Close to twenty years ago, as a serious home gardener, I discovered mail order plants–from a paper catalog with a paper order form that you had to send in by mail. Some of the first plants delivered to my front door were from Montrose Nursery. Although no longer a nursery, the good news is that you can still visit the gardens which were part of the Garden Writer’s Association symposium tours last week. This garden, for me, was the highlight.
Now a Garden Conservancy preservation project, Montrose did not disappoint. Varied plantings in different gardens areas and rooms surround and enhance a property with charming outbuildings and woodland views. Its sense of place blew me away. There is no mistaking that this is a southern garden.
Blowsy, mature and abundant, these gardens tell the story of more than 30 years of a singular gardening vision. According to the garden’s pamphlet, Nancy and Craufurd Goodwin purchased the property in 1977 and expanded what a 19th century North Carolina governor, William Alexander Graham and his wife Susan, had started. Here are some images of the gardens–they don’t begin to do this treasure justice.
Great landscape design incorporates rhythm and repetition to convey ideas and create mood. Rich and saturated hues of burgundy with pops of yellow and orange were found throughout Montrose. To me, this discovery wasn’t immediately apparent but I was drawn to it every time I saw it. Each of the photos below are from different areas of the gardens–outbuildings, the garden rooms, and next to the house.
There are so many things to look at and absorb in the gardens that I could have spent several hours there instead of the 45 minutes the tour allowed. I will go back some day. I suspect there will be many blog posts from others who were on the GWA tour about the plants and wonderment found here, so I will limit mine to these. Go if you ever have the opportunity.