Our short visit to the North Carolina Arboretum

NC Arboretum 17 via Hedgerow RoseThank you for your kind comments and emails, everyone! What have you been up to this week? Recently, Jesse and I felt fed up with sitting at our desks all day long so we took an impromptu trip to the North Carolina Arboretum which is not too far from home. We knew we could only spare a couple of hours there but we made the most of our first visit and are already planning a return, this time with Eva because they allow dogs on all the trails and even in the gardens, too!

Sarracenia leucophylla Tarnok White Top Pitcher Plant via Hedgerow Rose Sarracenia minor Pitcher Plant via Hedgerow RoseThere are a kazillion trails and unique gardens to peruse (this felt much more sprawling than the PSU Arboretum we were used to) and I think it’s a testament to how much I was enjoying myself that I hardly had my camera going until the end when I realized I’d better use it if I was going through the bother of carrying it around with me. There was teensy bog garden in one section that I definitely busted out the old Nikon for if only to capture the colors and patterns of these beautiful pitcher plants. Yes, they are that vibrant in real life! Seen here are: Sarracenia leucophylla ‘Tarnok’ and Sarracenia minor.

NC Arboretum 18 via Hedgerow Rose NC Arboretum 19 via Hedgerow Rose

North Carolina Arboretum 3 via Hedgerow RoseOddly enough, though, it was the hardscapes that were the most memorable to us both. You could tell there was a lot of thought that went into the fences, walls, supports, arbors, gates, trellises, paths, etc. and I really enjoyed the use of unique materials and construction like this mortise and tenon beauty seen above. I always say, when planning a garden, start with the hardscapes and choose plants that look good in winter. Some people call that the “backbone” of the garden, but basically it’s the structure that you want to think about first. I don’t often follow my own advice so the arboretum was a good reminder to me and it didn’t hurt that Jesse was getting ideas about support structures. I was like yes, build me an arbor!

North Carolina Arboretum 2 via Hedgerow RoseOne of the features of the arboretum is this “quilt garden” that changes with the seasons. They have constructed an overlook so you can really see the whole picture but it wouldn’t all fit into the camera frame. You get the idea. It looks a bit Elizabethan, doesn’t it?

North Carolina Arboretum 1 via Hedgerow Rose North Carolina Arboretum 6 via Hedgerow Rose North Carolina Arboretum 4 via Hedgerow Rose North Carolina Arboretum 5 via Hedgerow Rose salvia oxyphora 'bolivian spearhead' via Hedgerow RoseWater features can be found tucked throughout the various gardens but this fountain and pool was especially striking. I’m kind of in love with this Salvia oxyphora ‘Bolivian Spearhead’. So fuzzy and pink.

pseudocydonia sinensis chinese quince juniperus chinensis var. shimpakuThere was also a bonsai garden that Jesse liked, especially. I must say, while I appreciate the artform, I do not care for bonsai. I understand that technically these plants are in perfect health, but I can’t help but think they seem a bit tortured. A tree that’s meant to be 50’+ kept to 12″? No, just no. Anyhow, it’s just my opinion and it is quite amazing how they’ve been shaped and maintained so well. Top is a Pseudocydonia sinensis Chinese Quince and bottom is Juniperus chinensis var. Shimpaku.

NC Arboretum 7 via Hedgerow Rose NC Arboretum 8 via Hedgerow Rose NC Arboretum 9 via Hedgerow RoseLove the colors seen on our visit, even in things like the rust and wood on this fence which borders the café. Yes, there’s a café!

NC Arboretum 11 via Hedgerow RoseMany trails surround the cultivated gardens. Along the paths are signs which teach about the various trees seen here.

aesculus pavia red buckeye via Hedgerow Rose NC Arboretum 10 via Hedgerow Rose NC Arboretum 12 via Hedgerow RoseWhat’s this? Signs of autumn? Yes, please! Don’t you just love the foliage on oak leaf hydrangea? That top tree is a Aesculus pavia Red Buckeye.

NC Arboretum 13 via Hedgerow RoseJust one of the many quiet paths for strolling…

NC Arboretum 14 via Hedgerow RoseAdmittedly, I ruined the quiet moment when I saw this tree and started hopping up and down and whooping. I do believe that is a Larch–one of the loveliest trees of the forest.

NC Arboretum 15 via Hedgerow Rose NC Arboretum 16 via Hedgerow Rose NC Arboretum 21 via Hedgerow RoseApparently, they hold weddings at this arboretum and that terraced stone area makes for perfect seating. The bottom photo, of the Tansy, is part of a demonstration garden consisting of various plants used in natural fibre dyes.

aralia racemosa american spikenard via Hedgerow Rose NC Arboretum 20 via Hedgerow RoseHow beautiful is the fruit on the Aralia racemosa American Spikenard? What a gorgeous addition to a garden in need of autumn color. Of course, I couldn’t resist rubbing the leaves of the lavender plants when I walked by. The scent of fresh lavender is my favorite.

Boltonia asteroides 'Snowbank' 1 via Hedgerow Rose Boltonia asteroides 'Snowbank' 2 via Hedgerow RoseEven though there were many beautiful flowers in bloom such as a this Boltonia asteroides ‘Snowbank’, has anyone noticed the lack of roses? I certainly did. There were a few Blushing Knockout roses tucked in some out of the way places but to me, it seemed like a lazy afterthought. (Boy, I’m really throwing it down in this post today, sorry!) I’m always surprised, when I visit a garden that is so clearly maintained by a knowledgable staff of horticulturists, when there aren’t any roses to speak of. What’s the deal with that? There are so many that would do well even without any fuss. Oh, well. It was/is a stunning garden and I can’t wait to return. {EDIT: I just realized, there was a whole section of this garden we didn’t see which included some greenhouses and maybe there were roses over there. So, in other words, I could just be talking crazy which is not unusual.)

I hope you enjoyed the tour!

11 thoughts on “Our short visit to the North Carolina Arboretum

  1. Wow – what a pretty garden! I bet you got lots of good ideas. I would LOVE a place like that to just walk around and see pretty things, and peaceful trails. Glad you got to go!

    1. me, too! We feel very lucky to have so many lovely gardens to visit nearby. Got lots of ideas…maybe too many ideas. 😉

  2. Wow, what was that plant with the red/orange/white blossoms (right after the quilt garden)? That’s stunning.

    1. Hi Nora! I’m pretty sure that’s a Firecracker Vine. You can read more about this hummingbird-attracting annual HERE. 🙂

  3. A question unrelated to this post… I need some advice. I just ordered some roses. I can’t help it. I’ve never had roses in pots before. I will keep them in the garage for winter, but then what? Do I only keep them moist? And, what about light? I wanted these roses to get a head start on next year’s season, but maybe starting them in the spring would have been wiser. One is Peggy Martin, which I do plan to put right in the ground because I understand she can take it. I’m zone 5, eastern WA. What a wonderful resource you are for us rose people. Thank you.

    1. Hi Andrea! I can totally relate to wanting to get more roses sooner than later. 😉
      Have I linked you to the posts I’ve written about preparing roses for winter and growing roses in containers? < ---- If not, there you go! But to answer your questions in a nutshell, when I kept my roses in our unheated garage for the winter, I made sure the soil never dried out. This meant giving them a bit of water a couple times throughout winter, but not much. (It will depend on your climate, etc etc.) Also, our garage had windows and my thinking was that since plants are light sensitive this would be a good thing to help them know when it's time to come out of dormancy. I could be wrong about this, but instinctually, keeping them in a relatively sunlit area seemed like the right thing to do. As for planting your Peggy Martin rose, just a warning from someone who learned it the hard way: even the most hardy rose may die in winter if it isn't quite mature enough to be planted out. Some of those specialty roses we order are still only 1-2 years old and require a longer time in containers. If you do decide to plant her out, you may consider providing winter protection. See those posts I linked you to above for more tips/details. 🙂

  4. I’m glad you’ve been spending a bit of time exploring your new home!

    What a lovely place to visit and how wonderful that they welcome dogs. One of our favorite places back in Ohio was the Holden Arboretum. It was very beautiful and had great wooded trails for hiking. We spent many hours walking and hiking there over the years with all of our dogs.

    Wishing you many more visits (and hopefully you’ll find some roses there!).

    1. Thank you Anne! It’s so nice having arboretums and parks nearby, isn’t it? I must visit the Holden Arboretum if I’m ever in Ohio again!

Comments are closed.