A Spring Photo Tour of Duke Gardens (Part 2)

Last week, I featured a spring photo tour of the Sarah P. Duke Gardens. …Part 1, that is!

With 55 acres of lush beauty to behold, I could hardly cover it all in one post. My previous post highlighted much of the Historic Gardens, the Blomquist Garden of Native Plants, and the Culberson Asiatic Arborteum—all of which are teeming with new and different blooms by the way!

Now, for Part 2.

There are many dazzling displays of color throughout the Doris Duke Center Gardens—a series of small specialty gardens surrounding the Doris Duke Center, the latter of which consists of the education and information center, meeting hall, and Garden Shop.


Alongside the Doris Duke Center is the Serpentine Garden, a short winding path that leads to the Page-Rollins White Garden. — Durham, NC


The Page-Rollins White Garden is designed to resemble an English garden. –Duke Gardens; Durham, NC


All the flowers in this garden are white…well, mostly all of them are white! — Duke Gardens; Durham, NC


This pretty path leads to the Virtue Peace Pond. — Duke Garden’s Page-Rollins White Garden; Durham, NC


A white Iris by the Virtue Peace Pond, with the Doris Duke Center in the background. — Duke Gardens; Durham, NC


This picture is a bit blurry, but the scene makes me laugh. Two mallards came swooping down onto the Virtue Peace Pond, the one quacking up a storm. I was so tickled with the talkative duck, I didn’t notice the turtle sitting beside him until I downloaded the picture! — Duke Gardens; Durham, NC


Bright white blooms, such as these Double Virbunum, abound this time of year in the White Garden. — Duke Gardens; Durham, NC


These pretty perennials provide beautiful ground cover in the Page-Rollins White Garden and make the transition from English white  garden to natural woodlands a smooth one. — Duke Gardens; Durham, NC


The Woodlands Bridge connects the White Garden to the Spring Woodlands Garden, an informal space of spring-flowering shrubs and perennials. — Duke Gardens; Durham, NC


Beyond, and on the way to the Discovery Garden, color returns in the form of the Japanese Roof Iris. — Duke Gardens; Durham, NC


Young and old alike are sure to learn a thing or two about gardening and sustainability at the Charlotte Brody Discovery Garden. — Duke Gardens; Durham, NC


The Discovery Garden was established in 2012 as a place for children, particularly those living in urban settings, to learn and experience the joys of gardening. — Duke Gardens; Durham, NC


Busy, busy bees make honey in a corner of the Discovery Garden. — Duke Gardens; Durham, NC


Meanwhile in another part of the Discovery Garden, a bumblebee visits some Virginia Bluebells. Unlike honeybees, which make loads of honey that can be harvested by beekeepers, bumblebees only make small amounts of a honey-like substance to eat themselves. — Duke Gardens; Durham, NC


Walking onions grow near the Berpee Learning Center, an education center that was reconstructed from two historic tobacco barns. Walking onions sprout “bulbets” on the top of their stalks. When the “bulbets” get heavy, they bend forward (walk) and touch the ground, taking root some distance away. — Duke Gardens; Durham, NC


Chives, such as these, are members of the Lily family. In addition to being an easy-to-grown herb, they can be used as decorative borders in gardens. — Duke Gardens; Durham, NC


The Discovery Garden’s chicken coop normally draws a crowd when the lady layers are in residence. During the cold months, the chickens “fly the coop.” A sign on the henhouse promises that these popular chicks will be back in Spring. I’ll be checking back!

If you’re local or have plans to visit the Raleigh-Durham area, I hope you are able to experience Duke Gardens “live” in the springtime!

Wednesday’s Word: Iris

Today’s word is a recalling of summer …. Irises are hardy perennials that attract butterflies and hummingbirds, and they make great cut flowers.  There are approximately 300 species of Iris, most of which flower in early summer. Some species, (like the ones I have), bloom again in late summer. The distinctive flowers of the Iris have three large outer petals called “falls” and three inner upright petals called “standards.” [1]

Here’s a sweet old poem about the Iris:

The garden with its little gate of green,
Invites you to enter, and view mysteries unseen,
Its vine laden bowers and overhanging trees,
The air filled with sweetness, the hum of the bees,
The flagged walks with Iris galore,
Of most beautiful coloring, unknown before,
Pink, white, purple, yellow, azure blue,
Mixed and mingled of every hue,
You come away wondering, can more beauty be seen
Than in the garden with its little gate of green.

                                                                      -Winstead. [2]

A petite Iris in my front garden in late summer.

[1] http://www.almanac.com/plant/irises
[2] From a 1931 Catalog for Green Gate Gardens, which was owned by Gabrielle Drake McColl and located in Bennettsville, South Carolina.