The Elizabethan Gardens
The Elizabethan Gardens of Roanoke Island, North Carolina, is a memorial to the first English colonists who came to North America in 1584-1587. The gardens are located on the same site where the colonists first landed. This is such a beautiful and peaceful place that Ritchey and I visit every time we are in the area.
The largest bronze likeness of Queen Elizabeth I is a focal point of the gardens. It is a nine foot sculpture created by Jon Hair. I can just picture the queen walking through the garden paths and enjoying a bit of tranquility – although in my mind she looks a lot like Cate Blanchett!
The Queen’s Rose Garden features pierced brick walls and The Queen Elizabeth Rose, which was given to The Elizabethan Gardens by Queen Elizabeth II. This rose is a medium pink with a high center, with dark green foliage, and has been a favorite of gardeners for over 50 years! Did you know it was actually named for the late Queen Mother – not Queen Elizabeth II? Ritchey and I have some work to do for our garden to look like this!
Look at that vibrant red color! This bottle brush plant is simply striking!
This gorgeous marble statue of Virginia Dare, the first English child born in the New World, was carved in Italy by Maria Louisa Lander in 1859. This statue had many adventures along the way back to America – spending two years at the bottom of the sea after a shipwreck, surviving a fire in Boston, being consigned to the basement of the old Supreme Court Building since some found her lack of clothing objectionable! When The Elizabethan Gardens were opened, she found a home here – at her birthplace. This is where she truly belongs!
The many trees in the garden are beautiful and fascinating. One oak is said to be over 400 years old – it would have been here when the colonists first set foot on this island!
One of the fountains in the gardens. The blue and white color combination is very soothing.
The many walkways lined with tall hedges gives a respite from the summer sun. They make a large square – in the center of which is the sunken garden.
The classic sunken garden has an Italian fountain at its center. In the four quadrants are statutes of Apollo, Diana, Venus and Jupiter. Maintenance was cleaning the fountain while we were there – I didn’t get a good picture! A good reason to return another day!
A sundial – a classic staple of an English garden – this one is 500 years old!
There were many benches available to sit and drink in all the lovely surroundings! It was a wonderful way to spend the afternoon! I hope that one day you can visit The Elizabethan Gardens and take a tour of their beauty and their history.