Cape Fear Comeback: Harbor Way Gardens makes debut on Azalea Garden Tour despite Hurricane Florence damage

Updated: Apr. 5, 2019 at 3:30 AM EDT
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WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WECT) - Hurricane Florence first made landfall in Wrightsville Beach nearly seven months ago.

“It was devastating," said Wylene McDonald, Harbor Island Garden Club committee member. "I literally walked over, walked around the garden, and cried.”

The Habor Way Gardens weren’t spared any damage. The public garden in Wrightsville Beach Park lost 20 trees, destroying the tree canopy. The Harbor Island Garden Club maintains the garden.

Wylene, along with nine other members, spent countless hours cleaning it up.

“Anytime you drive by here, you can see members of the committee in here working because we had so much debris to clean up,” said Wylene.

Then came the question they’ve hoped and dreamed for.

“When we were asked to be on the garden tour, we all looked at each other and said yes we can and we have had to start over from scratch,” said Wylene.

And they did.

New plants, fresh mulch and tree removal thanks to the Town of Wrightsville Beach, and a beautiful new labyrinth was done just in time for Harbor Way Gardens’ debut for the Cape Fear Garden Club’s Azalea Garden Tour.

“It’s a little different," said Wylene. "We refer it to our new normal, but we’re happy with the outcome.”

For the garden tour, the Harbor Way Gardens will feature frog sculptures by Andy Cobb, fresh flower arrangements, and Azalea Belles. The new labyrinth is one of only two in the area.

Wylene and the other Harbor Island Garden Club members hope everyone feels welcome to visit the gardens and find it relaxing and serene, like calm after the storm.

For more information on the Cape Fear Garden Club’s Azalea Garden Tour, click here.

The Harbor Island Garden Club is accepts donations for upkeep of the gardens. To learn more, click here.

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