Silver Bonsai named business Garden of the Season for winter

Published 9:48 am Thursday, March 12, 2020

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By Christine Dorsey

The Silver Bonsai has been a hallmark of Roanoke Island for twenty-three years. In addition to an impressive gallery of fine jewelry and bonsai, master goldsmiths and owners Kathryn and Ben Stewart had created a lovely garden surrounding their store. So after Hurricane Michael flooded the property in 2018 and the Stewarts started digging up plants and draining their pond in preparation for raising the building, residents kept a watch on the progress. And they weren’t disappointed.

Which brings us to the fact that The Silver Bonsai is Roanoke Island Garden Club’s Garden of the Season for winter 2020.  Located on US Highway 64, the gallery now features a splendid deck designed by Kathryn. The decking features stairs and gentle slopes twisting around the sides and front of the building. There are areas that feature the gallery’s outdoor bonsai and spots to just pause and look down on the enlarged pond containing water lilies and koi. The Stewarts have created a river effect with gravel and fountains. Just a note, because the pond has flooded since the renovations, Kathryn has plans to possibly raise it. During the latest wind event, she watched where the water entered the pond, ironically where they had left a space for water to drain out, and is working on how to create a new and better water feature.

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Along with the pond, the Stewarts continue learning what plants can withstand a sudden deluge of sound water. Plants that survived Hurricane Michael were dug up and then replanted when they redid the garden. Along with juniper and knock out red roses, rosemary and a few other herbs in a side garden are doing well. Ruellia simplex, commonly known as Mexican petunias, shows signs of sprouting. A maple tree, set a bit higher is doing well. Nandina and begonias are also thriving.

Small tan and brown gravel seems unperturbed by water washing over it, and along with rocks and succulents create a Zen style garden that invites visitors to linger. Kathryn has more plans for her garden, she is getting ready for the next phase, as are we. It is always a joy to watch a garden evolve and grow.



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