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Charlotte Spring in Full Bloom

Relish springtime's beauty all around the Queen City.

By Lauren Levine

With summer flirting more noticeably each day, you might be spending hours in a keeping-up-with-the-Joneses-induced fuss over your lawn, laboring to make it more lush than your neighbors’. It seems there’s always a new product to try and a new pest to ward off, and somehow there’s always more you feel like you could be doing.

But if you think you’re working tirelessly on your curb appeal, imagine what’s been going on at Quail Hollow Club, where employees are feverishly prepping for the arrival of the PGA Championship in August. The event is a milestone, as it’s the first time a Charlotte golf course has played home to one of the four major championships in the sport. To create a course properly fit for the kings of the sport, the grass on all 18 greens is being replaced, four new greens are being built and each blade of grass is being watched with a careful eye.

Whether you’ll be course-side watching the PGA pros slice through the manicured greens or not, you can relish spring’s beauty all around Charlotte—clubs not required.

Gardens

In Charlotte, “May Flowers” isn’t just a colloquial calendar expression; it’s a reality. With the sun out and the occasional breeze keeping the toastiest of temperatures at bay, we encourage you to detach from your phone and take a stroll through one of Charlotte’s many majestic gardens.

Stop by Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden in Belmont and partake in a guided horticulture or bird walk. Don’t forget to bring your binoculars.

Visit the McGill Rose Garden in NoDa for a peek at a thousand breathtaking blooms, including 230 kinds of roses.

Historical gem The Duke Mansion features 4.5 acres of immaculately kept grounds that beckon guests with the promise of vitamin D and magnetic beauty in Myers Park.

Step into the UNC-Charlotte Botanical Gardens and learn about a wide array of plants as you explore the eight on-site greenhouse rooms and six themed collections. The splendor includes the Carnivorous and Bog collection, which spotlights plants that prey on insects, as well as the Dinosaur Garden, where you can view living fossils and imagine what it was like when T. rexes roamed the planet. You’ll be captivated by the Tropical Plants collection, feeling as though you’ve been transported directly into a rainforest or slipped into a scene from “Alice in Wonderland.”

The Dilworth Community Garden Center sprouts both greenery and fellowship. Nestled in a small plot of vacant land owned by Duke Energy, the space breathes beauty into the surrounding area.

Organize a visit to Historic Rosedale Plantation to learn about the history of the home, which was built in 1815 and was originally part of a 919-acre plantation. The property, located just minutes from Uptown Charlotte, features stunning gardens that only serve to enhance the magnitude of its storied past.

The Wing Haven Gardens & Bird Sanctuary, which boasts two public gardens, is a peaceful oasis for flora and fauna. The staff puts on more than 40 educational programs and events each year, so plan your visit accordingly.

Our Children’s Memorial Walkway, located in Uptown, is a place for remembrance and healing through nature. The path is comprised of engraved bricks, each of which pays tribute to a child who has passed away. Here, family members can reflect on their loved ones’ lives as they soak up the beauty and serenity of the space.

Greenhouses & Nurseries

When your green thumb is aching and your yard is begging for some seasonal love, Metrolina Greenhouses in Huntersville is worth a stop. The facility is the largest single-site heated greenhouse in the country; its sprawling square footage is comparable to five Concord Mills buildings. Chances are, it’s a place where you’ll unearth the perfect burst of nature to spruce up your property.

With locations in Ballantyne and Matthews, beloved Pike Nurseries features bountiful blooms that will add color to your home and garden, plus all of the soils, bark and mulches you can imagine. Pike also offers free garden lectures and classes for local garden clubs and other community organizations upon request.

Campbell’s Greenhouses and Nursery in South End boasts flowers and plants in every shape, size and shade. Snag succulents, peruse the vast bonsai collection or take home topiaries to imbue your greens with character and flair.

When you need something tropical, Oakdale Greenhouses, just off Interstate 77 North, is the place to go. Purveyors of exotic plants, trees and shrubs, the staff at Oakdale can coach you on how to properly care for these unusual beauties.

Rountree Plantation Greenhouse & Garden Center, just off South Boulevard, allows you to create a garden worthy of a magazine spread. When you’re on the hunt for azaleas, begonias or organic products to care for your lawn, call on this family-owned mainstay, which carries a wide selection of blooming and annual plants and also caters to the landscape and lawn care industries.

Curious about how hands in the soil can translate to helping hands to the community? The Charlotte Council of Garden Clubs, Inc. was created in 1952 and is comprised of 16 garden clubs, several youth groups and five horticultural societies. The nonprofit organization is headquartered in the Elizabeth neighborhood and presents scholarships to college students studying horticulture as well as opportunities to get area kids interested in gardening and floral design. The group also regularly puts on flower shows for the public to enjoy. The office’s picturesque front garden is award-winning and entirely worth visiting.

Floral Shops

A third-generation-owned floral haven, Midwood Flower Shop offers bountiful bouquets that befit any occasion. At its perch on Central Avenue, Midwood Flower Shop planted its roots more than 60 years ago.

From sweet and simple roses to breathtaking African violets, The Blossom Shop has helped Charlotte citizens brighten loved ones’ days since 1929. With multiple locations in operation, including Dilworth and Myers Park, the shop has enhanced thousands of weddings and special events with elegantly designed arrangements.

At Byrum’s Florist in Plaza Midwood, flowers are considered works of art, and each unique assortment carries a one-of-a-kind appeal.

Nectar, which is based out of the McGill Rose Garden in NoDa, provides floral design for nuptials, parties, holiday centerpieces and everything in between. Nectar also offers classes on topics that span seasonal blooms to terrarium design and floral crown and wreath-making. You might see the business making its way through Charlotte in its mobile floral truck, “Rhonda.” You can rent Rhonda for your event or simply flag her down if you need a quick flower pick-me-up.

Convenient to South End shoppers, Starclaire House of Flowers offers lively designs filled with lilies, peonies and other delicate picks, plus fruit baskets for every occasion. New babies. Graduations. Get well wishes. Your sentiment can be brought to life.

Also in South End, Elizabeth House Flowers specializes in tropical varieties, silk arrangements and European/dish gardens in addition to everyday bouquets.

And with a same-day delivery policy that caters to a wide reach of locations, locally owned Southern Blossom Florist is a great go-to for last-minute gifts and event florals. Simply visit the shop’s website at southernblossom.com to place your order.

 
This article ran in the May 2017 issue of Charlotte Happenings.