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Airlie Gardens

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Life today moves at a fast pace, sometimes too fast to enjoy the old fashioned pleasures of nature. At Airlie Gardens, those simple pleasures can again be yours. Take time to admire azaleas, camellias, stand in the shade of our 467 year old Airlie Oak, or simple sit quietly watching a butterfly float by. Celebrating more than a century of gardens by the sea, our history dates back to 1886. Join us then in a self-guided walking tour of these 67-acres of historical gardens of mighty live oaks, tall pines and lakes which are abundant with colorful wildlife. Airlie Gardens, where history, art and nature come together to create a destination spot for garden lovers throughout the world.

For anyone who knows American folk art, Airlie Gardens means something more; it was the inspiration for the vibrant, colorful, and intricate paintings of Minnie Evans.

Evans came to Wilmington with her mother in 1893, when she was a year old. Her mother remarried a man who was employed by Pembroke Jones, a wealthy industrialist, and by the age of 17 Minnie found work as a domestic in the Jones household. Jones' wife, Sarah Green Jones, was the one who established Airlie Gardens. From 1948 to 1974 Minnie was the gatekeeper at Airlie, collecting admissions and selling her artwork. She painted her delicate and fantastical scenes as a result of a divine vision when in a dream god told she must paint or die. Her art works depict angel and ornately adorned figures but the art work clearly evokes the lushness and greenery of the garden setting that she saw every day. She once said, "God has some 600 shades of green, and He dressed the world with them." To her the natural surroundings were a divine revelation, as one can readily see in her painting displayed in the Fenimore Art Museum collection dedicated to Minnie and or at special showings at the Cameron Museum of Art in Wilmington.

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Details and Specs

Hours of Operation: Not Listed
Notes: None Listed
HOURS:The Gardens are open 7 days a week during Regular Season Hours Monday-Sunday, 9am-5pm.
HOURS:Winter Hours: Tuesday-Sunday 9am-5pm


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