330 Old Norcross Road
The Green Reyno Wholesale Nursery will be open to the public from 8am until noon. Visitors have the opportunity to visit their new location and purchase trees, shrubs and perennials at their everyday low prices. In addition to the usual trees and shrubs shoppers will find a variety of interesting and unusual conifers, evergreens and edibles.
The Blossom event should prove to be a wonderful way to spend a Saturday for gardeners and just about anyone wanting to enjoy a pleasant spring day.
Julie Foster is co-owner of Gardens By Design, LLC which specializes in landscape design and consultation. Visit their website at www.gardens-bydesign.com for information regarding their services.