The Laurel Magazine

Laurel Magazine is a monthly magazine guiding you where to shop, play, dine, and stay in Highlands NC and Cashiers NC.

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  • Laurel Contributor

July at Dovecote

Mary Palmer Dargan


July at Dovecote is a glorious mixture of fun and education, with a tour of private gardens featuring the works of internationally-recognized sculptor Carl Peverall, jocular lessons in floral arranging by Hugh Dargan, and secrets of raising happy chickens with author Frank Hyman. Reservations are highly recommended – call (828) 743-0307 or email mpdargan@dargan.com.


This is time for Dargan Landscape Architects/Dovecote Barn to shine as the Plateau’s unique mix of sun and rain means everything is green and in full bloom.

Landscape architect Hugh Dargan brings his unmistakable wit and artistic flair to a Floral Design Workshop at 10:00 A.M. Friday, July 12, at Dovecote Barn (35 Flashpoint Drive in Cashiers). Hugh will show how to make quick and gorgeous arrangements in under 10 minutes. This two-hour workshop explores what plants to grow, fresh cut flowers to buy and enjoy, and how to find the perfect container. Everyone will leave with an arrangement. Cost is $35. Participants should bring clippers, gloves and their favorite medium-sized container. The class is limited to 20 people.

Sculptors Carl and Ethan Peverall will lead a tour of their works featured in four private gardens around the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau on July 20. The father and son duo will lead the tour in shared vehicles beginning at 2:00 P.M. Following this personalized excursion, they’ll lead a slideshow and discussion at Dovecote and unveil new works. A reception will be staged from 5:00 to 7:00 P.M. Cost of the tour and slideshow and reception is $40. Cost is $20 for the slideshow and reception. Attendance for the Sculpture Tour is limited to 20.

And local chickens finally get their due when Mary Palmer Dargan introduces “Hentopia” author Frank Hyman for a book signing and demonstration, at 10:00 A.M. Friday, July 26, at Dovecote Barn.

“More eggs, less work! And more enjoyment for both the chickens and their keeper!” That’s the promise of Hyman’s “Hentopia.”

From the Vending Machine Feeder to the Refilling Rainwater-er, Hyman’s innovative building projects are designed to save time and money while keeping chickens safe, healthy, clean, and well fed. With a lively, humorous voice, Hyman generously shares his expert advice on all aspects of chicken-keeping.

The fun extends into August when Dovecote hosts “Fall in Love with Your Garden: A Landscape Design Course for Philosophers & Designers,” set for August 8-11 and 9-10.

This latest offering of the Cashiers Garden Design School offers a pair of tracks – Lifelong Landscape Designers are invited to attend a four-day course to customize their home environment on paper with coaching from Hugh and Mary Palmer Dargan. There’ll be lectures on garden design trends, building a garden environment, tricky places and garden design history. Plant materials are augmented with trips to a nursery with workshops in plant material uses and home remedy preparation. Receive a garden design certificate and take home a plan of action.

Lifelong Landscape Philosophers are invited to attend for two days to create a mental map of their home environment, join in two days of Lifelong Landscape Design, without creating a final project. Bring a friend and enjoy lectures, garden study in the field, nursery expedition, hands-on experiential garden design.

Both groups will enjoy cocktail gatherings, visits to inspirational private gardens and a finale dinner together. For reservations or more information about these events or the dynamic enterprise that is Dovecote, visit dargan.com/garden-talk-salon-registration, contact Mary Palmer Dargan at (828) 743-0307 or mpdargan@dargan.com.