The state is home to some of the finest botanical gardens in the nation, including those of Orton Plantation near Wilmington, the Elizabethan Gardens on Roanoke Island, and the Sarah P. Duke Gardens at Duke University.
A botanical garden created by the Cherokee Historical Association is located near the Oconaluftee Village is free to all visitors and seeks to educate people on the types of plants Native Americans relied upon for food and medicine.
Part of the Sarah P. Duke Garden, Culbertson Asiatic Arboteum landscape resembles that of Durham’s sister Japanese city, Toyama. Japanese culture is recreated in the machiai shelter reserved for tea gatherings. On a larger scale, it carries out the initiatives of Sister Cities International, which encourages good international relations between cities. It also fulfills Sister Cities Durham’s mission, by fostering peaceful relations between Durham and its sister cities in the United Kingdom, Tanzania, Russia, and Japan.
The bald cypress tree is often found near swamps, wetlands, and rivers. It is a common and popular tree in North Carolina and throughout the south, not only for its foliage, but also for its ability to soak up flood waters and prevent erosion. Bald cypresses can be found in the wild and in arboretums such as the Asheville Botanical Gardens.
This quick guide to public gardens in the Carolinas highlights two in North Carolina: Paul J. Ciener Botanical Garden and Tryon Palace. Special emphasis is placed on Paul J. Ciener Botanical Garden and their award-winning displays.