Thursday, March 19, 2015

Springtime Stroll for Students

Magnolia 'Ballerina'
Photos and text by Micaela Unda

With the signs of winter melting away, an outburst of life has peeked through in Duke Gardens, eagerly awaiting spring. So what better way to spend the day than with camera in hand and flowers all around?

As the sun rays danced on the dew drops, and the scent of winter daphne and other flowers wafted through the morning air, I found the Gardens calling to me. Deciding to take advantage of the slowly emerging spring, I took a stroll through the flora and fauna, seeking out any budding blossoms and pops of color I could find.

Beginning my walk in the Kathleen Smith Moss Garden, I happened upon a paperbush illuminated from behind by the rising sunlight. The budding flowers, almost furry in texture, had an overwhelming fragrance that practically announced the arrival of a new season! 
Paperbush (Edgeworthia chrysantha)  
Continuing my morning garden adventure, I perused the pathways of the Asiatic Garden, discovering that the red arched bridge was certainly not the only source of color.  With daffodils blossoming and pussy willow blooming, dots of yellow and signs of spring lined the trails.

Winterhazel (Corylopsis spp)

Camellia japonica 'Kagiri'

Magnolia 'Leonard Messel'

Japanese-style arched bridge,
framed by Okame cherry (Prunus 'Okame')

However, it was not until I made my way from the Asiatic Arboretum toward the Terrace Gardens that I truly felt that a new season was upon us! Covering the hill before me lay a sea of pastel yellow daffodils, sparks of purple crocus petals, and green buds emerging from the grassy field.

Daffodils (Narcissus 'Topolino') on the Hanes Lawn

Crocus vernus 'King of the Striped'
As I delved further into the Terrace Gardens, more and more life emerged. Taking in the beauty of my first spring in the Duke Gardens (I am so ecstatic!), I saw bits of purple, fuchsia and orange popping up all around me.

Feeling like a kid in a candy shop, I couldn’t help but smiling at the thought that such an escape is in my back yard. For whenever the stress of classes or craziness of college overwhelms, I am forever glad to have the Gardens beckoning. Thankful and with pictures galore, I headed back up under the pergola and made my way back to the Doris Duke Center to relive my walk via my camera's memory card.
Pussy willow (Salix caprea)

Pansy (Viola 'Ultima Radiance Red')
So if you are in need of an escape, daily dose of spring, artistic inspiration, or even the sight of a simple flower, head to Duke Gardens; spring has arrived! 

Prunus sp.
 Blogger and photographer Micaela Unda is a Duke University freshman studying Environmental Science and Policy, and a Duke Gardens work study student. 


  1. do you have mediterranean bells at spdg

  2. Micaela is a great photographer and I enjoy her blog entries.

  3. So glad you like them! And we agree that Micaela has a great photographic eye.