Favorite Gardens to Visit in the Triangle
If you are looking for an easy way to get outside, visiting your local arboretum or public garden is a great change of pace. Luckily here in the Raleigh-Durham area, there are several beautiful places to take a stroll.
Sarah P. Duke Gardens, Durham
Duke Gardens consistently ranks as one of the top public gardens in the United States, and it is easy to see why. Come ready to walk - there are several smaller gardens which highlight particular plants (such as azaleas or camellias), an arboretum that showcases native plants and another section of the gardens that is its asiatic arboretum and features chinese and japanese gardens. It is an incredible jewel, and has the ability to feel incredibly intimate even though it is a large place.
Information: Open 365 days a year, 8 a.m. to dusk. Parking is $1 per half hour, but there is free parking on weekends in an overflow lot to the the high popularity of the gardens.
JC Raulston Arboretum, Raleigh
JC Raulston Arboretum is a part of NC State University, and is a free, public garden. It is beautiful in every season; my husband and I visited in the dead of winter and chose it to be our wedding venue for June - it was stunning both times. There are several gardens within the Arboretum, including an intimate Japanese garden, a rooftop terrace and a xeric garden, which features heat loving plants. If you haven’t been here yet, it is a lovely, peaceful escape.
Information: JCRA grounds open 365 days a year, with different hours for spring/summer (8 a.m. - 8 p.m.) and winter/fall (8 a.m. - 5 p.m.). Small free parking lot, or ample, free roadside parking.
WRAL Azalea Gardens
A beautiful piece of green space in the heart of Raleigh, walking here when the azaleas are in full bloom (especially in the spring) feels like you have escaped to a forest full of flowers. If you’ve missed the azaleas, the gardens have several other flower varieties that bloom throughout the year. It is a smaller space than Duke Gardens or JC Raulston, so it makes for a lovely short stroll.
Information: WRAL open 7 days a week, from dawn to dusk. Free parking lot. https://www.wral-gardens.com/
The Raleigh Rose Garden
This garden is located on the campus of the Raleigh Little Theatre and is well known for its many rose beds and rose varieties. Roses are in bloom around Mother’s Day until fall. It is wonderfully quiet, peaceful and undeniably romantic.
Information: Open to the public 7 days a week. Limited parking in theatre parking lot (read signs) or street parking. https://raleighlittletheatre.org/visit-us/rose-garden/
Have you been to any of these places? Do you have a favorite place to recommend? Let us know, and stop and smell the roses somewhere.