See everything that Raleigh has to offer in our behind-the-scenes tours!

NOTE: Click the plus sign to read the descriptions of each location. When you register, be sure to select the tours you wish to attend.


Monday – Designer Tour (A)

A demonstration garden created by Agriculture Agent Debbie Roos of the Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension. Her overall goal for this project is to plant these demonstration pollinator gardens where people can learn about the pollinators we rely on and the plants that support them.

The habitat features over 200 species of perennials, trees, shrubs, vines, and grasses (85% of them are native to North Carolina) that provide resources for pollinators including bees and butterflies. The garden is at the Chatham Mills complex in Pittsboro, NC and is open 7 days a week.

For more information, click here.

Travel from the mountains to the sea at the North Carolina Botanical Garden and get a taste of North Carolina’s varied ecosystems and rich biodiversity.  Participants will embark on a guided tour of the nation’s first “Conservation Garden." The tour will lead guests through our habitat and display gardens with an emphasis on conservation and sustainable garden practices.  Tour participants will also get a behind the scenes look at the seed processing and nursery facilities that support native species propagation and restoration activities and hear about the sustainability features that are integrated into NCBG’s Platinum LEED certified visitor center and surrounding landscape.

Located on 17 acres of farmland just miles west of Chapel Hill, the Honeysuckle Tea House is referred to as a tree house in the sky. Built on shipping containers and other repurposed materials, the Tea House is an open-air structure; sitting in the tea house you can see our herb gardens, playground (for kids of all ages), hammock garden, mandala garden and farm fields. Even in the hot of summer, the tea house has a cooling, shady breeze.

In Collaboration with EastWest Organics, Honeysuckle Tea House: 1) organically grows its own produce, 2) invents its own recipes for tea blends,3) designs and packages a hand-picked and hand-crafted line of therapeutic products, 4) repairs that which becomes 'broken', and 5) repurposes that which becomes 'waste'. Honeysuckle is a multi-faceted undertaking; an offering of quality goods created and served by a skilled and dedicated staff to a conscientious public.

Red Door Farm is a large private garden located in Durham, North Carolina. The whole property is twenty plus acres, with a third of that dedicated garden space. Beds were developed, working with the existing topography and handsome groupings of long established trees, many with striking shapes. These trees plus some new ones and masses of shrubs form the backbone for sweeping masses of winter hardy herbaceous perennials. Many of the perennials are ornamental grasses, a great love of the owners. The owners are very involved with their gardens though several garden designers have assisted them in the layout.

Monday – BASF Tour to Metrolina

Metrolina Greenhouses is a family-owned, wholesale plant and services company that started business in April 1972. They are the largest single-site heated greenhouse in the United States at 162 acres under roof. In addition they have approximately 15 acres of outdoor growing space and are still expanding. There’s also a second location in York S.C. that has 175 acres of outdoor growing space.

Metrolina Greenhouses is one of the most automated greenhouses in the United States and has many internally designed machines from automatic plant transplanters to mechanical shipping belts. They employ 725 people year round, and 600 additional people in the spring and fall peaks. They ship to Big Box Retailers, Mass Merchandisers, Home Improvement Chains and other greenhouses along the East Coast. Their product typically stays within a 500 mile radius of the greenhouse, but that still puts them in most states on the East Coast. During peak season (March-June) they ship over 180 trailer loads of product a day!

Sponsored by:    



5:15 p.m. – TBD

Tuesday Dinner

Join us Tuesday night for plant shopping, tours, and dinner at Plant Delights Nursery and Juniper Level Botanic Gardens! Experience the wild and wonderful plant world Tony Avent and his team have created and purchase plants to take home with you. Tour the nursery and savor a tasty Italian dinner in this plant-lovers’ paradise.

This location is an award winning online nursery in Raleigh, NC near Garner. They specialize in rare, and unusual perennials for sale and strive to carry a wide selection of exotic plants, cold hardy tropical plants, native plants, and the best selection of new plants online. At any time, they have over 1700 online nursery plants for sale. Many of their best perennials are available nowhere else in the US as they represent rare plants collected by Plant Delights founder Tony Avent during his more than 60 plant hunting expeditions to places like China, Crete, Taiwan, South Africa and Argentina or distributed by some of the many specialty plant organizations of which Plant Delights is a member. Plant Delights grows all of their perennial plants in greenhouses at their Raleigh, NC garden nursery and customers can buy the best perennials online through their website and via their printed plant catalog. They specialize in growing and selling perennial garden plants, and have a wide selection of flowering perennials in all colors, plus foliage plants, ferns, and ornamental grasses. They periodically open up their beautiful garden nursery to the public for retail sales events, classes, photography workshops, and guided tours. They also host private groups like schools, plant societies, garden clubs, botanical societies, arboreta, and plant nurseries by appointment. Proceeds from sales at Plant Delights Nursery support the Juniper Level Botanic Gardens, a six-acre garden with extensive research programs that grows over 18,000 different plants...exotic plants, native plants, unique plants...all types of outdoor plants.


Wednesday Tour A

Hoffman Nursery specializes in ornamental and native grass liners for the wholesale trade. Owned by John and Jill Hoffman, the nursery lies on a 45-acre, former tobacco farm in northeastern Durham County. Now in its 32nd year of operation, Hoffman Nursery grows more than 140 varieties of grasses, sedges, and grasslike plants. Visitors will appreciate seeing and hearing about management of the 51,000 sq. ft. greenhouse, propagation facilities, and automated production lines. The nursery grounds and gardens highlight the beauty and functionality of Hoffman Nursery’s plant palette. They include a native sedge garden, a densely layered hillside planting for erosion control, a 1,300-ft.-long mixed border planting, and demonstration gardens surrounding nursery offices. Visitors can also learn about Hoffman Nursery’s efforts to manage, conserve, and reuse water on site.

Wednesday Tour B

More than fresh vegetables, it’s a family adventure. State Farmers Market in Raleigh is considered one of the nation’s best and most modern markets. Visitors enjoy 75 acres of indoor/outdoor specialty shops, restaurants and garden center, with fruits, vegetables, meats, and gift products from across the state. Plants are available starting in March and local fruits and vegetables are sold throughout the growing season. The market is open 7 days a week, Monday thru Saturday 5:00am - 6:00pm and Sundays 8:00am - 6:00pm.

Logan’s is a Garden Center located in downtown Raleigh at the historic Seaboard Railroad Station. In 1965 Robert (Bob) Logan Sr. was full of determination to start his own business. His idea was to put vending machines that dispensed worms around a local lake to make fishing a convenient pastime. Listening to his wife’s advice, a railroad salvage business was begun instead. A few years later Bob began selling bedding plants and other garden related products, and Logan’s began to blossom.

In 1983 Robert Logan, Jr. assumed leadership of Logan’s. With his love of retail business, Robert continued to grow the family trade. Robert and his wife, Julie, purchased the Bagwell Seaboard Railroad Station in downtown Raleigh where Logan’s garden center relocated in 1991. This new location provided space to add a gift department and a wide variety of household and gardening items.

Leslie and Joshua Logan are now “on board” as the third generation of Logan’s, working alongside both of their parents to continue to grow and transition the company into a cutting-edge retail experience.

They carry trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals, houseplants, tropicals, pond plants, pond accessories, soil, mulch, soil amendments, garden tools, fountains, organic gardening products, outdoor furniture, fertilizer, seeds, heirloom seeds, bulbs, gift items, and much more!

Wednesday Dinner

Join us Wednesday night for dinner at the JC Raulston Arboretum. Experience North Carolina barbecue at its finest and wander the garden rooms and world-renowned collections of this expertly curated arboretum.

This is a nationally acclaimed garden with one of the largest and most diverse collections of landscape plants adapted for landscape use in the Southeast. Plants especially adapted to Piedmont North Carolina conditions are collected and evaluated in an effort to find superior plants for use in southern landscapes.

In 1975, J. C. Raulston arrived in the Department of Horticultural Science at NC State University to teach and to start an arboretum which would serve as a living laboratory for students and faculty, and a resource for professionals in the green industry and for the public. In 1976, with a master plan drawn up by his graduate student, Fielding Scarborough, J. C. made the first plantings at the North Carolina State University Research Farm Unit 4 (now the Horticultural Field Laboratory) on Beryl Road on portions of an eight-acre parcel designated as the NCSU Arboretum, assisted by his research technician Newell Hancock and a few dedicated students. Over the years, the Arboretum would grow to ten and a half contiguous acres, be renamed in his memory as the JC Raulston Arboretum at NC State University, and achieve international recognition for its imaginative use of resources and the excellence of its plant collections.

Since J. C.'s death in 1996, the Arboretum has moved forward under the directorships of Bryce Lane, Bob Lyons, Kim Powell, Denny Werner, Ted Bilderback, and Mark Weathington. In 2002, the Ruby C. McSwain Education Center provided needed space for offices, meeting rooms, and educational classroom space, while staff buildings and a visitor center allowed for the growing number of activities and for staff, volunteers, and supporters to participate on-site in the life, maintenance, and mission of the JC Raulston Arboretum.

Early landscaped garden areas included the Perennial Border, Mixed Border, White Garden, Lath House, Rose Garden, Winter Garden, and student-designed Model Gardens and the Necessary. Periodically rebuilt, revised, and replanted, these areas were later joined by the Asian Valley, Plantsmen's Woods, the Swindell Contemplation Garden, Xeric Garden, Scree Garden, and numerous other gardens and pathways made accessible for the disabled and all visitors. Outstanding plant collections grew and changed, including conifers, redbuds, magnolias, and others.


Thursday – Darwin Perennial Tour

J&B Herb & Plant Farm Inc was founded in 1994 by John Wrenn and Burton Edwards. From generations past our farmland has been passed down through the Wrenn family.

Starting with one greenhouse in 1994, "J & B" now has 25 greenhouses and primarily does contract growing. They are a southeastern grower for Whole Foods producing herb and vegetable plants and grow plants for 200+ independently owned gardens centers, including Southern States, and Ace Hardware stores, using rice hull pots which are biodegradable. J&B Farms also participate in herb festivals in 3 states. They grow approximately 8500 10" Belgian mums which will go to Meadows Farm garden centers in Virginia, Whole Foods and other independent garden centers.

In 2007, J&B Farms began organic farming and became certified organic in 2008 growing heirloom spring and fall vegetable plants, herbs and lettuces, as well as perennials.

Sarah & Michael’s Farm in Durham specializes in lily bouquets, growing year-round and harvesting six days a week. They plant about 5400 bulbs a day during the spring. The lilies grow in crates in greenhouses with controlled heat, air flow, and humidity. No spray is needed for pests or disease. In the summer, Michael selects lily varieties that do better in heat. He grows both Asiatic lilies (more brightly colored) and Oriental lilies (more perfumed smell). Managing the farm is a huge task: staff plant extra bulbs for holidays like Mother’s Day two months in advance and place bulb orders over a year in advance.

Sarah & Michaels’ lily-growing process is environmentally conscious. Used crates are steamed to protect against disease and weeds. The steamed soil is then sifted to remove old bulbs and leaves, which go to the compost pile. Processed soil is reused. The soil is actually “coir”—ground coconut husk. The coir comes from Sri Lanka, which is farther than peat moss would travel, but it is a renewable resource, it works better, and it can handle repeated growing and steaming. The lilies grow in the same crates that the bulbs ship in. Bulbs are only used once because it’s more economical to buy new bulbs. Also, after flowering, bulbs work at reproducing, so the second flowers might be smaller.

Once planted with bulbs, crates sit in a cold room for three-and-a-half weeks to stimulate the lily roots to grow. In the greenhouses, rows of crates demonstrate all stages of growth: un-sprouted bulbs, short green plants, tall plants with buds soon to open, the stubble of harvested stalks. With careful planning and attention, Michael keeps a steady supply of lilies coming from Sarah & Michael’s Farm.

Sponsored by:     


Thursday – AG3 Tour

The North Carolina Museum of Art is unique, as a major art museum located within 164 acres of green space. NCMA has become a national leader in the current revolution in museum audience engagement, extroverting beyond the walls and traditional modes of community participation.

The Ann and Jim Goodnight Museum Park functions as a literal and figurative bridge to our community: an accessible means to encounter art, through recreational and social pastimes. By extending the Museum and its programs to a more diverse community, the Park helps reverse perceptions that museums are not for everyone. The Museum Park expands the Museum’s mission to include management of an attractive landscape that complements the Collection and offers programs that help sustain and expand future memberships and public participation.

To unify the campus and create a more visible connection to the street front, a former prison site (Polk Youth Detention Center) was transformed into an attractive cultural campus. This park expansion includes new tree-lined parking, contemporary Wave and Parterre gardens, a Promenade walk connecting Park and galleries, innovative stormwater management devices, and the Ellipse—a spectacular lawn overlooking the Park’s rolling meadow. The Museum also has installed significant sculptures by Mark di Suvero and Hank Willis Thomas in the new gardens, with others to follow.

The Museum Park currently draws more than 150,000 annual visits, and we anticipate welcoming many more art, nature, and recreation enthusiasts.

Sassafras All Children’s Playground at Laurel Hills Park is seven years in the making and designed to be a place where children of all abilities can play side by side. The playground stretches out across 3.5 acres, making it the biggest in the city of Raleigh. It is planted with thousands of perennials intended to give children a variety of textures, smells, and hiding places.

The Raleigh Convention center opened its doors in September 2008 and is a modern 500,000-square foot LEED silver certified facility that is used to hold Trade shows, Conventions and conferences. In 2015, the director of the property approached the Raleigh Parks Recreation and Cultural Resources department to create a new landscape for one of the rooftop beds located in the front of the building. They were looking for a bed filled with annuals and that had a real colorful display. This was an exciting time for the Parks Department and a challenge that they were ready to take on. They presented a plan that was totally different than anyone has seen in Downtown Raleigh before.

The city came up with a design that included a dry river bed coupled with Perennials and an assortment of grasses. They wanted to show that they could have a sustainable landscape with year-round interest filled with color and do it with Perennials, on top of that we were going to eliminate the irrigation. The design and it was a complete success and it turned out so good that they were asked to do two other beds in the front of the building. Within the next two years another dry river bed was created, this one with a small water feature and a large meadow looking bed filled with hundreds of Perennials. These beds are truly unique to Downtown Raleigh and really give Raleigh’s citizens and visitors a feeling of being in a meadow or sitting by a dried-up river bed right in the mists of an urban environment. It is truly a relaxing way to spend your lunch or just take a break from your busy schedule.

Sponsored by:    


Thursday – Walters Gardens Tour

Atlantic Gardening Company was established in the 80s and was recently purchased by Gary Prevost. It includes not only a unique retail space where customers find a wide range of perennials, annuals, edibles and woodies, but also a great selection of orchids and succulents. In addition to their retail space, they offer a variety of seminars and workshops to share their knowledge and experience, as well as different landscape and container services. During this tour stop you will learn about their mission statement and their methods for setting them apart from other garden centers; for example, they serve beer inside their garden center for browsing customers.

Homewood is a classic grower/retailer independent garden center that has been in business for over 50 years. The facility lies on 33 acres in north Raleigh and has 85,000 square feet of production greenhouses, a 1 acre growing field, and over 110,000 square feet of retail space. In addition to growing many of its own annuals and bedding plants, Homewood also grows a selection of perennials, and over 25,000 poinsettias for the holiday season.

The retail area includes an outdoor area for selling hardy plants, a retail greenhouse, an atrium where garden supplies are sold, and a gift shop. One of the unique features of Homewood is its layout and the relaxing, park-like setting under the pines for the hardy outdoor plants department (aka the Nursery Dept.) which also includes space for selling fast-moving seasonal color plants and hanging baskets.

Sponsored by:    


Thursday – Saunders Brothers Tour

Niche Gardens is a mail-order and retail nursery. They specialize in nursery-propagated wildflowers and natives, perennials, ornamental grasses and some unusual trees and shrubs. Their display gardens include sun and shade areas, wet and dry beds, a bog, a traditional medicine wheel bed, and a native meadow area among others, which are designed for your pleasure, learning and fun! The gardens are aesthetically pleasing, while also providing a habitat for birds, butterfly and other wildlife. Niche Gardens takes pride in the fact that the plants in our gardens and nursery are pesticide free.
*Please note: Plan to arrive by 7:30 a.m. to drive to the location. 

The Unique Plant was founded in 1997 by Joann Currier on a beautiful four acre horse farm outside Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Over 20 years they built a thriving specialty nursery and created a magical garden that combines great design with plant diversity. Their mission has always been to inspire and educate so we can all enjoy successful gardens.

Please visit the Unique Plant's website!

Sponsored by:   


Thursday Dinner

Join us Thursday night for dinner at Sarah P. Duke Gardens! Carefully crafted garden tableaus and outstanding plant collections await visitors to this world-class public garden. Curated by talented horticulturists and designers, this North Carolina gem will have you wishing for more.

More than 300,000 visitors from all over the world visit Sarah P. Duke Gardens annually, enjoying its 55 acres of specialized gardens in the heart of Duke University. The gardens are divided into four areas, the Historic Core and Terraces, the H.L Blomquist Garden of Native Plants, the William Louis Culberson Asiatic Arboretum and the Doris Duke Center Gardens. Duke Gardens living collections promote knowledge of the vital connections between people and plants, fostering an appreciation of the natural world, environmental awareness and sustainable practices. It is an indispensable and lasting feature of life at Duke University, accessible to all, providing outreach and respite to a diverse and vibrant local community and visitors from around the world.

Sponsored by:   


Friday Tour A – Sandhills

Please note: A bus will pick up all attendees from the host hotel at 9 a.m. The estimated return time to the hotel is 5:30 p.m.

Weymouth Woods Sandhills Nature Preserve is a unique window onto the longleaf pine forests that once covered millions of acres in the southeastern U.S. The towering pines – some of them hundreds of years old – tower over expanses of wiregrass and rare and intriguing species, including the red-cockaded woodpecker, pine barrens tree frog, bog spicebush, fox squirrel and myriad wildflowers.

A network of short, easy trails provides an outdoor classroom for ranger-led hikes that teach about this ecology or for quiet contemplation. With limited understory, the forest is a natural theater for birding and viewing wildlife. The visitor center’s museum-quality exhibits explore the longleaf forest, its flora and fauna and its unique history.

In 1978, the Sandhills Horticultural Gardens became a reality with the establishment of the Ebersole Holly Garden. Over the years, additional gardens have been implemented, including the Rose Garden, the Conifer Garden, the Sir Walter Raleigh Garden, the Atkins Hillside Garden, the Fruit & Vegetable Garden, Hackley Woodland Garden, Ambrose Japanese Garden and the Desmond Native Wetland Trail Garden.

Today, the Sandhills Horticultural Gardens cover thirty-two acres. They are open to the public every day of the year from dawn to sunset and offer an educational adventure to anyone with an interest in plants, nature, and design composition.

Big Bloomers Flower Farm opened in its current retail location on Pressly Foushee Road in Sanford, NC in 1994 adjacent to its growing facility. From 1978 - 1994, the business operated in a smaller, retail facility on Hawkins Avenue as Wenger's Greenhouses. The current location is on six acres of an original 40-acre family farm.

Big Bloomers is a bona fide NC farm and is the grower and not just a retail outlet. Big Bloomers grows specifically for the home gardener offering substantial savings directly to the customer. Because of the numerous varieties of species offered, quantities are limited and thus sells retail only and does not wholesale or offer quantity discounts. Green goods constitute 80% of sales from our 17 retail greenhouses representing over 30,000 sq. ft. of enclosed greenhouses. An extensive selection of garden-related merchandise such as garden statuary, fountains, metalwork and pottery fill our 3,000 sq. ft. Garden Shop area.

Big Bloomers specializes in new, unusual, and native perennials, annuals, herbs and shrubs and offers seasonal crops such as poinsettias, garden mums, and Easter lilies and grows a fabulous selection of Pansies each and every fall. Most of the Big Bloomers staff are experienced gardeners that are knowledgeable and ready to get your garden growing.

Friday Tour B – Retail

Please note: A bus will pick up all attendees from the host hotel at 9 a.m. The estimated return time to the hotel is 5:30 p.m.
Kiefer Landscaping was founded in 1984 by Mark A. Kiefer, a recent graduate of the Duke School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Since his first field botany class in the 9th grade to his botany classes as an undergraduate student at Moravian College with Dr. John Bevington, Mark realized he had a special connection to plants. Rather than pursuing a career in forestry, Mark chose the more creatively rewarding path of landscaping. Since its inception, Kiefer Landscaping has methodically grown to become one of the area’s most capable landscaping companies. Mark achieved his NC Registered Landscape Contractor’s license in January of 1988. In late 1988, Kiefer Landscaping moved to its current location on 12 acres in southern Durham. In 1995, Kiefer Nursery was opened for retail trade. And, in 2001, Kiefer Garden Center was established, specializing in water garden supplies.
This friendly, family style garden center was founded about two decades ago when it was started as a landscape and design firm. Their mission is to supply the community with all garden related tools, as well as a broad variety of herbaceous and woody plants, indoor and outdoor decorations and necessary supplies to attract and retain bees and other pollinators. Their very knowledgeable staff is excited to show our PPA members their secret to running a successful garden center in the suburbs of Raleigh.
For more than 40 years, Fairview Garden Center & Nursery has provided exceptional plants and flowers in Raleigh, NC and across the Triangle area. They boast two acres of greenhouse space used for growing annual flowers, houseplants, herbs, vegetables and seasonal favorites, such as poinsettias. In addition, they have several acres solely devoted to trees and shrubs, perennials, ground covers and more. Fairview’s Raleigh garden center was built in 2004 and features everything you need for a successful garden, including gardening tools and supplies, bird feeders and products, pottery and statuary and more. To top it all off, Fairview Garden Center & Nursery has a gift shop that’s ideal for finding the perfect gifts, home decor and Christmas decorations.

Big Bloomers Flower Farm opened in its current retail location on Pressly Foushee Road in Sanford, NC in 1994 adjacent to its growing facility. From 1978 - 1994, the business operated in a smaller, retail facility on Hawkins Avenue as Wenger's Greenhouses. The current location is on six acres of an original 40-acre family farm.

Big Bloomers is a bona fide NC farm and is the grower and not just a retail outlet. Big Bloomers grows specifically for the home gardener offering substantial savings directly to the customer. Because of the numerous varieties of species offered, quantities are limited and thus sells retail only and does not wholesale or offer quantity discounts. Green goods constitute 80% of sales from our 17 retail greenhouses representing over 30,000 sq. ft. of enclosed greenhouses. An extensive selection of garden-related merchandise such as garden statuary, fountains, metalwork and pottery fill our 3,000 sq. ft. Garden Shop area.

Big Bloomers specializes in new, unusual, and native perennials, annuals, herbs and shrubs and offers seasonal crops such as poinsettias, garden mums, and Easter lilies and grows a fabulous selection of Pansies each and every fall. Most of the Big Bloomers staff are experienced gardeners that are knowledgeable and ready to get your garden growing.

Friday Tour C – Private Gardens

Please note: A bus will pick up all attendees from the host hotel at 7:30 a.m. Return time to the hotel is 4 p.m.
Dan Krebill's Garden (The Uncommon Garden)
The Uncommon Garden is like nothing you have seen before — and this is your opportunity to experience it. Local artist Rik Hermanson began designing the Uncommon Garden in 2002, starting from a simple plan to enhance the owner’s backyard. Today, after hundreds of tons of rocks, concrete, soil, boulders, water and plants have been hauled in, this formerly ordinary backyard is an intricate web of sculptural landscapes. Every square foot is being transformed into an exotic natural wonderland, with artful snakes, dragons, water features, rock assemblages, secret rooms, torii gates, performance areas and unique twists everywhere. Wander around, discover its surprises, and marvel at a very unique collaboration of over 12 artists, stone masons, carpenters and other creative minds. Marcia Angle's Garden (Deer Chase Gardens)
Deer Chase Gardens is a magical Eden located in the heart of Duke Forest.  For invited guests, it offers year-round appeal with a stunning display of perennials, 200-year-old oaks, mature cedars and showy maples. The property offers an expansive vista from one of the highest points in Orange County, adjacent to some of the best-preserved forestland in the North Carolina Piedmont.

Guests will enjoy the experience of wandering through ingeniously cultivated "outdoor rooms" which highlight many creative combinations of plantings in different settings, including an Asian garden with an authentic hand-built Japanese tea house, an organic orchard, a native Pocosin habitat, poolside butterfly garden, and formal sun garden, connected by an alluring combination of cultivated allée, rustic handmade bridges, and arched passages. Sit and enjoy the garden’s many water features (including streams, fountains, and a formal reflective pool), and marvel at the variety of avian and amphibian visitors to this wildlife paradise. Sculptures from local artists, elaborate stonework, exquisite metalwork, and handsomely hand-crafted cedar structures enhance this unique garden experience.

Charming and intimate seating groupings (including hand-hewn from local fallen cedars) are nestled among the 5+ intensively-cultivated acres, and easily accommodate several hundred visitors amidst both sunny and shaded garden areas. The garden surrounds an architect-designed, beautiful home, built following the LEED (environmentally-sensitive) guidelines. Parking for large groups is subtly hidden thanks to the 10+-acre field, featuring multiple native grasses, shrubs and trees." Helen Yoest's Garden (Bee Better Teaching Garden)
In the heart of a Raleigh neighborhood, where azaleas and grass rein, sits a half-acre sustainable garden. Sustainability is key in creating pollinator/wildlife-friendly, organic, pesticide-free, waterwise, and various elements and uniquenesses. Doing less with our natural resources and more with plants, builds the foundation of life in the garden.

When we think of sustainability, it’s not only caring for the environment, but also creating a habitat to fully sustain wildlife, from brush, and trees and shrubs, ground covers, vines, berries, seeds, fruits, and general pollinator plants. Our main focus is to attract area birds, bees, and butterflies; and in doing so, all wildlife arrives.

For butterfly host plants, we created this list of host plants, then made certain we were growing at least one host plant to meet every area butterfly’s need.

For butterfly nectar plants, we have many umbel-shaped plants for easy landing, including liatris, lantana, dill, carrots, parsley, zinnia, yarrow, milkweed, pentas, and many others. They are planted in large swaths to make foraging easy.

We rely heavily on berry-producing trees and shrubs, as well as seed-bearing plants for a natural source through plants. While there are a few feeders around, we depend mostly on growing the plants to provide food needs.

For the European Honey Bee, We must confess, Helen a twice-failed beekeeper, yet she wanted to do her part to provide for the bees. Of course, being sustainable is the beginning and the end, but we’ve also studied the nectar and pollen best for the honeybee. When a garden has limited space, it’s best to first study the plants that provide the highest content of nectar and pollen. Frances Alvarino Norwood's Garden
The garden of artist Frances Alvarino Norwood and John Norwood is a romantic sanctuary of artful agriculture and passionate sustainability. Our 3+ acres of cultivated gardens offer a wide variety of grouped perennials in sun and shade bridged by generous swaths of annuals.  Hemlocks stand sentry over our sanctuary. Drifts of self-seeding heirloom annuals and salvia highlight the winding, herbaceous borders of peonies and roses with sweet pea intertwined. Peaceful, soft pastels and swaths of varying foliage textures unify the main garden. Hidden around one corner is an intensive vegetable garden. Plantings of ferns, asarums, hellebores, and pulmonarias are tucked under dappled shade.  Frances has been gardening here for 33 years.  The garden feels alive and cared for but it’s not as intimidating as the more formal gardens. It suggests anything is possible with a little work and a lot of love.

Peggy Titus's Garden
The three quarter acre garden of Peggy Titus has been developed over a 19 year period from the perspective of an artist and hostess. The original bones of the garden included three small spill ponds, a large man-made 50x20 ft. pond with waterfall stocked with over 200 pond fish, edged on one side by an extensive bog, a bridge over the pond entered an 18ft. octagon shaped gazebo on stilts. It also featured a 25x15 ft. vine covered pergola with the potential for dining. With an artistic eye and a sense of adventure, Peggy laughingly admits that she purchased “a yard with a house attached.”

The rear enclosed garden containing all of the original “bones” was developed with the idea of garden rooms, connected by a circular path of natural stone and gravel, with stacked stone edged planting beds. It is accessed through two entrances of laser cut bronzed steel gates in an egret design created from Peggy’s design. Plantings consists of large trees, and mostly shade tolerant plants including over 300 hostas. Astilbes, ferns, fairy wings, azaleas, rhododendrons, and over 200 distinct specimens, many from exotic locations round out the plantings. The garden combines different textures, leaf sizes and colors to add to the artistic palette. All of the natural elements are complimented by over 70 pots, mostly in hues of blue including three fairy gardens. Of the original “bones,“ the gazebo now is decorated as a seating oasis for 12, with a bar, the pergola now features a crystal chandelier with dining for 12, and a dozen adult koi have been added to the large water lily and pond fish filled pond.

The front garden completely redesigned and created on 2008, consists of four large raised island flower beds, filled with azaleas, rhododendrons, hydrangeas, hostas, ferns, daylilies, astilbes and New Guinea impatiens scattered across a sweeping lawn with a meandering stone path leading to the front door of the house. Peggy’s garden featured on two national open garden tours, has been the site of several weddings, political fund raisers, and both large and small parties all catered by Peggy. You are invited to spend some time being entertained by the sights and sounds of this lush, artistically designed sanctuary.

Friday Tour D – High Point

Please note: A bus will pick up all attendees from the host hotel at 9 a.m. The estimated return time to the hotel is 5:30 p.m.

High Point University’s First Lady Mariana Qubein formed an Arboretum Committee in 2006 to develop an Arboretum and Botanical Garden on campus. With the help of numerous committee members, the landscape team at HPU and a team of students, the Arboretum and Botanical Gardens have developed dramatically to incorporate 22 gardens, several plant collections and over 350 different taxa of trees. The goal of the Arboretum and Botanical Gardens is to beautify the HPU campus and preserve the environmental surroundings using what God has provided. All this is done with the goal of also providing unique educational opportunities for students and visitors alike.

In recognition for her tireless efforts and vision to bring to fruition the Arboretum and Botanical Gardens, the High Point University Board announced the naming of the Mariana H. Qubein Arboretum & Botanical Gardens in late 2009. The First Lady has worked with faculty, staff, students, landscape designers, local garden clubs, donors and other institutions to seize the opportunity to create and establish a campus-wide arboretum that houses various themed gardens.

Paul J. Ciener Botanical Garden is in the historic district of downtown Kernersville, NC. They carry some of that history within their gardens featuring the 19th century coastal style Pattern Garden as well as the Moravian Quilt Style raised Kitchen Gardens.

Their master plan was established in 2005 with the first phase, planting and establishing a handful of garden spaces, in 2008. They are a young, nonprofit, botanical garden going on our 7th year of being open. The garden has about half of the 7 acres complete and are in the process of working in the bottom 2 acres. They have just around 2400 permanent plants on display with about 1000 waiting to be planted. Some of those will be getting planted in the bottom 2 acres (which happens to be the woodland garden). Won’t that be nice in August! The 2400 permanent plants are carried throughout 15 different garden themes including the Xeric Scree, Tropical, Hillside Boulder Gardens and Mixed Border just to name a few.

The garden’s perennial border received the PPA Landscape Design Award back in 2011. The border was designed by Doug Ruhren & Edith Eddleman and planted in 2009. It is along their front façade expanding 230 foot of frontage space and is 8 feet deep.

Spanning 11 acres, Gateway Gardens provides a stunning entryway into the City of Greensboro, a playful and interactive garden, and a horticultural oasis integrating elements of history, movement, discovery, and community.

Gateway Gardens represents the biggest project ever undertaken in the 45+-year history of Greensboro Beautiful. The garden is strategically located on one of the City's major entryways - E. Gate City Blvd., within 1/2 mile of Business I-40 and I-85 (exit 124). Phase I opened in 2011, and includes the Michel Family Children's Garden, the Heritage Garden, Rain Garden, Gateway Plaza & Icon, and the Great Lawn.

Gateway Gardens was certified in 2014 as a LEED Silver project by the U.S. Green Building Council.