On many, but still far too few occasions, I’ve had the pleasure of accompanying a lovely (not so) young lady to a place called Airlie Gardens. Located on 67 acres smack dab in the middle-ish of Wilmington, North Carolina, this magnificent place is worth the visit any time of year. But one of the main reasons Airlie Gardens holds a special place in my heart is because of Ribbit the Exhibit. In short, sometimes I go there just to take selfies and get peaceful with this guy.

Jake and the Frog at Airlie Gardens

Hop on into Ribbit the Exhibit

As fate would have it, my first trip to Airlie happened to be during their Summer Art Series. That year they were showcasing copper artist Andy Cobb and his traveling collection of 27 frog sculptures, called Ribbit the Exhibit. My inner child immediately went wild. WILD. I blame this guy.

Banjo Player at Ribbit the Exhibit in Airlie Gardens

He definitely set off a Kermit the Frog memory. And then that makes me think of Grover. And then if I tell you anything else I may have to start calling you my therapist. But I found myself wondering why are there so many songs about rainbows, for the rest of the afternoon.

Though each is a standalone work of art, the most whimsical part of Ribbit the Exhibit is more big picture. The sculptures are placed throughout the expansive garden with amazing wit and thoughtfulness. A stroll down one path may delight you with a quartet of ballerinas, for example.

Ribbit the Exhibit Ballerinas

Or perhaps you want to stop by a fountain to reflect and get your Le Penseur on.

Jake Le Ribbit Penseur

But don’t think these frogs have the country-club life. I caught some doing work out on the grounds in a few different capacities. Sometimes it really ain’t easy being green.

Mowing Airlie Gardens Ribbit the Exhibit

Hey, I’ll mow the joint if Airlie lets me spend a Summer there! Especially if it means I can dance the night away like these two.

Ribbit the Exhibit Airlie Gardens

What can I say about a tree estimated to be over 400 years old? The Airlie Oak is just too awesome to capture in all its greatness, but I tried!

The Airlie Oak at Arlie Gardens

I saw bazillions of these Live Oak trees on a recent trip to Charleston, South Carolina. They are breathtaking, but this one remains my favorite.

Mr. Cobb tours these frogs all over the country, and I may just sell the farm and be a groupie. In the meantime, remember this guy I told you about in the beginning? Though the exhibit is gone, he still hangs out at Airlie Gardens. So if you’re planning to visit there, you may have to fight me for the best seat in the house.

Arlie Gardens Wilmington NC

Where Else Have We Been?

Another spot we love to visit in Southeastern North Carolina is the Oak Island Lighthouse. If mountains are your thing, take a trip with us to Summit County, Colorado!