She is dark and a beauty. She stands alone, striking. Demanding your eye and commanding your heart.
The winter has been harsh in the Cape Fear region this year. We usually do not have more than two month of chilly weather. This winter we have had very cold for over four months.
This week we are seeing buds and blooms beginning to make their appearance into warmer days. Looking forward to more of the sun and warm breeze of Eastern NC.
Colors are bursting, shapes are forming, and creatures are stirring. Structures even begin to liven up as Spring arrives in the garden.
New Hanover Arboretum, Wilmington, NC
The Dr. Heber W. Johnson Rotary Garden – Home of the World’s Largest Rotary Wheel, was host to the Lower Cape Fear Historical Society‘s Secret Garden Tour Ribbon Cutting. Painting the garden were precious, little fairies.
Twirling, dancing, flittering, skipping and even a little pouting, they entertained the patrons with a sense of innocence, happiness and life.
The remainder of the day was caught in the beauty of “The Lesson of a Child” – to not take all of life so seriously, to dance, to flitter, to discover, to twirl…enjoy, foster and seek those things in life that make us smile and utilize our gifts to make this world a better place.
You may say this is “Polly-an-ish,” no matter! Life is short, So why not be fairy-like and play!
Pantaloons, slip, hoop skirt, dress, gloves, curls, parasol, ribbons, bows, fan and sugar…a beautiful garden and a handsome gentleman = ingredients for an Antebellum Belle’s dream afternoon!
Cultural traditions have remained threaded through various events that feature Antebellum Belle “lifestyle” and “fashion.” In Wilmington, North Carolina, there are the Azalea Belles. (http://www.capefeargardenclub.org/azalea-garden-tour/azalea-belles-policies/) High School girls apply to be selected to represent and adorn Antebellum attire designed locally for the various annual events and activities surrounding the Cape Fear Garden Club’s Azalea Garden Tour and the North Carolina Azalea Festival. (http://www.ncazaleafestival.org/)
The tradition and history of a Garden Party goes back to the 1700’s. There is a relaxed and gentle feeling, more of an aura, to a garden party. Whether a small backyard garden or the impeccable gardens like Longwood Gardens (http://www.longwoodgardens.org/TheStoryofLongwood_1_3_2_1_1.html), Airlie Gardens (http://airliegardens.org/) or Greenfield Lake Park (Home of the Dr. Heber W. Johnson Rotary Garden – Home of the World’s Largest Rotary Wheel, https://www.facebook.com/RotaryWheel). The gardens are hostess to people longing to socialize and fellowship with others amongst the natural and engineered beauty and landscapes within.
In Wilmington, North Carolina, the Antebellum style threads through its rich and abundant historical architecture, culture and gardens.
These photos were all taken by Stuart Benson at the Dr. Heber W. Johnson Rotary Garden.
(Dress Designer: Alma Fennel, Drapery World, Wilmington, NC)
Photography and Image Design by: Lori Harris
I love playing in photoshop with photos…contorting an image, pushing the limits of color and light, and most of all capturing an image and redefining its natural expectation to the average eye.
I flirt with the abstract as I manipulate my image with technology, producing an image, if compared to its origin, would pose the question why. Fortunately, there is no need to show a before and after, only my finished image sticks with me as I archive the original.
No matter…I like them; I thoroughly enjoy the process of utilizing my tools while discovering each image uniqueness.
Every year the Cape Fear Garden Club, in Wilmington, North Carolina, hosts the Cape Fear Garden Club Azalea Garden Tour, featuring the Cape Fear Garden Club Azalea Belles. There are over 100 junior and senior high school girls selected to represent the annual Antebellum event. The vintage dresses are designed and made locally. (http://www.starnewsonline.com/article/20130218/ARTICLES/130219670)
The Cape Fear Garden Club Azalea Garden Tour features 10-12 local homes and their spectacular gardens. (http://www.capefeargardenclub.org/) Hundreds of thousands of people flock to Wilmington, North Carolina to experience the wide array of azaleas in bloom and the historic and beach flavors of the area. For a full week, the City of Wilmington is host to these individuals who enjoy the NC Azalea Festival and all its associated events, activities and nostalgia. (http://www.ncazaleafestival.org/) There are garden parties, parades, queens and her court, The Citadels, bands, teas, and so much more of the Southern Charm this event offers to its local citizens and visitors.
Spring in the South is quite stunning and memorable. Good manners, warm air, beautiful blooms, fine cuisines and just down home quality of life. A Southern Girl’s dream!