While our neighbors to the West are having an explosion of orange poppies and purple lupine in the desert, the Southeast is in peak bloomage too with daffodils, tulips, and flowering trees all popping off. One of our favorite botanical gardens, The Sarah P. Duke Gardens on Duke University’s campus, is having its own super bloom.
Durham locals know that the first weeks of spring mean that the Garden’s Akebono cherry tree allée leading you toward the terraces, ponds, and green spaces will be a cotton-candy pink tunnel of blooms—their branches almost meeting overhead. But the dramatic entrance is just the beginning. The iconic Japanese arched bridge in the Cullberson Asiatic Arboretum was recently given a fresh coat of chili pepper red paint, a fiery contrast with the redbud trees, fuchsia blooming magnolias, plum blossoms, even more cherry blossom trees, and irises below with the towering Duke Chapel in the background.
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Nearby, the historic terraces are aflame with tulips and multiple daffodils varieties including the Narcissus ‘Cassata’ with ruffles of butter-yellow petals.
But if you need another incentive to see the blooms before they disappear, their spring plant sale on Saturday, March 30th gives visitors the chance to shop for plants like Japanese roof irises and ornamental catmint and create their own mini botanical gardens at home.