July 28, 2008

Garden-related Excursions around Raleigh, NC

When gardeners aren't in their own gardens, they often visit other gardens or garden-related venues. I enjoy seeing perennials, ornamental grasses and shrubbery combinations at the different public gardens and arboretums in our area. I also enjoy open houses/gardens to get a glimpse at the creativity and selections in private gardens or local garden businesses.

Living in Chapel Hill, an excursion to Raleigh is quite easy. My husband and I recently visited JC Raulston Arboretum (North Carolina State University). A few days later, we went to the open garden event at Plant Delights Nursery to wander through the Juniper Level Botanical Gardens. We had lunch at the restaurant at the State Farmers' Market. This also gave us an opportunity to walk around the farm produce. We finished up our outing by driving through downtown Raleigh to see the latest upgrades underway.

If you are planning a visit to Raleigh, here are links to the places that we visited:

JC Raulston Arboretum
Plant Delights Nursery
State Farmers Market

Here are a few garden photos that I took at Raulston Arboretum. We were there around 11:00am on a July day, so the sun was a bit bright and the temperature a bit hot to make a lot of notes. If you have questions about the identification of these plants, I'll do my best to respond with an answer.

For our visit (we've been many times), we focused on the sunny perennials. There are so many areas to the arboretum: rose garden; magnolia; Japanese; white garden; nandina collection; mixed border; lath house; butterfly garden; annual plant trials and demonstration area...to name a few. You can spend many hours there, so plan accordingly if you want to take in the entire arboretum on one day.

As a gardener, I use a lot of the research information from NCSU for my zone. The Arboretum tests new plant introductions and reports the results. Additionally, the arboretum often introduces new plants.

Plant Delights Nursery is a retail mail-order plant nursery. The owner, Tony Avent, has created a wonderful botanical garden called Juniper Level Botanical Garden. The garden can be visited on open house days several times a year. From the website, it seems that with an appointment well in advance, one can also schedule a visit.

Being July with optimal planting opportunities behind us, I was able to contain my plant impulse buying to two "planned" purchases of a crocosmia and a cestrum. Of course, both are deer resistant and have been planted in my outer garden.

Given that I took so many photos, I am embedding the slide show here for your perusal. There are also photos taken at the Farmers' Market included here.

There are many more opportunities for interesting places for gardeners in our area. I hope to include more of these in future blogs.

Happy Gardening!
Freelance travel writer. My current fiction writing projects include a completed manuscript and several works in progress.

By the way, my name is pronounced fred-ah, not freed-ah. Thank you.

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