Sites 5, 6 for Courtyard & Garden Tour revealed

Published 9:50 am Sunday, April 9, 2023

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Across Stanly County the arrival of spring brings an explosion of floral landscapes and the return of outdoor living. To celebrate the beauty of Albemarle and Stanly County, the Stanly County Historical Society will host an encore benefit Courtyard & Garden Tour 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 29.

Proceeds from this rain or shine event will fund educational programs and preservation initiatives of the Stanly County Historical Society, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. This self guided tour will allow access to 10 private and public courtyard and garden spaces stretching from Albemarle to Badin.

The tour features a variety of outdoor spaces including a Spanish influenced courtyard, an English cottage garden, Charleston inspired garden and a wildflower meadow.

Site No. 5 is the property of Ken Knight and Connie Wallace at 45118 Byrd Road. Ken, a retired wildlife biologist, and his wife Connie, a retired physician assistant, will be sharing their wildflower meadow and nature preserve.

In 2017 they purchased nine acres on Byrd Road to build their home. This was part of a 424-acre tract purchased by Benjamin Franklin Bell on his return from the Civil War. Much of the original tract is still owned by the Bell descendents.

Ken and Connie built their home on a hillside that has a view of Falls Mountain.

Below their home, a small creek cuts through their property on its way to Little Mountain Creek.

After eradicating 2-3 acres of kudzu on the property, Ken and Connie established a meadow of native wildflowers and grass plantings, a vegetable garden and a berry patch. They have blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and three varieties of grapes.

Wild flowers in the meadow include several species of coreopsis and sunflowers, wild indigo, mountain bee balm, which all come and go at different times through the growing season.

There are also native warm season grasses. The area between the creek and the road provided the ideal location for a wildflower meadow. This sunny location comes alive in April and May with a profusion of color. These wildflowers attract a variety of butterflies and birds.

As you are greeted by Ken and Connie, you will learn the benefits of creating a nature preserve.

Wear your walking shoes and trousers to fully engage in the nature preserve and walk the path along the creek for a close up look. The more adventurous can follow the creek to the wooded areas and observe the shade loving wildflowers such as jack-in-the-pulpit and trilliums.

Site No. 6 is the English cottage garden of Bridget Huckabee at 28 Kirk Place, Badin. The 1913 end unit townhouse was built by a French company to house workers at the new aluminum company in the French inspired village of Badin.

After relocating to Badin in 1994, Huckabee has created the English cottage garden to pay homage to her native England. The garden features mature shrubbery along a picket fence to provide both charm and privacy. The intersected flower beds on the gravel paths will lead to multiple sitting areas and courtyard which are often filled with the company of family and friends.

Site No. 6 is the English cottage garden of Bridget Huckabee at 28 Kirk Place, Badin. (Contributed)

Advance $15 wristband tickets are available at the Stanly County History Center, 157 N. Second St., Albemarle, or by mail order from Stanly County Historical Society, PO Box 1384, Albemarle, NC 28002.

Pre-paid mail orders will be held at the will call station at the 1852 Isaiah Snuggs House, 112 N. Third St., Albemarle, from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Tickets purchased on the day of the tour will be available for $20 at the Isaiah Snuggs House. All ticket sales are non-refundable donations.

Direct inquiries to or call 704-986-3777.