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Riverview, New Brunswick
October 11, 2006
The gardens (2006, adult: $8) are a wonderful place to pass time; a complete sensory experience as butterflies float from flower to flower and sunlight dapples the gardens through the trees. There is the impression of being on the grounds of an English great house as one passes through the Great Gate and enters a gift shop that looks like an Elizabethan orangery.
The garden is actually a series of gardens, or rooms, if you wish, each of which is themed. There is an herb garden, a fragrance walk and a rhododendron walk. There are formal gardens with low, boxwood hedges surrounding flowers and romantic gardens as trails wind through trees and shrubs. There is the Queen’s Rose Garden which features a Queen Elizabeth II rose, a gift from the monarch. It also features a Virginia Dare rose (Named for the first English child born in the New World.), a Lost Colony rose and a Sir Walter Raleigh rose.
Perhaps the most memorable feature is the sunken garden with its fountain, pool, and balustrade; it is dotted with statuary of mythological figures. In fact, the entire site is sprinkled with statuary and stone benches, some of which are older than the garden itself. There is also the Great Lawn. On an English estate it would be the park… a stretch of lawn dotted with massive live oaks, pines, and magnolia trees.
For the horticulturist or home gardener, the Elizabethan Gardens are a joy as most of the plants are labeled. For the rest of us, the gardens afford quiet contemplation and a pleasant walk through shaded laneways. It is a garden that one should really see in spring and summer as well, when it’s in full bloom. A most pleasurable experience.
From journal Wasting Away on the Outer Banks
January 23, 2006
From journal Off-Season/Spring on the Outer Banks
Pine Hill, New Jersey
March 31, 2005
This was a wonderful place filled with fountains, statues, flowers, and interesting trees. The walled rose garden takes you back in time, and most of the gardens are quiet and peaceful.
The entrance fee is $6 and worth every penny. I wouldn't recommend it for kids, though. With no children's garden most of the kids we passed looked bored and grumpy. Like everything in the Outer Banks, this will melt all your stress away.
From journal Relaxing at the Outer Banks
January 22, 2005
Located at the North end of the island, this is the site of the first English attempt at colonization in the New World. There were three expeditions set forth by Sir Walter Raleigh. The first, in 1584, was a scouting attempt. The exploration expedition was from 1585-86. The final was in 1587, which included women and children to establish a sustainable colony.
The first woman born here was named Virginia Dare, and the annual Elizabeth Renaissance Faire on August 18th marks her birth. This is called the Lost Colony because everyone oddly disappeared from this place. There are many theories as to why they disappeared, and historians still try to answer that question today.
This place is a unique garden with wildflowers and indigenous shrubs and trees. It’s a self-guided , mile-long tour along a trail that takes you around the property. I was there in July, and one mile here will get you soaking wet with sweat. There is an area that overlooks the water (too bad I couldn't jump in) that seemed to be a great spot for family photos. Nearby stands a 16th-century thatched gazebo.
There are countless flowers in many varieties. It’s too bad that I wasn’t here a few months back, because I would have loved to see the magnolias or camellias. But hydrangeas and lilies were plentiful, and they were absolutely beautiful. I discovered my favorite tree in the south, the Crepe Myrtle. Look for it anywhere in the south--the flowers are amazing.
The NC Garden Club created the garden as a memorial to the first colonists. Included is the Queen’s Rose Garden, the Sunken Garden, a stone fountain surrounded by classical statuary, and a period gatehouse. They have a small gift shop that I adored because they had so many gifts with floral motifs. The property took less than an hour to walk.
On Tuesdays in the summer, there is a performance of Elizabeth R, a one-woman play about Elizabeth I that is held in the gardens. Next to the gardens is the Lost Colony theatre, which houses the famed outdoor drama The Lost Colony. America’s longest-running outdoor symphonic drama uses song, dance, drama, comedy, and special effects to bring the colonists’ story to life.
The Elizabethan Gardens are open year round from 9am to 5pm. In the summer, they close at 7pm when The Lost Colony is playing. For more information, visit Elizabethan Gardens or call 252/474-3234.
From journal Paradise and Lighthouses in the Outer Banks