Thursday, June 3, 2021

McGill Rose Garden

Did you know there's a secret garden hiding directly between Uptown and NoDa? Here's a fun little urban excursion and some interesting local history.

In the 1950s, Henry McGill owned the Avant Fuel and Ice Company, located along North Davidson St., just past 12th St. This was the heart of an industrial area of Charlotte and Henry's wife Helen decided to punctuate the manufacturing backdrop with a splash of color and a dose of nature. She started by planting rose bushes along fences that bordered the street. Her garden grew, and so did the popularity of this urban oasis.

More than 500 rose bushes were planted and, on Mother's Day 1962, McGill Rose Garden was opened to the public (in my research, I learned that it remains a tradition for folks to travel to McGill Rose Garden to celebrate Mother's Day today).

In 1975, the Avant Fuel and Ice Company closed and the property, including the garden, was sold to the City of Charlotte to serve as a city park.

Now managed by a non-profit organization, the McGill Rose Garden remains free and open to the public and hosts a community area and venue for meetings and events.

Also on the grounds, you'll find Rosie's Coffee and Wine garden, a quaint little establishment, perfect for refreshments while enjoying the garden.

If you decide to visit, I suggest you make an outing of it with a few nearby stops. First, park at nearby Alexander Street Park, where you'll find ample free parking, a multi-purpose playing field, playground, tennis courts, a basketball court and restrooms. 

From there, jump on the stretch of Little Sugar Creek Greenway that runs from 12th St. to Cordelia Park for a bike ride or stroll. 

Then, stop at Pelican Ice a few blocks down North Davidson St. from McGill for a sweet treat you can enjoy at or on the short walk to the rose gardens. 

McGill Rose Garden is open to the public Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Take a minute to check the website before you go, though, because sometimes the venue is closed for special events. You can see hours for Rosie’s Coffee & Wine Garden here

Charlotte is rich with history hiding in plain site. In this case, what a lovely opportunity to learn more about the city and quite literally stop and smell the roses. 

How to get there: 
McGill Rose garden is located at 940 N. Davidson St. Charlotte, NC, 28206. I recommend parking at nearby Alexander Street Park, located at 739 E. 12th Street., Charlotte, NC, 28206. 

No comments:

Post a Comment