Residential winter Garden of the Season recognized by RIGC

Published 10:26 am Wednesday, March 4, 2020

By Christine Dorsey

The Roanoke Island Garden Club’s residential Garden of the Season for winter 2020 is the home of Kate MacKillop and Bruce Hopkins at 21 Old NC 345.

The yard is expansive with lush green grass (Bruce spread rye grass seed to keep it green during the winter) and well-placed berms to add interest. Lining the driveway is an impressive hedge of oleander, made even fuller by volunteers that pop up – and are replanted by Bruce – beneath the mature bushes. At the rear of the driveway, a lovely pyracantha full of bright orange berries and gold dust acuba add color to the area. There is also a potted hibiscus settled into its own wagon so it can ride in and out of the garage when the temperature drops.

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The two corner berms in the front yard contain crape myrtles, liriope, azaleas, juniper and knockout roses. Nearer to the house, pittosporum lines the porch. Across the walkway, nestled among the knockout roses, strawberry plants put in by Kate multiply and some have tiny strawberries getting ready to ripen. There are dogwoods and holly trees and a butterfly bush being nursed back from storm damage.

The MacKillop/Hopkins family moved to Roanoke Island in 2014 from Maine and both are quick to tell you they are not gardeners. As an example, they show the huge azalea bushes near the road along the side of their house and point out the previous owner planted them. The same goes for the boxwood and live oak and oak trees, which were probably there before the house was built. But they both enjoy working in the yard.

Kate is in the process of trimming back the roses – and there are a lot of them. Bruce likes coming outside in the early evening and pulling weeds and taking care of the plants. Together they keep their garden well tended and a joy to see.



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