Island tour

Wilmington Cape Fear Rose Society to Host 18th Annual Rose Tour

Stop, and smell the roses.

The Wilmington Cape Fear Rose Society will hold its 18th annual Rose Tour in May.

There will be nine beautiful gardens on this year’s tour.

The owners of the garden worked hard and were very busy preparing for the visit. The tour is dedicated to the memory of Bill Hartzell, past president and co-founder of the Society, and Linda Knerr, beloved Rosarian and longtime member.

The visit will take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 7, free to the public. Participants should wear comfortable shoes and dress appropriately for the weather.

Here is a brief description of the participating residences and businesses:

• Denise Miller, 1148 Edgewater Club Road, Wilmington. Miller built his house 29 years ago. She cleared the land and planted every plant and every tree. It has over 50 roses, many interesting shrubs and trees, a vegetable garden and blueberries located on 1.5 acres.

• Mike and Debbie Caulder, 6206 Mallard Drive, Wilmington. The Caulders have lived in their home for just over seven years. There are over 200 roses in their garden as well as an array of annuals and perennials. They also have an Alzheimer’s awareness garden dedicated to those affected by this disease.

• Billy and Mary Barwick, 5451 Eastwind Road, Wilmington. The Barwicks have lived in their home for over 15 years and own over 50 roses. They have rose beds in the front but mostly in the backyard. The biggest challenge is the trees in their yard. However, they managed to get their roses to bloom. They maintain and maintain their garden themselves and feel that it brings a nice balance to their lives.

• Sam and Lynn Leake, 20 Forest Hills Drive, Wilmington. The Leakes have a circular rose bed of 30 to 40 roses, mostly made up of hybrid teas. Their garden is reminiscent of an English garden. Witherspoon Rose Cultures maintains its rose garden.

• Paul and Carol Rodriguez, 601 Hollingsworth Drive, Wilmington. The Rodriguezes garden consists of formal rose gardens in the back yard complemented by annuals and perennials in the adjacent island. They have nearly 60 roses. Their favorites are Moonstone, Perfect Moment and Pope John Paul.

• Robert and Janice McKibben, 1245 Lillibridge Drive, Leland. Bob and Jan McKibben have lived in the area for nearly six years. There are 22 roses in their garden. Fifteen of these bushes were transplanted from their former home in Virginia. With roses, flowering clematis, irises, peonies, snapdragons, amaryllis and assorted herbs.

• Bob and Linda Knerr, 1005 Beaumont Court, Leland. In 2008, the Knerrs left their garden of 300 roses in Virginia and moved to Leland. After a good job of preparing the ground, they planted their new rose garden, adding a few each year. They now have over 25 roses. They mainly have hybrid tea and floribundas. Bob is the head gardener and does all the watering by hand.

•. Charles and Deborah Cook, 1160 Willow Pond Lane, Leland. The Cooks grew over 100 roses for 15 years. Their favorite roses are Double Delight, Randy Scott and Neil Diamond. Their watering system allows them to water day or night and only water the root system so the leaves don’t get wet.

• Brunswick County Botanical Garden, 25 Referendum Drive, NE, Bolivia. The rose garden section of the botanical garden is maintained by a team of eight master extension gardeners. There are over 60 roses and about 50 cultivars. The garden started out as a Crepe Myrtle Garden, but the roses took over. If the roses have exhausted their efforts by the visit, there is a very good botanical garden including a pollinator garden, an edible landscape garden, a southern living garden, a shaded indigenous garden, a discovery garden and a perfume garden for the enjoyment of visitors.

To purchase a brochure, go to

Wilmington Cape Fear Rose Society meetings are held at 9:30 a.m. on the second Saturday of each month at the New Hanover County Arboretum, 6206 Oleander Drive, Wilmington.