Things That Go Crunch in the Day

Wilmington is akin to the Bermuda Triangle or Gilligan’s Island for a number of reasons, and one may be our affinity for carnivorous plants. Yes, pitcher plants, sundews, Venus flytraps and other insectivorous species call this area home in great number. Local horticulturalist Stanley Rehder dedicated his life to their cultivation, and this garden is dedicated to him. Bring the family to this activity-filled day of predators: carnivorous plants, live snakes and birds of prey. April 22, 9 – 1 p.m. Admission: Free. Stanley Rehder Carnivorous Plant Garden, 3800 Canterbury Road, Wilmington. Info: (910) 790-4524 or


This is not a type of night-blooming flower, per se, but a locally grown dandelion called “Alt-Zalea Festival” that springs up in between the sidewalk cracks of the Brooklyn Arts District. If you want something a little more singer-songwritery, a little more Café Wha? than “What!? I can’t hear you,” you might want to wander over to this northside festival for local revelry. Info: April 8, 12 – 8 p.m. Admission is free.  Sixteen local bands or artists will play at Foxes Boxes, 622 N. 4th St., Detour Deli, 510 Red Cross Street and Brooklyn Salon, 709 N. 4th St.

Truly, Madly, Fuchsia

While this time of year our favorite flower paints the town pink, there is much more to behold of “Beautiful Madness” from the Cape Fear Garden Club’s annual Azalea Festival Tour.  From downtown to Masonboro Sound, the route is dotted with belles in big dresses, plein air painters at play, and more flora than even the greediest bumblebee can dream of. Stroll through 12 plots of heaven at your own pace, soaking in the shade of ancient live oaks and magnolias along America’s earliest resort coast, or meditate on each footfall through downtown’s formal garden paths. Info: Cape Fear Garden Club’s Azalea Garden Tour, April 7 – 9, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Tickets: $25 (good for all three days), children under 12 are admitted free with adult ticket holder. Tickets available at or at various local businesses.

For the Love of Golf

What do you get when you mix our faithful editor, Jim Dodson, New York Times best-selling author (Final Rounds, A Golfer’s Life with Arnold Palmer, A Son of the Game) with Wells Fargo Championship Executive Chairman Mac Everett? One heck of an evening. Get in the mood for the PGA tour event the whole town is waiting for with two that know it well. Dodson will read from his newest book The Range Bucket List; be sure to grab your pre-release copy and get it signed at this event. Talk shop at the meet and greet with two greats of the game. Featuring hors d’oeuvres and craft beer from Wrightsville Beach Brewery. Tickets: $20. Wrightsville Manor, 1952 Allens Lane, Wilmington. Info: 910-833-7158 or

Eat Local

We can’t say it’s been a long winter, but we can say it’s been too long since we’ve had fresh produce, plants, herbs and baked goods. Our taste buds crave the fresh snap of a pea and the warm crust of handmade bread.  Weekly local markets will satisfy those cravings.

Ogden Farmers Market. Opens April 13. Wednesday, 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. Local farmers, producers and artisans sell fresh fruits, veggies, plants, eggs, cheese, meat, honey, baked goods, wine, bath products and more. Ogden Park, 615 Ogden Park Drive, Wilmington. Info: (910) 538-6223 or

Poplar Grove Farmers Market. Opens April 19. 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. Wednesday, 3–7 p.m. Thursday. Many vendors offer fresh produce, plants, herbs, baked goods and handmade artisan crafts. Poplar Grove Plantation, 10200 U.S. Highway 17 N., Wilmington. Info: (910) 395-5999 or

Riverfront Farmers Market. Opens April 16. 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. Saturday. Curbside downtown market features local farmers, producers, artisans, crafters and live music along the Cape Fear River. Riverfront Park, North Water Street, Wilmington. Info: (910) 538-6223 or

Strawberry Fields

Or perhaps Elysian Fields. Either way, you will go somewhere. The transportive music of Indian artist K.Sridhar, master of the sarod, blends traditions from the north and south of his country. Once the youngest member of Ravi Shankar’s orchestral group — at age 12 — K.Sridhar possesses unmatched skill and artistry of one of the world’s most difficult instruments. April 8, 7:30 p.m. Admission: $30. Beckwith Recital Hall, UNCW, 5270 Randall Drive, Wilmington. Info: (910) 962-3500 or

This Ole House?

Don’t be shy. We Southerners love to downplay accomplishments, but loving an old house back to glory is a challenging (and expensive) proposition. You’ve got to be one part anthropologist, one part architect, one part handyman and one part crazy-like-a-fox. Why not show off the labors of beauty? Historic Wilmington Foundation’s Azalea Festival Home Tour displays the fruits of nine historic homes and one house of worship. The ribbon cutting begins at the David Reid Murchison House, 305 S. Third St., a three-story brick mansion in the Second Empire style built by and named for the cotton merchant and president of the Carolina Central Railroad. Current owners Ron and Sherry Demas painstakingly restored the mansard roof and tower (removed in 1915) to the tune of a HWF preservation award. Info: HWF Azalea Festival Home Tour, April 8 & 9, 1 – 6 p.m. on Saturday or 1– 5 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets: $30 Available at local businesses or online at

Gardeners of our Domain

How about that habitat? As we lose greenspace, the Master Gardeners propose we take to our own plots and garden with native plants to help protect the birds and wildlife dizzied by the green-to-gray trend. Not only have these Master Gardeners propagated annuals, perennials, shrubs, trees, herbs and vegetables for us to shop, but they’ve created a native plant garden at the Arboretum to show us how to incorporate native plants. For those with brown thumbs, gardeners will be on hand to answer questions. You can even bring your gardening tools to be sharpened by Bertrand’s Mobile Sharpening Service while you shop. Info: April 20–23, Thursday–Saturday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Sunday, 1 – 5p.m. at the NHC Arboretum, 6206 Oleander Drive, Wilmington. A full list of plants available at

Lift With Your Heart

Roll up your sleeves. Grab those gloves. If you only volunteer one day a year, today is a good one to choose. Every year hundreds of volunteers pitch in to make light work with many hands: landscaping, painting, clean-up. Do-able projects are assigned for a four-hour session of “Work on Wilmington.” What difference can four hours make? A drab fence around a public housing complex can become a cheerful border. A downtown parking deck can sprout a mural. The overgrown edge of Maides Park can reveal historic gravestones of an African-American cemetery. Just a half-day of work will culminate in a celebration aboard the USS NC Battleship. Reach out to connect to a nonprofit participating in the day. April 29, 8 a.m.–12 p.m. Info: (910) 762-2611 or

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