The Elizabethan Gardens celebrates platinum anniversary

Published 7:55 am Wednesday, October 13, 2021

The Elizabethan Gardens, a pleasure garden conceived as a memorial at the historic location of North Carolina’s Elizabethan colonization, naturally enjoys a strong connection to its namesake, Queen Elizabeth I. But The Gardens has also kept in step with England’s current monarch Queen Elizabeth II throughout her reign, too.

This year marks the passing of 70 years since the ambitious women of The Garden Club of North Carolina decided in 1951 to begin a novel project called The Elizabethan Gardens. In 1953, their plans took shape when construction of the famed North Carolina garden began on the very day of Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation.

In 1976, the English monarch sent The Elizabethan Gardens a special gift. Tucked in among the roses at The Elizabethan Gardens is the rose sent by H.M., Queen Elizabeth II, from the royal rose garden at Windsor Castle.

This year, The Gardens will honor Queen Elizabeth with a special tribute to mark the 70th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s service – her Platinum Jubilee. Gardens staff and board members will gather with Gardens members and special guests to mark the special anniversary, recognize several new projects and exhibits and honor loyal service to The Gardens.

Also at the afternoon gathering, The Elizabethan Gardens, in partnership with the Daughters of the British Empire in North Carolina, will plant a commemorative oak tree in honor of the Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty.

The first ships to land on the shores of Roanoke Island in Elizabethan 1584 were built of English oak. It is fortuitous and fitting that they will be planting an oak tree on the Great Lawn of The Elizabethan Gardens to grow among the ancient live oaks that are believed to have witnessed the first English colonists when they visited and lived on Roanoke Island over 400 years ago.

The Daughters of the British Empire (DBE) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit American society of women of British or Commonwealth birth or ancestry who share and promote their heritage while supporting local charities and senior living facilities across the United States, stated a press release from The Gardens.

“There is a lot to celebrate this day,” remarked executive director Carl Curnutte. “With funding from The Percy W. and Elizabeth G. Meekins Charitable Trust, we were able to relocate and refurbish our Elizabethan Gazebo.” Curnutte adds that The Gardens will also celebrate other projects that have come to completion. Thanks to the support of their members, a permanent exhibit was created and installed in Odom Hall that tells the unique story of The Gardens. The Gardens will also mark the service of individuals and groups that have been an integral part of their success.

“It’s been some time since we have been able to gather together with our members,” remarked Linda Davenport, president of The Elizabethan Gardens’ board. “We are very thrilled to celebrate our anniversary with The Daughters of the British Empire, our members, honored guests, staff and board with gratitude to Mollie A. Fearing Insurance Associates who made this celebratory event possible. We’ve had a remarkable seven decades of growth from an untamed plot of sand and briars into the garden we enjoy today. I look forward to honoring the past with our sights ahead to many more years of sharing our beautiful Elizabethan Gardens and her special connection to Elizabethan history.”

For more information on The Elizabethan Gardens, call 252-473-3234 or visit elizabethangardens.org.

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