Elon University: A Botanical Garden


Alamance Building, a National Register Historic Place in the historic district of Elon University. (Alamance County, North Carolina)

Elon University, a private liberal arts school founded in 1889 and located in Alamance County, North Carolina, has the unique distinction of being classified as a botanical garden. It doesn’t have a botanical garden. It is a botanical garden. And not only that, six buildings of the Colonial/Georgian Revival style and one monument on campus are on the National Register under the designation Elon College Historic District.

Intrigued by these recent discoveries, I paid the campus a visit and was not disappointed. Take a look at some of the beautiful flora and architecture I saw as I meandered winding brick pathways and surveyed lush green lawns:


Could anyone ever be late for class, I wondered, with this pretty reminder posing at the intersection of two brick walkways?


Columns and arches, such as those behind this lovely lily, were prevalent practically everywhere on campus.


The floral splendor attracted butterflies galore, such as this black swallowtail.


But the butterflies were not to be outdone. I also spotted a hummingbird and even this hummingbird moth.


The porch of the alumni house looked like it would be the perfect place to stop for a spot of sweet tea.


You can’t stop progress! Elon’s campus is growing, as the orange construction fencing in this photo portrays. I encountered many folks, such as these leisurely dog walkers, who were taking advantage of the shady sidewalks and beautiful scenery.


A showy hibiscus bloom flaunts a raggedy petal near the historic O’Kelly monument, which I photographed very poorly and therefore did not make the cut.


Bees were busy in the lovely flower bed near the historic Carlton Library.


The relentless heat of a southern summer couldn’t wilt these hearty rudbeckia.


…and more coneflowers, because I’m crazy for coneflowers. Plus there’s the historic library in the background–nameplate and all.


Seemingly subtle accents, such as this ivy-covered brick wall, added to the charm of Elon’s campus. I wanted to go back to school all over again!


“E” is for Elon. (Believe it or not, it took me a moment to put two and two together. …Lightbulb!)


So many of the places on campus were prettier in real life than through my camera lens. One such place was here by the pergola and Lake Mary Nell.

I left Elon University decidedly appreciative of its visual appeal and southern charm.


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