Early Summer and it’s HOT HOT HOT


As I walk around watering plants all over this almost 9 acre lot, I wonder what it was like here  200 years Ago at Rosedale. Would there have been Water Near the house? Did their water come from Sugar Creek? I bet water had to be brought up from the creek. Enough water for a large family and many workers! Some work had to happen to get a drink of cool water. There was laundry and a house to clean.

There used to be a well one the property. It was dug in the late 1800s. It was located in what’s now the back yard. There was a little well house over the well and also a storage area was part of that well house.

We have not had a real rain for 9 weeks and it’s all starting to hurt the garden and the gardeners. I am accustomed to have water at a moment’s notice,  we all are. I remember a few years back when temps were 99 and above for 30 some days and our lakes were very low. I hope things change soon so we are not low on water like that again. Be thankful every time you turn on a faucet. It was not always so easy to get hold of.

Garden early in the morning or just before dark, stay cool and carry on.

Happy Gardening,

Jeffrey Drum


Happy Gardening

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Its the last week of May but as far as the gardens are concerned it might as well be mid June. The weather has been bone dry and all of the spring flowers are gone for the year. No rain has fallen for the last 30 days except for a light shower the other night.

This is supposed to be the green season! You can see summer blooms are starting to form, the cone flowers are starting and the crinum lilies are forming buds. Daisies are blooming and the Sedums look great.

Spring weeds are done and have set their seeds, ohh how they have set their seeds! Summer time or warm season weeds have wasted no time. The pokeweed is back this year with a vengeance, apparently I did not get the roots out last year! Guess we’ll try again this year.

All the rain early in the spring has helped the plants to grow, and I am seeing people pruning shrubs everywhere I go. As I walk my four legged friend many neighbors are filling bags and cans with prunings from shrubs. I enjoy the spring dutys far more than summer time jobs of the garden. However that being said I am so happy to be outside most of my days. A bad day outside is better to me than any day stuck in an office.

Jeffrey Drum

Photos by Very Allie Images

Garden tour this weekend. Come one! Come all!


Rosedale is having a special tour of six private gardens open only this weekend May 2nd and 3rd.  Each garden is unique and was created by their owners to show the things they each enjoy about gardening.

  • One garden has a stunning waterfall that is great for staying cool in the summer.
  • One has a beautiful hosta area that is hard to beat with a lovely koi pond.
  • One of the gardens backs up to a golf course and has wonderful ornamental trees.
  • One garden has many plants so rare that even the most knowledgeable person could be stumped.
  • One of the gardens a backyard paradise and very private although in a busy area.
  • Last but certainly not least one of the gardens is a peaceful retreat with borders of mixed shrubs and large trees you will want to stay the afternoon in the cool spring breezes.

These gardens are only open this weekend so visit our web site (http://historicrosedale.org/events/55-Bicentennial-Garden-Tour) or call us at 704-335-0325 and come out to see these gardens. A party Sunday afternoon 4pm until 6pm will finish the tour with events going on at Rosedale. There will be wine and cheese on the grounds, and a special never before seen exhibit on the first floor of the house. One lucky person will win a raffle for a two hour rental of our formal garden for an event. You will have a fantastic time and the weather forecast is great. Remember Mother’s day is right around the corner. This could be a great gift to your mom or any other special gardener in your life. See you on the tour!

Photo by Very Allie Images

Remembering Charlotte at War

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Date: April 18 and 19, 2015 This event is designed to coordinate with the Civil War Sesquicentennial that is drawing go a close across the country in 2015. Charlotte had a little known but important part in the final days of the war. Our plan is to bring a few of those elements to life.

Program Details-

Scenario: In April 1865 the war has just ended. Charlotte is full of soldiers, transients, civilian residents, prisoners of war and refugees. It is a railroad center and industrial site that has well supported the war effort.

Rosedale’s prominence on N. Tryon Street makes it an inviting location for refugees to stop and camp. Dr. Caldwell, Rosedale’s owner, is deceased. His widow has taken their younger daughters and fled to her family in Rock Hill, S. C. Both of Caldwell’s sons served in the war effort. Younger son Baxter (age 27) is with NC 63rd in Virginia. Richmond has fallen and the whole south is on the move.

The farm has been rented in the absence of the family. Confederate President Jefferson Davis arrived in Charlotte April 18, 1865, and held meetings with his cabinet April 22 through 24. While on Tryon Street in Charlotte, Davis learned by telegram of Lincoln’s assassination. He continues to move south, and Charlotte is in a very unsettled state.

Invited groups: NC 13th, NC 28th, NC 30th, and the NC Militia/Home Guard, 30th NC Civilian Alliance, speakers, authors, medical demonstrations, site docents and local civilian impressionists.

Proposed Rosedale presentations

Tours of the Historic Rosedale home and gardens

General living history-refugees, cooking, laundry, child care, period fashions

General living history-Confederate military field hospital and care

General living history-soldiers returning home, encampment, prisoners and drills and a N.C. Militia/Home Guard presentation

Living history-A home in mourning. Presented in the mansion

Living History-Freed men and slaves in the city

Living History-Charlotte civilians and fashions, kid’s life

Living History- Outfitting Troops: Union vs. Confederate

Living History-Firearms demonstrations

Living History – Kids make “Poor Man’s candles”

Special Activities –


Ms. Nancy B. Brewer, local author, musician, story teller and lecturer will present music and excerpts from her ” Carolina Rain” series of historical fiction.

Michael Hardy, N.C Historian of the Year will speak on and his book “Civil War Charlotte and the Confederate naval Yard in Charlotte. Musicians.

Robert Hayes, Noted S.C. historian and lecturer will present his impression of President Jefferon Davis and will discuss the final Confederate Cabinet meeting in Charlotte after General Lee’s surrender and Davis’ flight south.

Ms. Kelly Hinson, Widely known for her War Between the States impressions and travelling lecture series, will present the life of Charlotte’s Anna Morris Jackson and her life with her husband T.J. “Stonewall” Jackson.

Food will be available for purchase on the grounds

For tickets visit… http://historicrosedale.org/events/36-Civil-War-in-Charlotte-The-End-of-The-Confederacy

And here’s the link to a clip video of last year’s event… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xqw3_g4wpK4

Article by Walt Gaylor Photos by Very Allie Images

Spring Has Sprung

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Spring time is here! Is it really? The calendar says so and a walk around the garden says spring has sprung.

A partial list of blooming plants are Lion bulbs, Daffodil bulbs, Spiraea and Dark purple Violets   are in the lawn. There are several native red buds in bloom now. The Trifoliate orange is blooming and is pure white. I am sure it was an early garden plant as there are several on the property. All of These plants have been here for many many years.

Newer additions to the garden that are blooming now are Corylopsis Spicata and Stacaurus Precox. New plants also include Lenton rose and primrose blooming now. I always fear a late freeze, It happens most spring seasons.

Remember April 15 is the earliest you should plant tender plants! These spring plants are just a sample of what is to come weekly now as spring really shows its beauty. Get outside and enjoy nature. It will please your senses.

Garden on Jeffrey Drum

The Oyster Roast Revived


This year as part of our bicentennial celebration we are bringing back our Oyster Roast. This much requested event will be held on March 21st from 2-5 this year. In the past we had our Oyster Roasts in the Fall but Oysters are good in any month with an “R” so having it is March is perfect to make it one of the first big Spring outings of the season!

Since this is an exceptional year we went a little over the top for our Oyster Roast. Aside from both roasted and cocktail oysters there will also be the usual sides and fixins, and a low country boil on the menu, as well as hot dogs for the kiddies.

The main event is the food but there will be so many options for entertainment during this afternoon. The house and gardens will be open for guests to stroll through at their leisure, and interpreters will be on hand inside the house to answer any questions you may have. We will have live music provided by Michael Federal and Rusty Barkley. There will also be games available such as cornhole, crockett, an art station for our younger guests, and only for our guests 21 and up there will be a craft beer tasting also included in the price of your ticket!

March tends to be a bit of an unpredictable month as far as weather is concerned. We are confident the weather will be great, but just in case we got a tent so that the oysters can be devoured in comfort, rain or shine!

If you are interested in attending I would encourage you to get your reservations as soon as possible because for adults they are $10 off only until March 12th. Reservations are $35 before March 12th and after that are $45, until reservations end on March 19th. Children’s reservations are $12 regardless of when purchased. There are 3 ways to get your reservations for this great event: you can purchase reservations from our website via paypal at http://historicrosedale.org/events/52-The-Oyster-Roast, you can mail a check payable to Historic Rosedale Plantation to 3427 North Tryon St. Charlotte, NC, 28206 with OR tickets on the memo line, or you can call us at 704-335-0325 to pay via credit card.

This is going to be a great event and we hope you will join us for this as well as some of the other great events we have coming up in this extra special year!

Early Bloomers


Crocus Vernus, Yellow Mammoth, or Giant Crocus are all names for the little flowers we are enjoying now in the garden. These little flowers are a perfect little reminder that spring will be here soon. Just a few bulbs can make you smile but a mass makes a fantastic show. There golden yellow color shines as they push up through the snow or mulch. These bulbs are so welcome as one of the early signs of spring. We planted 200 bulbs divided in 3 areas and they are turning heads as visitors pass by.

Our crocus are 2 to 4 inches tall and bloom latter than those of the species that are smaller. Species crocus are tiny in comparison to the giants and earlier to bloom. Crocus open up in the sunlight and close in the evenings. Cold or cooler days make them last longer so this year they should last for quite some time.

Plant them in November and you will be set for the following Spring. The squirrels were seen carrying off a few crocus bulbs on the first few days. So I watered the planting area several times to settle the soil after that the squirrels seemed to then leave them alone. These bulbs like to be dry in the summer so try to plant them away from areas you will be watering during the summer. These are one of the easiest bulbs to have success with and are not too expensive. So plant some this fall and wait for their welcome blooms.

Happy gardening,


Photo from Very Allie Images

Winter  blooms in the garden


There have been flowering plants the last few weeks in the garden but a plant that is new to many people is edgeworthia. If you do not know it look it up. It is a super plant with its very fragrant flowers. It’s buds form over the early winter and now these buds have become large and  are opening slowly. Yellow-gold was the first color I remember seeing and now there are shades of reddish orange and white.

These plants can be costly but are worth the money. After just a couple years they can become rather large. Sometimes over 15 feet wide and tall. They can be pruned but are much better if allowed to grow so give it room! They send up sprouts a lot, the more you try to remove them the more they sucker at the base. this is alright this helps to form a nice canopy during the summer months.

The leaves are long and narrow coming out only after the flowering is done. The leaves turn bright Yellow in the fall but seem to fall off of the plant very quickly. There is always something of interest with this plant. One more bit of info, these root easy when spring growth hardens off just a little. This plant is related to the daphne. Happy times abound in the garden even in the winter. Get out and see.

Happy Gardening,

Jeffrey Drum

Article by Jeffrey Drum Photo from Very Allie Images

This Month at Rosedale


Happy New Year! I know it’s been 2015 for a while now, but it’s our first article of this year. Next week is the beginning of February, which is also black history month. We will be having a couple of special programs at Rosedale to celebrate. The first of these is coming up on Saturday, February 7. The Trial of Lunsford Lane is a living history program that takes a personalized look at the relationship between freed slaves and poor whites in this area. This special program is being presented as an add on to our regular house tours so that for one price you get two wonderful experiences.

Also on Saturday, February 21 we will have a special Lunch and Learn from 12:30-1:30. This program is the personal story of Dr. H.D. Kirkpatrick’s experience with newly integrated Myers Park schools and learning of a master & slave relationship between himself and a classmate and friend. There is also the option to add the 1:30 house tour for a discount.

If you are interested in either of these programs, or want more information links to the events are listed below or you can call us at 704-335-0325.



Updates and Warm Wishes


Happy Holidays! Merry Christmas! Happy Kwanzaa! Feliz Navidad! Happy Hanukkah! Joyeux Noel! And a Happy New Year too! The holiday season is certainly upon us. This is an exciting and busy time of the year for just about everyone. Here at Rosedale we are going to be taking some time off (weekdays) for the holidays. However, weekend tours will continue as normal Saturdays and Sundays at 1:30 & 3 p.m.

Also the day after Christmas I (Allison, the editor of this blog) will be leaving on an amazing trip. I’m finishing up the coursework for my Masters in Anthropology, and my Grandmother is taking me on a cruise to celebrate. We will be sailing to the Mexican Riviera, Costa Rica, through the Panama Canal, then to Colombia, and Jamaica, then disembarking in Miami. I am very excited about this trip, but because of it I will be out of the country for most of the month of January.

So, because of the busyness of the season, and the absence of an editor in January, we will be taking a short break from our weekly blog entries. Don’t fret; posts will resume promptly in February, which is going to be a big month. As many may know February in the U.S. is black history month, and Rosedale will be unveiling a variety of new programs. Make sure you are subscribed to What’s Blooming or have liked Historic Rosedale Plantation on Facebook to make sure you receive those updates in February. I know it seems like a long ways away right now, but the way time has been flying it’ll be here before you know it.

Article by Allison Varriale


photo by Sherry Griffin