For the last stop on our Parks and Gardens Tour we went to North Carolina State University’s JC Raulston Arboretum. Of course we had a delicious lunch at Oak City Diner first and then on to our garden exploration.

A white plate with a waffle grilled ham and Swiss with jam. Behind it are French fries, Maple syrup and a white coffee mug.

Grilled Ham and Cheese on a Waffle at Oak City Diner

Landscape with a brown sign describing Weeping Trees.

Details about Weeping Trees at the JC Raulston Arboretum

Landscape with weeping trees including one that is in bloom with fuchsia flowers.

A gorgeous fuchsia weeping and flowering tree.

Landscape with lots of trees and a white flowering and weeping tree.

White flowering and weeping tree.

This was actually our second visit to this arboretum. Our first visit was in Autumn and the gardens looked very different back then. In Spring everything had come alive. Falling leaves of red, orange, yellow and brown were replaced with flowers of every color of the rainbow. It was a glorious time to visit the JC Raulston Arboretum!

Landscape with trees and a hot pink rhododendron. The ground shows the shadow of the pergola roof not in view.

Hot pink Rhododendron

Deep fuchsia rhododendron and other plants inside the shade garden.

Deep fuchsia rhododendron inside the shade garden.

A copper colored Japanese Maple tree inside the shade garden.

A magnificent Japanese Maple Tree.

The arboretum encompasses 10 acres of beautiful gardens collected from around the world. It is a nationally acclaimed teaching and research garden, founded in 1976, that is dedicated to promoting a wider diversity of landscape plants. It was named to honor its late director and founder Dr. James Chester Raulston who was a renowned plantsman and professor of horticultural science at NC State University. The mission is to “introduce, display, and promote plants that diversify the American landscape, thereby benefiting our communities economically, environmentally and aesthetically, as well as provide educational experiences to the general public, students of all ages and the green industry.”

Deep green shiny leaves and two white flowers with yellow centers.

A gorgeous flowering specimen.

Trees and foliage with a dead tree trunk that has mirror pieces spiraling it.

Turning a dead tree into art! MIrrored mosaics spiral around the remains of a tree.

Lots of green foliage with white poppies that have yellow centers

White Poppies

White and yellow irises tinged with purple amongst spear shaped green leaves.

White and yellow irises tinged with purple.

In the front a triangle of white and yellow irises. Behind it are lavender azaleas and behind that lots of green foliage.

Lavender azaleas are the perfect backdrop to show off the white and yellow irises.

If you are in the area I highly recommend visiting the JC Raulston Arboretum often. It’s free and you will find something different and exciting each time you visit.