Roanoke Island Garden Club announces Pritchard garden for seasonal award

Published 12:36 pm Monday, March 20, 2023

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The Roanoke Island Garden Club has selected the garden of Rufus and Roxie Pritchard on Fernando Avenue in Manteo as the Residential Winter Garden of the Season.

As you drive east on Fernando from Hwy. 64, the soft color of violas in the roadside garden ahead catches your eye and draws you closer. This charming urban garden presents a vision of well-groomed symmetry, color and texture.

The narrow, rectangular garden base offers a variety of complimentary plants and graduated heights that bring all eyes up to the clean lines of the house itself. First off the street is an extended wide plank of rich green winter rye grass that was seeded in the fall, a feature that is of critical importance to Roxie. Following the grass, in a base of dark bark mulch, is a long row of beautiful lavender violas mixed with purple ornamental cabbages. And, finally, the top of the garden is a row of azalea bushes that hide the foundation of the house, drawing eyes up to the porch and main entrance of the house.

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At each end of this rectangular garden, the curved contours of small round beds ease the transition to a low white picket fence and suggested view of the property beyond. These two beds contain taller grasses, plants and small trees. Furthest east in front are two professionally pruned trees that were severely damaged by recent storms. One is believed to be a yaupon, an indigenous tree that holds an important place in the early history of the Outer Banks. The family hopes these trees will revive this coming year.

Off the west side of the property is a healthy stand of yaupon trees, one currently full of bright red berries, that are enjoyed by the whole neighborhood. Many thanks to the Pritchards for the care and effort they have put into their garden, as well as the local professional expertise they call on when needed. Altogether it helps make Roanoke Island a healthy, happy, and beautiful place to live.

– Submitted by the Roanoke Island Garden Club