Civic Projects

Airlie Showcase Garden (established in 2006)


Airlie Showcase Garden was born in 2006 with an Asian design.   Over time the garden had outgrown its borders.  The idea of changing the garden to a Southern Garden was presented at the September 2015 General Meeting.  In late winter of 2016 the Asian garden was torn out and the Southern Garden was completed in early April 2016.

The Southern Garden is filled with Encore Azaleas, Drift Roses, Endless Summer Hydrangeas, Yew Prostrata, and Dwarf Lorepetalum  The border for the garden is white Sasanqua Camellias.  In the spring the garden has the sweet aroma of Confederate Jasmine which covers an arbor at the entrance.  In addition to the plants there are two Red Maple trees that offer some shade.  A slate walkway outlined with Dwarf Mondo grass leads to a white vineyard bench.

The garden has a different but tranquil feeling when it is lite during Enchanted Airlie In November and December of each year.  A committee of 20 Cape Fear Garden Club members maintain the Southern Garden through the year.


Battery Island (established Fall 1996)

The Battery Island Committee has ended their year with another successful Bird Island cruise. This cruise made it possible for a check of about $2,300 to be sent to Audubon. Not to rest on their laurels, they are already planning next year’s cruise as well as their yearly cleanup trips to Battery Island.

This committee was established to assist Audubon North Carolina in the protection of nesting areas on Battery Island and other bird islands of the Lower Cape Fear River. Twelve percent of the global population of White Ibis, as well as many other shore birds varieties, choose these islands for nesting each spring. The Battery Island Committee sponsors two cleanups of Battery Island, one in the spring and one in the fall. The Committee also plants upright yaupon hollies on the island, as needed, for raised nesting areas for the ibises. In the spring of the year this committee sponsors a guided nature cruise among the islands for a close-up view of the numerous species of nesting birds. Two of our Honorary Members, Dr. James Parnell & Audubon’s Walker Golder narrate the annual cruise.

Birds and Butterflies (established in 1933)

2013-2014 – The Birds and Butterflies Committee planned and held a dedication for the butterfly garden at the Davis Community.  They received second in the 2014 Frances Boyd Bluebird Award and participated in the orientation for new members

2012-2013 – The Birds and Butterflies Committee participated in the dedication of the Welcome Garden at the Arboretum.  They established and dedicated their fourth Bluebird Trail at Davis Healthcare Center. The committee also purchased a memorial brick for the garden at St. Matthews Lutheran Church.

2011-2012 – The Birds and Butterflies Committee worked with Deb McGill, science teacher at Laney High School to install a bluebird trail there. The trail consists of six bluebird houses mounted on 6′ high posts with weatherproof bluebird art by Sean Ruttgay, local artist. The art depicts a bluebird photograph by Dr. James Parnell. This was the third Bluebird Trail established by the committee; the first one is located at Airlie Gardens and the second, was established at New Hanover County Arboretum and dedicated on January 19, 2011. An additional bluebird house was provided at the site of the 2010 Cape Fear Garden Club’s Azalea Garden Tour Ribbon Cutting, the Fragrant Garden at Greenfield Lake as a gift to the City of Wilmington

A Welcome Garden was designed and planted at the New Hanover Arboretum. Money was raised for the garden through appeals to CFGC members and the sales of the bluebird art at general meetings.

This committee donated a fountain to the Gardening for Wildlife Committee for the Johnson Preschool as well as worked on the successful initiative to name the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly our state butterfly.

Civic Improvements (established in 1934-1938)

The Civic Improvements Committee’s mission is to identify, plan, and facilitate beautification projects within Wilmington and New Hanover County that will have a lasting impact on the aesthetics and enjoyment of public spaces. Work with the City of Wilmington, New Hanover County officials and with appropriate state agencies to establish and/or maintain plantings that are consistent in reflecting our unique coastal location and history. Develop and seek funding resources to help support such projects by establishing an endowment fund through the financial support of the Cape Fear Garden Club and by creating partnerships within the community to join in the (financial support of this) mission. Increase pride and ownership in our community through ongoing beautification and maintenance of plantings in our public spaces in order to make our community more attractive for generations to come

Each year the Civic Improvement Committee sponsors “Plant an Azalea Week”. In 2015 Janine Powell and Miriam Oehrlein co-chaired “Plant an Azalea Week” during the second week of April, coordinating with New Hanover County Parks Conservancy to plant over 100 azaleas at Ogden Park off of North Market Street. County Commissioners were present for the planting ceremony.

In 2011 a new award was established: “Beauty Spot” Outstanding Landscaping Award to be given to outstanding streetscape beautification efforts in New Hanover County each fall and spring. There are three categories; Business, Neighborhood Entrances and Residential. Nominations may be made and voted on via Facebook.  . The Winter/Spring 2014-15 winners were Cracker Barrel for Business, The Reserve At Forest Hills for Neighborhood Entrance and Tom & Jane Maloy for Residential. The Summer/Fall 2015 winners were Independence Mall for Business, The Reserve at Mayfaire for Neighborhood Entrance and Barton Hatcher and William Hubbard for Residential. The Spring/Summer award ceremony, held on June 11, 2015, also recognized National Garden Week as proclaimed by the National Garden Club Inc. and the Garden Club of North Carolina, Inc. This week, designated each year to celebrate the nation’s passion for gardening, is the perfect time to recognize the efforts of those in our own community who invest in the beautification of our area.
2015 Summer - Fall Residence #8

The Civic Improvements Committee collaborated with Marcia Doering of the Landscaping Department at UNCW to purchase and plant 275 native flowering seedling trees along the Gary Shell Cross-City Trail on the property of UNCW. Funds donated by CFGC members and Civic Improvements budgeted funds were used to purchase the seedlings. Members of the CFGC and Civic Improvements Committee provided labor to plant trees on two occasions and other groups at the university also participated to help plant all 275 trees. A planting ceremony was held to officially plant 5 larger trees with Mayor Bill Saffo and several City Councilmen attending along with members of the Wilmington Tree Commission. The Wilmington Tree Commission awarded CFGC and UNCW a Tree Award for the completion of this project.

Conservation Committee (established in 1929-1933)

The Conservation Committee stayed busy this year participating in the Litter Sweep Campaign in both Fall and Spring.  They provided funds to help a Boy Scout with his Eagle project: provided funds to the NC Coastal Land Trust: dedicated to Stanley Rehder Flytrap Fund: provided funds to help reestablish an Ability Garden at Winter Park Elementary School: provided funds to Forest Hill Elementary School to place a bluebird house and feeder in the garden: donated funds to the Birds and Butterflies Committee with their project at Davis Nursing Home: continued their long-standing encouragement to club members and the public to use tote bags that are reusable, when shopping


Upcoming Events

  • July 20, 12 Noon – 8 PM
    Zinnia Day at the Henry Farm
  • September 21, 10:30-2:30
    Lemonade in the Country
  • September 26 – General Meeting
  • November 4th, 4 – 8 PM
    “A Southern Soiree: Celebrating our Southern Beauty”
  • February 11, 2025
    Our Centennial