What a beautiful day to explore Art in The Arboretum 2012 in Wilmington, NC. It was a special weekend featuring the art, music and crafts of many local artists.  The New Hanover County seven acre gardens were well maintained and emblazoned in rich fall colors. It’s especially enjoyable for someone from the Northeast to see hardy specimen Palms, Palmettos and water lilies in a lush tropical environment.

The atmosphere is peaceful and relaxed. It doesn’t take very long to walk around the entire garden. There is a beautiful pool with a reflecting red bridge and copper sculpted sea serpent that is mesmerizing to sit at and take in the scenery all while the intense scent of Fortune’s Osmanthus drifts by.

The Ability Garden has an active horticultural therapy program to encourage and help those with disabilities to be successful in gardening. To reduce their city water use, a rainwater harvesting system called RainXchange is in place. Rooftop water is captured, filtered and stored in a reservoir underground. It is then pumped to recirculate through a beautiful decorative stone urn. They have 1500 gallons of reserved rainwater to be used for supplemental irrigation in their greenhouse.

This is a great resource for both new and old gardeners to see thriving coastal area plantings. There were many master gardeners on site to help answer questions and the Arboretum has many educational opportunities and programs. Excellent place to take the kids with their kid sized house and children’s garden.

The Arboretum, 6206 Oleander Drive, Wilmington, NC

http://www.nhcgov.com/Arboretum/Pages/HoursAndDirections.aspx

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