Beyond the Garden Gate

05 Mar 2024

The 2024 Azalea Garden Tour

The 2024 Azalea Garden Tour, April 5-7, features carefully crafted landscapes of all dimensions. None are more intimate than three courtyard gardens tucked behind brick patio homes in the Pointe Summerset neighborhood, a hidden gem off Eastwood Road. It is here that Becky and Carlus McKeel have lovingly transformed a blank slate into a fabulous Southern English Garden.

Since a courtyard, by definition, needs to be encompassed, they installed a handsome privacy fence, stained in a warm sienna brown, to serve as the backdrop for verdant trees, shapely shrubs and colorful flowers. Over a ten-year period, all the components were planted with a keen eye for space, color and shade, as well as seasonal displays. The dining area is accented with chartreuse green cushions and a matching umbrella. 

A curved bluestone pathway carries you forward to the delightful surprises that await: a sweet fairy watching over treasured plantings, copper-topped dovecote birdhouses, a graceful white heron, and coach light lanterns. Around the corner is a smaller bistro set with black and white cushions. The walkway terminates in a private corner where a solitary chair is shadowed by a slender Crepe Myrtle. One can sit quietly here, watching the songbirds flutter, butterflies float and bees dance. Becky tells us, “This is my happy place.” The courtyard brings joy to these homeowners every day.

Becky McKeel is a member of the Cape Fear Garden Club, which sponsors the beloved Azalea Garden Tour annually. She and Carlus invite you to stroll beyond their garden gate on the April Tour, held April 5 through 7th. For more information, ticket locations and event details,

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