All Things Bright and Beautiful

Sarah P. Duke Gardens: quite possibly the most magnificent place in Durham, North Carolina. From the tall trees to the flowers & foliage to the tiny bird that sings, all things there are bright and beautiful.

Want to know what the Gardens look like in Autumn? Here’s a flurry of photos that I took on my whirlwind tour through the Gardens earlier this week. Enjoy!


Along the allees of the Terrace Garden, the coleuses are still colorful and profuse. Did you know that the coleus is a member of the mint family? — Duke Gardens; Autumn 2014


In the Terrace Garden, I pondered how these flower blossoms and ornamental tomatoes found their way to the fountain statue. The wind? Critters? Mischievous garden guests? — Duke Gardens; Autumn 2014


At the fish pond, the koi (fish) look large enough to ride (my, how they’ve grown!) and the water lilies look good enough to eat. Almost. Almost. — Duke Gardens Terrace Fish Pond; Autumn 2014


A blue dasher dragonfly sits atop a water lily in the Terrace fish pond. — Duke Gardens; Autumn 2014


The Butterfly Garden is drying off. Despite this, I spotted several winged wonders and a few flowers still blooming. — Duke Gardens; Autumn 2014


A male cardinal along the edge of the South Lawn is a nod to North Carolina’s state bird. — Duke Gardens; Autumn 2014


Everything about the magnolia grandiflora (southern magnolia) is magnificent and grand, right down to the seed pod. — Duke Gardens South Lawn/Terrace Garden; Autumn 2014

All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful:
The Lord God made them all.

Each little flower that opens,
Each little bird that sings,
He made their glowing colors,
He made their tiny wings.

The purple headed mountains,
The river running by,
The sunset and the morning
That brightens up the sky.

The cold wind in the winter,
The pleasant summer sun,
The ripe fruits in the garden,
He made them every one.

The tall trees in the greenwood,
The meadows where we play,
The rushes by the water,
To gather every day.

He gave us eyes to see them,
And lips that we might tell
How great is God Almighty,
Who has made all things well.

— Ce­cil F. Al­ex­an­der (1848)

Happy Fall…y’all


Fall is my favorite time of year! Colored leaves. Cooler weather. What could be better? How about that PLUS the brilliant blooms still struttin’ their stuff (y’all) over at the Sarah P. Duke Gardens?

Here are just a few of the flowers I’m seeing at this beautiful “garden for all seasons” as the shorter, milder days of autumn replace the sun-drenched days of summer.


Lilies in the Historic Terrace Gardens. Simple, reliable, and beautiful.


These “Strawberry Fields” Gomphrena, a cut-flower favorite, have captivated me all summer long and are still going strong.


The ornamental peppers “peppered throughout” the Historic Terrace Gardens look good enough to eat! (But from what I’ve read, ornamental peppers are either hot, hot, hot or bland, bland, bland. Take your pick. Or rather, don’t.)


The Fish Pool in the the Historic Gardens is loaded with colorful lily pads and water lilies right now.


The Fish Pool literally sparkles and shimmers!

I declare that the cute little dragonfly on this water lily is smiling! [Click to enlarge and see if you agree!]

I declare that the cute little dragonfly on this water lily is smiling! [Click to enlarge, and see if you agree!]


The Butterfly Garden is drying off a bit, but I found this hunka’-hunka’ burnin’ love among the ground covering. (In case you can’t read the blurry plaque, this bright-colored beauty is called “Burning Love.”)


My favorite flower in bloom over at the Duke Gardens right now is the big leaf princess flower. Isn’t it gorgeous?

As autumn descends in its golden splendor and I enjoy the final colors of summer, I’m reminded that autumn, too, will pass.  But as “leaf subsides to leaf,” (if I may quote Robert Frost), there will always be some bold statement of nature and creation to be explored in the Gardens.