Story and Photography by Nick Crawford
For nearly sixty years, The Elizabethan Gardens of Manteo, North Carolina has served as a living, breathing monument to the lost colonists that Sir Walter Raleigh sent to North America during the 1580s. Construction of the gardens began in June of 1953, coinciding with the crowning of Queen Elizabeth II. The site welcomed its first guests on August 18, 1960, the birthday of Virginia Dare, and has been delighting visitors ever since.
A Trip to Manteo, North Carolina
Members of the Roulez Media team recently took a day trip to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. While the threat of inclement weather loomed over us throughout the day, thankfully no plans or tours were derailed. As we approached The Elizabethan Gardens, one of our lasts stops of the journey, we were thrilled that we had made it through the day without a storm affecting our plans. The chirping of birds and the croaking of frogs flooded our ears as Kimberly Toms and I walked through the entrance into the lovely gift shop. Not a moment later, as we stepped out into the gardens, the storm caught up with us.
I sprinted back to my car to grab our tattered umbrellas. While I don’t mind a little water, my camera certainly does. However, this turned out to not be a “little rain.” Instead, enough water fell from the sky the flood large areas of the garden. As the storm worsened, we retreated to a rest area within the gardens to wait it out. The weather updates began to change, calling for the rain to last well into the evening. We had two options: we could leave, or we could not let the storm stop us from enjoying this gorgeous place.
Thankfully, we chose the latter. I walked out into the gardens, splashing through the puddles, my umbrella in one hand and my camera in the other. I’ve never experienced such beauty in a place like that. Not only were the lush green trees, vibrant florals and stunning landscapes a feast for the eyes, but the sole sound of the rain created a tranquil experience I will not soon forget. Not to mention that we had the entire park to ourselves.
I tell you this story because so often in life, we interpret a minor setback as a sign to change course. A lot of times, that set back is an opportunity to experience something special. Sure we were drenched, but it made the trip to gardens even more unforgettable.