Wing Haven Garden
248 Ridgewood Ave., Charlotte
HOURS: Tues. 3–5 p.m., Wed. 10 a.m.–noon, Sat. 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
COST: $5 suggested donation
Wing Haven is a fitting name for a garden that was designed to provide habitat, nesting sites, food, and water for birds and other wildlife. Elizabeth and Edwin Clarkson designed the three-acre garden in 1927 and donated it to the Wing Haven Foundation in 1970.
The plantings are diverse and range from English laurels and boxwood to Japanese flowering apricots and evergreen clematis. Several of the original plantings are still scattered throughout the garden.
The climbing rose near the entrance of the drive was propagated from a rose that was grown by the Clarkson family in Texas in 1888, and Elizabeth Clarkson purchased many of the 500 herbs in the herb garden for six cents each.
Over the years, efforts have been made to replace some of the original invasive species with native plants. Paved paths with white arrows lead past formal gardens and woodland areas. Each garden is accented with plaques and statues. A sundial in the front garden was made in 1705.
A short film shown in the education building gives the history of the garden and its founders.
© Jodi Helmer from Moon Charlotte, 1st Edition