Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Wonderful Wednesday - Hidden Gem in Hillsborough

Welcome to another edition of Wonderful Wednesday!!  Today's post had NOTHING to do with quilting...

Unless you happen to be inspired by one or more of my garden photos from my Montrose Garden Tour with six area sorority sisters.  :o))

It was a perfect day for a garden tour,  Not too hot, not too cold , although, some would disagree on this point.  Sorry about that, Allison and Beth!!

The Gardens of Montrose is located in Hillsborough, North Carolina.  The 60 acre tract is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and dates back to the middle of the 19th century. I've passed by hundreds of times on my travels through town, wondering what might be found on the other side of those gates.

YOU are about to get a glance inside...

I asked about photographing our tour and was given permission by the current owner, Nancy Goodwin.  She and her late husband, Craufurd Goodwin, are the second owners of the property, caring for the gardens since 1977.  Before them, Montrose was passed down through a long line of family members of the original owner, Gov. William Alexander Graham and his wife, Susan Washington Graham.

I hope you will be inspired...

There's beauty no matter which way you turn. This little kitchen was moved from another historic property within the last 20 years:

Garage?  I don't see a garage:

Metasequoia tree originally brought over from China:

Snowdrop flowers:

The delicate Rain Lily flowers:

The flowers are gone in front of the main house, but the leaves remain to feed the plant for next year's flowering:

Spiderwort growing in the middle of a gravel path:

Just LOOK at those tiny blooms:

Fall-blooming Grecian bulbs:

Red Spider Lily...

... Along with a close-up:

Interesting cedar tree bark:

One of several varieties of Colchicum...

... And another:

A side view of the main house:

An unusual variety of Pecan tree bark:

Gov. Graham's law office:

The entrance to what was once the kitchen garden, but it's now a tropical plant garden:

Beneath this grape arbor, a large variety of ferns are grown:

Interesting specimens that I can't begin to name:

A fairly decent close-up of a peculiar flower:

We were told this one is a member of the okra family:


There are PLENTY more specimens within the fenced border:

DS2's favorite photo of my morning's outing:

We were introduced to so many flowers that I can't recall them all:

Another boundary at this enormous urn, the garden gives way to sweeping paths to the Eno River beyond:

This photo doesn't begin to do justice to the spectacular view:

Weaving our way through the garden paths, we see...

... Additional beautiful blooms:

Which way do we turn?  Here, there are four different gardens planted in the four quadrants of a circle with the garden's exit on the other side:

This large urn was modeled after an aerial view of the earth...

Too bad I wasn't tall enough to do the shot justice!  You will just have to be satisfied with another of DS2's favorite photos of the day.  A close-up of the succulent planting:

The beautiful ironwork fencing which encloses that last garden...

... This one is enhanced by stacked stone columns:

An expanse of lawn leading past the barn:

A nursery for next year's plantings:

Copper buckets lining the side of the barn:

We were told to help ourselves to a fig, if we found a ripe one:

Decorative well (?) outside that extra kitchen:

Off to the greenhouse:

A look at the side yard of the relocated kitchen, where Nancy tried her hand, with mixed success, at a true kitchen garden:

Potted plants of all types available for purchase:

So many choices to enhance my own garden:

This purple Spiderwort would have come home with me, if I had only brought my checkbook or extra cash:

More options, every direction you turned:

This is an example of how some plants will "winter over" in one of a series of recessed planters:

The side of the greenhouse is disguised by a large bed of lily plants:

I hope you enjoyed the small portion of the tour of The ONE TIME that I was on the INSIDE of the gates to the land of mystery.  What a treat it was for me!!  From the OUTSIDE, you can't see any portion of Montrose or the magical gardens on the property:

Owner, Nancy Goodwin, has written a book.  She didn't mention it on our tour, but I spotted it in the window at Purple Crow Books:

We did get a flier outlining the history of Montrose and the (relatively new) Montrose Foundation.  It also mentions the offering of seminars on garden design and propagation as well as the open days from time to time:

To be added to the mailing list write to:

PO Box 957
Hillsborough NC 27278

Or send an email to:

For additional information or reservations, please call:

919-732-7787 between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM

Until next time...
Explore your surroundings!!!


  1. Lovely tour. I have a master gardener friend in your area; I'll make sure she knows about this magical place, if she doesn't already.

  2. Wonderful! I always enjoy looking around other people's gardens.

  3. Beautiful grounds and flowers! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Thank you for the tour, what a beautiful many beaufiful flowering plants and trees. Love the old buildings too.

  5. I love the photos of the arches and your husband's favorite photo is also my favorite.

  6. Wow! Thanks for transporting me to a beautiful garden it was such a nice place to visit! It looks amazing!


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