Gardens in Central North Carolina

Gardens in Central North Carolina

Sarah P. Duke Gardens in Durham

Spring in the Piedmont leaves no doubt why the dogwood is the state flower of North Carolina. The temperature and climate create a hospitable home for flora and fauna, as well as for the land’s famed golden-leafed tobacco. The sheer number of sumptuous gardens is a testament to the Piedmont’s generous fertility.

Many of the state’s signature gardens, regional treasures and smaller gardens of note are free for visitors. Others double as historical sites offering extended places to explore. This guide groups gardens by regions, so you can take a day or two and see our state in bloom.

Charlotte Region

Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
A vivid display of colors in the vast Perennial Garden, Four Seasons Garden and more.

Davidson College Arboretum
A major collection of woody plants and magnificent trees beautify this classical campus.

Elizabeth Holmes Hurley Park
Wildflower and azalea gardens, woodlands, streams and quiet pathways over 16 acres providing a haven for wildlife.

Hezekiah Alexander Homesite
18th century-style herb and weaver’s gardens on the grounds of the Revolutionary War-era home that is Mecklenburg County’s oldest surviving structure.

Memorial Garden
A multitude of azaleas, dogwoods, magnificent flowering cherries and 14,000 tulips entwined through the 200-year-old cemetery of the First Presbyterian Church.

UNC-Charlotte Botanical Gardens
Outstanding indoor and outdoor environments offering year-round enjoyment.

Waterworks Sensory Gardens
Highly fragrant blossoms and a lush variety of textures.

Wing Haven Garden and Bird Sanctuary
Formal gardens and natural areas create a serene environment for birds and other visitors.

Greensboro & Winston-Salem

Bethabara Community Garden
Well-documented colonial community and medical gardens.

Gethsemane Gardens and Nursery
Spectacular mass plantings of bulbs, annuals and perennials, flowering trees and shrubs, and an extensive collection of woody plants.

North Carolina Zoo
More than 52,000 plants in re-created natural habitats at this outstanding zoo offer a glimpse of botanical life from the arctic to the tropics.

Old Salem Museum and Gardens
The best documented restored community gardens in America, in a 1766 Moravian village.

Reynolda Gardens of Wake Forest University
An early 20th century formal garden designed by Thomas W. Sears, surrounded by open fields and forests.

Tanglewood Park
An arboretum and fragrance Garden with new and historical native cultivars as well as a large AARS-accredited rose garden with over 800 bushes and 75 varieties.

Raleigh, Durham & the Triangle

Ellen Mordecai Garden
Antebellum kitchen garden faithfully recreated from firsthand descriptions, with seasonal vegetables and culinary and medicinal herbs, surrounded by flowers.

Fearrington Gardens
Formal perennial gardens, kitchen and herb gardens, three cutting gardens, and white fragrant garden, all yielding delightful displays of color.

The JC Raulston Arboretum
A model for excellence with the nation’s most effective plant introduction program.

Joel Lane Museum House
Beautiful period gardens, including a formal garden and culinary and medicinal herb garden, at Wake County’s oldest existing dwelling,

The Martha Franck Fragrance Garden
A garden providing a sensory experience employing scent, sound and touch for sighted and visually impaired persons.

Magic Wings Butterfly House
Exotic butterflies and their tropical habitats.

Martin Luther King Memorial Gardens
More than 8,000 flowers surround a life-sized statue of King; two-ton granite water monument honors 25 pioneers in civil rights and education.

North Carolina Botanical Garden and Coker Arboretum
Chapel Hill
Nearly 600 acres featuring the state’s native plants in a variety of collections.

North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences
Home to live monarch butterflies and ruby-throated hummingbirds, the Living Conservatory re-creates a dry tropical forest complete with cacti, heliconias, orchids and dazzling red-hot lips.

Plant Delights Nursery at Juniper Level Botanical Gardens
More than 6,000 different plants aesthetically displayed in rock, aquatic, desert, shade and grotto gardens and extensive mixed borders.

Raleigh Municipal Rose Garden
More than 60 varieties including hybrid teas, floribundas, grandifloras, English roses, miniatures, tree roses and climbers.

The Sarah P. Duke Gardens
Landscaped gardens on the campus of Duke University.

The Wilson Rose Garden
A unique public rose garden with over 1,000 plants blooming from mid-April through October and boasting rare Old Garden Roses and the latest All-American Rose Selections.

Sandhills & Pinehurst

Cape Fear Botanical Garden
Old growth forest and lush flowers and plants at the confluence of the Cape Fear and Cross Creek Rivers.

Flora Macdonald Gardens
Red Springs
Breathtaking vistas of color punctuate informal botanical gardens with their vast display of azaleas and native flora and fauna.

Sandhills Horticultural Gardens
27 acres of richly varied gardens on the Sandhills Community College campus.

If you’re visiting other regions of North Carolina, you can explore our mountain and coastal gardens, too.

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