Saturday, April 24, 2010

Duke Gardens Spring Plant & Craft Fest

We hope to see you at the Plant & Craft Festival today. The weather has been fantastic, and crowds lined up early to get first dibs. There's still plenty left for afternoon shoppers, including some late-day markdowns.

Please also see our Plant & Craft Fest videos, including vendor features and horticulturists and curators talking about specific plants from their gardens.

Below are some of our happy shoppers.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Got Duke Gardens questions?

Garden Ambassador Charity Cole

Got questions about our gardens? The answers are now closer at hand, thanks to two recently refined outreach programs.

Look for our Garden Ambassadors at strategic locations throughout the Gardens. Our ambassadors – clad in easy-to-spot green vests -- are volunteers who know the Gardens well and are happy to assist you in finding or understanding your favorite Gardens spots. They’ve got maps, program brochures, information on what’s currently in bloom and on our semi-annual Plant & Craft Festivals, and other useful pointers for new or experienced visitors.

And in the cottage opposite the Terrace Café in the Historic Gardens, Durham County Extension Master Gardener volunteers will be at your service from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the second and fourth Wednesday through the end of May and again in September and October, as well as on the second Wednesday monthly in June through August and November. The Master Gardeners are a font of horticultural information. Feel free to dig deep with them. We hope you’ll benefit from their generosity in serving Duke Gardens visitors.
Master Gardener volunteers Bob Shaw and Nan Len.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Duke Gardens April events

Below are some events coming up through the end of April. Please call 668-1708 for information about children's events, 668-1705 about the Spring Plant & Craft Festival, or 668-1707 for all other events. We hope to see you here!

April 9
Spring Flower Walk in the Arboretum
The Culberson Asiatic Arboretum features many fascinating plants, displayed in beautiful and ever-changing combinations. Join curator Paul Jones as he guides you to some of the little known garden spaces and unique plants. You will leave with an enhanced perspective on the arboretum. $5; free for Gardens Friends. *Event full; please e-mail to be added to waiting list.

Fridays in April and May, 10 a.m.-noon
Nature Ranger Cart
Look for the colorful cart at the foot of the Terrace Gardens; it's full of simple and fun activities for children. Play flower bingo or make pressed flower bookmarks, paper butterflies, pond life pictures and bark, insect or leaf rubbings. Or get some nutritious food for the Gardens' ducks.

Saturday, April 10, 8 a.m.
Bird Walk
Enjoy an early morning stroll in the Gardens with fellow bird enthusiasts and Cynthia Fox, of Chapel Hill's Wild Bird Center. Cynthia will help you to spot, identify and learn more about the birds that call this region home, even temporarily. Don't miss this opportunity to experience that one remarkable bird sighting. Children are welcome if they are age 8 or older. Please bring binoculars. If the weather is iffy, please call Alice Le Duc at 730-2503 to check the status of the walk. Free, but registration required. *Event full; please e-mail to be added to waiting list.

Saturday, April 10, 10:45 a.m.-noon
Traditional Japanese Tea Gathering
As a guest to Tea, you will experience the patterns and poetry of Chado, or the Japanese “way of tea,” while enjoying an enticing bowl of whisked tea and a seasonal treat. The practice of Tea is characterized by the phrase ichigo ichie, or “one moment – one meeting.” The small class group will meet at the Doris Duke Center to be escorted by instructor Nancy Hamilton to the Durham-Toyama Sister Cities Pavilion in Duke Gardens for this intimate gathering. $30; $20 Gardens Friends. *Two seatings; both full. Please e-mail to be added to waiting list.

Saturday, April 10, 11 a.m.
Story Time
Enjoy nature stories with your children, and help them make a take-home creation. $2 per child.

Saturday and Sunday, April 10 & 11, 8 a.m.-2 p.m.
Improving Photo Quality
Stretch your skills and learn techniques that will improve the technical and artistic merit of your photographs. Instructor Richard Cicone will focus on understanding and manipulating the variables that go into making a quality photograph. $120; $85 Gardens Friends.

Tuesday, April 13, 2-4 p.m.
A Hanging Basket for Summer
A hanging basket planted with beautiful and colorful flowers and foliage will enhance your porch or deck area throughout the summer. Alice Le Duc will help you create an innovative basket of plants for that special place around your home. Please indicate when you register whether your basket will be in a sunny or shady area. All supplies included and each student will complete a basket. $55; $40 Gardens Friends. Pre-registration required, so we can purchase sufficient supplies.

Wednesday, April 21, 2-4 p.m.
Tour: Historic Gardens Color Walk
There is an astounding range of plants displayed across our gardens: perennial plants, annual flowers and foliage and tropical plants, all in wonderful combinations. Join our expert staff members in a casual walk through a variety of garden spaces to learn more about what is currently in bloom and which plant combinations they especially love. Color walks will focus on the Perennial Allée, Historic Terraces, Butterfly Garden and Memorial Garden. Tours continue in May and July. $5; free for Gardens Friends. Registration required. *Event full; please e-mail to be added to waiting list.

Saturday, April 24, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
Spring Plant & Craft Festival
Let us help you prepare for spring gardening and gift-giving, whether it be a new shrub or tree, a plant for your apartment, bird houses or scented soaps. The Gardens and other vendors will sell an array of plants appropriate for this region, including many featured in Duke Gardens. Local artisans will sell garden-related gift items. And you can also get free horticultural advice from the staff and Durham County Master Gardeners. Free admission. Join Friends of Duke Gardens (684-5579) for an invitation to the preview sale April 23 (and -- now through June 15 -- for a free subscription to Better Homes & Gardens). Discount student memberships available.