Symphony Guild’s garden tour is this weekend

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 17, 2014

SALISBURY — Gardens in Salisbury’s historic district will blossom for the Salisbury Symphony Guild’s Garden Tour, “History in Bloom.” Visitors will be able to see secret gardens in backyard bowers, as well as landscaping from a street view during the June 2l-22 show.
Concentrated in Salisbury’s historic West Square neighborhood, most of the gardens are within walking distance of each other.
The 1.65 acre property of the Hambley-Wallace House on South Fulton Street features boxwoods that were part of the original gardens designed by Thomas Meehan, a British botanist and nurseryman who worked in Kew Gardens before coming to Philadelphia in 1848. One of the state’s oldest ginkgo trees stands on the grounds, as does Virginia Wallace’s rose garden. A 2lst century renovation of the gardens eliminated years of uninvited ivy, uncontrolled wisteria, wild cherry trees and bamboo. The estate’s original 1902 carriage house, the summer dining porch of Mr. Hambley, the original owner, and a 1917 doll house are also part of the tour.
Donna and Peter Prunkl’s home garden on South Ellis boasts heritage roses, lilacs and irises from Tennessee, in addition to dahlias, lilies, clematis, sedums and various flowering trees. A hidden meditation garden is lined with daisies, lilies, ferns and hostas.
Next door, Betty and Jim Carli’s garden features a heritage rose that traveled from Niagara Falls to Michigan before coming to North Carolina. The Carli garden also features sculptures and furniture crafted with materials from Salisbury’s historic Grimes Mill, which burned in January 2013. An assortment of home-baked breads, cookies and cakes will be sold under a canopy at this relaxing oasis.
Also on South Ellis Street are the gardens of Steward-Marsh House. Owners Betsy and Hal Rhoades have rescued many of the original perennials in this once-famous old garden. The Rhoadeses’ garden restoration also includes crape myrtles and Encore azaleas.
American and English boxwoods abound in the garden of Gail and Jason Williams, also on South Ellis. The back walk is lined with miniature Mongo pines, and a rose garden blossoms in the sunniest part of the yard. Flowering plants from Rockwell Farms on N.C. 152 E and Garden Greenhouse on Woodleaf Road will be for sale at this site.
Betty Sunding’s house on South Fulton features a historic hedgerow and an impressive shade garden. Inviting seating areas offer garden tourists a respite before continuing their tour.
Next door, an ancient oak tree hosts a family of elves, evident only by their bright red door. Beyond that, the home of Karen and Daniel DeGraaf is surrounded by gardens including a bed of rhododendrons, and beyond that, drift roses, sweet spire and sunflowers trellised on reclaimed wrought iron.
Down the street on West Monroe, Mary Ann McCubbin’s bountiful country cottage gardens are a West Square landmark. Most recently, they have been photographed by award-winning North Carolina gardener/writer, Pam Beck.
In 2013, British transplants Mary and Andrew Walker bought the Stokes-Snider house on North Fulton Street as a bed and breakfast, which they named Across the Pond. Tapping into the legacy of generations of English gardeners, the Walkers have invested heart and soul into their landscape design, which includes a traditional English parterre and a rose garden.
A short drive down Jake Alexander Boulevard, Kathy and Lynn Richards have opened their serene country garden to ticket holders. Pathways wind along the gently sloped property through a wide diversity of plants, leading to a tranquil gently flowing fountain
In addition to the gardens of private homes, this year’s tour also includes four public gardens.
The Rowan Museum, in the historic 1854 courthouse, maintains a garden that incorporates the wrought iron fence that once sat in Salisbury’s Main Square. The garden is designed to have flowers — both annuals and perennials — blooming throughout the season.
St. Luke’s Episcopal Church provides two gardens for the tour. The church office, Canterbury House on West Council Street, is surrounded by English boxwoods and festive flower beds, which furnish flowers and greenery for the church and chapel altars. One block away, St. Luke parishioners cultivate a community vegetable garden. Produce from the garden feeds residents of the Family Crisis Council’s Women’s Shelter.
The herb garden at the Josephus Hall House (built in 1820) is divided into four sections: culinary, medicinal, utility and fragrance. Led by Leslie Black, docents will describe the plants that would have been used by the household in the 19th century.
Visitors are encouraged to drive by or park and walk through the Triangle Rose Garden (established in 1976) in front of Summersett Funeral Home at 1315 W. Innes St.
Tour dates are Saturday, June 21, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday, June 22, noon to 4 p.m. Tickets purchased before June 21 are $15 and may be obtained at the Salisbury-Rowan County Convention and Visitors Bureau on East Innes Street, 704-638-3100 and On the day of the tour, tickets will be available at all gardens.