The NC Azalea Garden Tour this year showcases a variety of styles and sizes -- truly picture perfect gardens. Bring your cameras!” The Cape Fear Garden Club Azalea Garden Tour© opens Friday, April 8 with the colorful Ribbon Cutting Ceremony and Queen's Garden Party at Greenfield Lake where the idea of the NC Azalea Festival began. The Ribbon Cutting Ceremony opening the 12-garden tour will take place in our "special garden" on the stage at the 900-seat Greenfield Lake Amphitheater at 1941 Amphitheater Drive. Greenfield Lake offers the perfect backdrop for Queen Azalea LXIV and her court to preside over the ceremony. Summerall Guards, the Citadel's elite senior drill team, escort 125 Cape Fear Garden Club Azalea Belles© dressed in authentic antebellum gowns. Local and national celebrities are also present to celebrate the event. Following the ceremony, the Queen's Garden Party will occur at the world's largest Rotary Wheel across Amphitheater Drive from the Amphitheater. Cape Fear Garden Club members will serve refreshments and hundreds of homemade cookies. The UNCW Brass Ensemble will present musical entertainment from the gazebo at the Wheel's center. All Wilmington Rotary Clubs have worked tirelessly beautifying the Rotary Wheel area for this event and for the community. Cape Fear Garden Club participated in the beautification work, including a grant for the irrigation of new plantings. The 234 Encore Azaleas planted inside the cogs of the wheel are a gift from Buddy Lee, the developer of Encore Azaleas. Garden 1 on the tour is the Fragrance Garden adjacent to the Amphitheater. The Fragrance Garden was established by the Cape Fear Garden Club during the 1960's and is maintained by the City of Wilmington. In this and in the private gardens on tour, Cape Fear Garden Club Azalea Belles© will add color and beauty for your tour of the "Picture Perfect Gardens." Tickets are available beginning January 25, 2011 through the Cape Fear Garden Club’s web site at www.azaleagardentour.org and at the NC Azalea Festival Office, 5725 Oleander Drive, 910-794-4650. Tickets also will be available at Belk, local garden centers and other local businesses. Group discounts are available. Children 12 and under are admitted free. Good all three days, the ticket includes a map for a self-guided tour with descriptions of each garden. Gardens are open 10 am to 6 pm daily. Tickets include free admission to the exquisite Airlie Gardens on Saturday, April 9.