Two Gardens. One Experience.

A generation ago two extraordinary women named Elizabeth lived and gardened just down the street from one another on Ridgewood Avenue…

 

Elizabeth Clarkson was not your garden variety gardener: This Elizabeth developed her formal garden as a habitat for songbirds—long before the horticultural concept of the garden as habitat existed.

 

Elizabeth Lawrence wrote the book on southern gardening: This Elizabeth, author of A Southern Garden, designed her garden as a plant laboratory in which she might grow some of everything that grows.

 

Elizabeth Clarkson photo Elizabeth Lawrence photo
   
Elizabeth Clarkson Elizabeth Lawrence

 

Together, Elizabeth Lawrence and Eddie and Elizabeth Clarkson made Ridgewood Avenue in Charlotte, North Carolina, one of the most famous addresses in Southern garden history. What is most remarkable about this fact is that, relative to the great gardens of America, the Lawrence and Clarkson gardens were extremely modest in size, though fully expressing the intentions and obsessions of the gardeners who made them. (From No One Gardens Alone: A Life of Elizabeth Lawrence by Emily Herring Wilson)