Sunday, November 4, 2012

Visiting the JC Raulston Arboretum

You know you are in a nice place when even the trash cans are attractive.


A few days ago I visited the JC Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh along with my 3-year-old. It houses an incredible collection of plants, and, as part of the Department of Horticultural Science over at NC State University, it is involved in research of new cultivars and in plant evaluations.  

And think their trash cans are nice?  You should see the restrooms...


As soon as my 3-year-old saw this building, her eyes lit up.  Pointing, she asked, "What that?"  After I explained it was the restroom, she immediately responded, "Me need to pee."

Of course, the arboretum also does have some other attractions other than the trash cans and restrooms (though that was the highlight of the trip for my daughter).  There are a few plants as well...


Being October, there was still a fair amount of late-summer blooms at the gardens.


'Tis the season for Pink Muhly grass (one of my personal favorites in the grass family), and the arboretum did not disappoint with their lush swath.

My 3-year-old also liked the Pink Mulhy grass - it was pink!
The Beautyberry shrubs were full of clusters of their unusual, striking berries.

Callicarpa americana 'Welch's Pink', Callicarpa acuminata
But even with all this color, what really stood out to me at the arboretum were the beautiful trees.

 Lagerstroemia fauriei 'Fantasy'
one of the largest and oldest specimens of  Japanese crepe myrtle outside of Japan
the beautiful smooth bark of the variegated London Plane Tree
The JC Raulston Arboretum houses several collections of trees, including one of the most extensive Redbud (Cercis) tree collections in North America.  I'll bet it is just stunning when they are all in bloom in the springtime!

'Traveller' Weeping Texas Redbud
I love how they let vines grow draped around this  Redbud tree.
(Cercis canadensis 'Flame' with Akebia longeracemosa)
The arboretum also has the only collection of Dwarf Loblolly Pine trees in the world. 

Dwarf Loblolly Pine
This is just a fraction of the plants in the 10-acre arboretum.  I didn't quite make it to all the gardens (I did have a 3-year-old with me, after all), but I hope to go back and see more at another time.  The best part - the arboretum is totally free!  (Though one can purchase a membership for access to classes and other perks, which helps fund the arboretum.)


So if you are ever in the Raleigh area looking for some gardens to enjoy, it is definitely worth it to check out the arboretum.

Even if it is just to use the bathroom!

18 comments:

  1. I have to say the three year old in me is charmed too. That image of your daughter dressed in pink in walking by the pink grass is classic. I bet she loved all those pink flowers and berries too! I have a thing for great bathrooms. Ever been to the Guggenheim?

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    1. I don't think I've ever been to the Guggenheim, which is strange since I've been to MoMa twice. If I go, I'll have to check out the bathrooms! :)

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  2. What a neat place, thanks for introducing this one :-) Next time we are 'up' there visiting our son we will check it out.

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    1. I'm anxious to see the arbortetum in spring with all their redbuds and daffodils. It's fairly tucked away in downtown Raleigh - going by their entrance, one would never suspect there's 10 acres back there!

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  3. I agree with Becky. That shot of your daughter by the Pink Mulhy grass is adorable.

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    1. Aw, thank you! She especially loved the grass because it spilled over onto the pathway on both sides, so she was like a jungle explorer or something, wading through mists of pink grass. She spent quite awhile going back and forth through the Muhly grass!

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  4. Welcome to India!

    You show a fantastic place.
    I love the Arboretum.
    Wonderful post. Great pictures.
    I am very happy to have not forgotten about my blog.
    Regards

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    1. Thank you! It's always so much fun to see other gardens and get inspiration. This place was great, since it researches plants that will thrive where I live.

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  5. That photo of your pink-clothed daughter by the pink Muhly Grass is a classic. I imagine several garden magazines, websites, and nurseries would love to have a copy of that! I can't believe the size of the Crepe Myrtle! I didn't realize it was possible for them to get that big!

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    1. Thank you! I'm glad people liked the photo so much! I was amazed at the Crepe Myrtles as well. There were actually two of them flanking the pathway, but it was hard to get a good picture of them while showing just how big they were. And the bark is so stunning!

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  6. She's adorable...and as for visiting the cute washrooms, "me too!"

    What a place to visit, only wish it was closer by here.

    Jen

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    1. Thank you! There are so many gardens around the world I would love to visit - hopefully sometime I will be able to travel to see some of them! I so wish it were possible to visit all the gardens I see in people's blogs!

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  7. I always wanted to start a post about Chanticleer with "A garden so beautiful even the restrooms are a work of art," and you just did it. I am sorry I missed this garden when I was in the Raleigh area. I will definitely keep it on my list.

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    1. I love seeing people's posts on Chanticleer, as it seems like such a beautiful place, but I don't recall seeing their restrooms! :) There are several beautiful gardens in this area - it's hard to see all of them in one trip!

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  8. So glad you and your daughter had a great visit to the Arboretum! Thanks for posting about it and showing what a great place it is for children to explore.
    I am the children's program coordinator here at the JC Raulston Arboretum. Check out our upcoming programs and plan your next visit on one of those days. I'd love to have you and your daughter attend one!

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  9. Thank you! We'll have to check it out!

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