The Seaside Gardener

My husband, who grew up far from the sandy soil of Wilmington, often remarks how unforgiving this environment is on grass and plants. I never thought about it growing up but, over the years, I’ve noticed just how hard it is to keep our grass alive, let alone green. So when I was asked to work on this feature for Salt Magazine about the gardener at the Blockade Runner, I was genuinely intrigued. The Blockade Runner is my top recommendation for places to stay if you are visiting Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach. It’s a newly renovated, oceanfront hotel in the heart of Wrightsville
Beach. I had no idea all of the considerations and obstacles faced when trying to plant and nurture a garden in this environment.

“He frets. He worries. He clucks over fallen pindo palms and rotten root balls. And it’s no wonder. Aubrey Doggett is a full-time gardener trying to sustain a richly planted landscape some 60 yards from the Atlantic Ocean’s high-tide mark. “You have to be crazy to do it at the beach,” he says. And yet he persists.”

I guess my husband was right about this being an unforgiving environment, but somehow Aubrey Doggett found a way.

Check out the fascinating article Barbara Sullivan wrote for Salt Magazine. And head over to the Blockade Runner at Wrightsville Beach to see Doggett’s masterpieces in person.

  1. Evelyn Bales says:

    Interesting story and photos. My son is looking for a beachfront hotel near Wilmington. Thanks for the tip of the Blockade Runner! He will be interested in seeing Doggett’s growing methods as well. He is an ag. engineer.

    • Mallory Cash says:

      Thank you, Evelyn! I stayed there a few times because it’s so lovely, and I live here! I hope he has a great trip.

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