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Gardeners come back for another year of Chapel Hill Spring Garden Tour

Carolina Campus Community Gardens is one of several gardens being featured in this years Chapel Hill Garden Tour.
Carolina Campus Community Gardens is one of several gardens being featured in this years Chapel Hill Garden Tour.

Even while living in New York City, Teddy Lovejoy wanted a beautiful garden. 

“I had a small garden back there, but it was very hard,” she said.

After moving to Chapel Hill, Lovejoy said she spent fifteen years perfecting her yard. 

“It’s lots and lots of backbreaking work,” she said. “After the winter we had, there was lots of pine straw and leaves and broken branches to be taken care of. The first thing we did was clean up.”

Lovejoy said she even hired a designer to put together the color combinations of flowers in the garden. Being selected to be a part of the Chapel Hill Spring Garden Tour was a dream come true, she said. 

Her hard work was one of seven private gardens featured in the tour, which ran from May 3 to May 4.

The tour, which began in 1996, has been hosted once every two years by the Chapel Hill Garden Club. 

It also features the North Carolina Botanical Garden and the Carolina Campus Community Garden.   

“We have this event to benefit the botanical garden and help educate the public,” said Christine Ellestad, president of the Garden Club. “People love to share their gardens and information about their plants.” 

Ellestad said they had a wide variety of gardens on the tour.

“We do a call for gardens during the off-year of the tour then visit every suggested garden,” she said. “We look for elements that you couldn’t find in just one garden."

Char Thomann, the Garden Tour chairwoman, said there was a special spotlight this year on the Campus Community Garden, where many UNC students and faculty volunteer. 

"They grow organic produce for the lower wage workers at UNC, so they get fresh produce,” Thomann said. “Its just the neatest vegetable garden you’ll ever see."

In addition to the variety of gardens, there were several other forms of entertainment on the tour.

Lovejoy’s garden will feature a performance by a student quartet from East Chapel Hill High School.  It will also be one of three gardens hosting artists from PAINT NC, who will paint pictures of the gardens and interact with guests. 

Proceeds from the Garden Tour will benefit the Wonder Garden at the North Carolina Botanical Garden. 

The Wonder Garden has educational opportunities for children to interact with and learn about nature.

With the support of the Wonder Garden in mind, Thomann said the Garden Tour will have many entertainment opportunities specifically for children, including a performance by members of the North Carolina Opera and a nature craft planned by Kidzu. 

“We really wanted kids to come to all of the tour,” Thomann said. “They enjoy nature, and there is always something fun to see out there.

She praised the business community for their support of the event as well as the generosity of the homeowners for making the event happen.

“The tour is a real community event,” Thomann said. “A lot of people have input in this.”

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