Elizabethan Gardens Tour, Part Two

As we continue our tour of The Elizabethan Gardens on Roanoke Island (see part one here), we are strolling out away from the views of the Roanoke Sound and into a more formal part of the garden.  This area is called the sunken garden and is a reminder of the past where gardens like this would have been used in the landscapes of the wealthy.  An Italian fountain is situated in the middle of the sunken garden.

Surrounding the sunken garden is a brick path with an allee of yaupon holly.  The height of the holly invokes a secret garden type feel since you can not see what is over your shoulder or around the bend.  A rather fun place for a game of hide and seek if you have children visiting.

The sunken garden has four statues standing guard at the four corners, situated in a parterre of dwarf yaupon holly.  The statues are Apollo, Diana, Venus and Jupiter.

Well pruned crepe myrtles are also located in the parterre.  They were not quite in bloom when I was there.

 Being a square design there are four brick paths leading out of this  formal area. 

We are choosing to go to the right where colorful annuals can be seen in the distance.

From here we go deep into the garden where live oaks abound.

Healthy hydrangeas are everywhere.

Without a map it is quite possible to miss out on the woodland garden which is tucked away off the main path.  

Five small water features encompass the woodland garden.  You can hear kerplunk from the frogs jumping in the water as you walk by.

Elephant ears, aralia, lirope, and ferns cover the ground around the small pond giving it a very naturalistic look.

Continuing along the paths, we stumble out on to the great lawn.  A massive live oak dating back to the 1500s is located here.

 Across the way, is a relatively new area called the hosta walk.  Here small hostas have been planted recently.  I look forward to coming back next year and seeing how they look with some growth under their belts. I hope they won't suffer the same fate that many of my hostas have suffered from being eaten by voles.

We have come almost full circle now and are close to the entrance once again.  A few more plants before we go.

You can make it a day trip when you visit Roanoke Island.  There is the fabulous North Carolina Aquarium also located here with both outside and inside exhibits.  Usually we can appease both of our older children as one likes to visit the aquarium and the other likes to visit the gardens.  My favorite spot in all of the Outer Banks is the town of Manteo on Roanoke Island.  It is a picturesque spot with one hundred year old houses bordered by picket fences and sidewalks lined with hydrangeas and daylilies.  Lots of adorable restaurants and boutique shops abound in the downtown area including Manteo pottery which is must see.  Downtown Manteo is located along the sound so the views are amazing as well.  This town will take you back in time to when your grandparents  or great grandparents were living and life moved at slower pace. I hope you get to enjoy the gardens and Roanoke Island one day as I do every year when I return to the Outer Banks.


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