Friday, March 4, 2011

Cape Fear Botanical Garden


I took a detour on my way to the coast last Thursday and stopped in Fayetteville.  You probably know Fayetteville as the location of Fort Bragg and Pope Air Force Base, but have you heard about the Cape Fear Botanical Garden?


The Garden covers 79 acres in the Sandhills of North Carolina where the Cape Fear River and Cross Creek converge.  This is agriculture zone 8a; it was like jumping into Spring a couple of weeks ahead of where we are in Charlotte.


What are some reasons you might want to visit the Cape Fear Botanical Garden this time of year?
*Flowering apricot (Prunus mume) in full glorious bloom.
*The Camellia Garden.
*The Heritage Garden which includes herbs and an 1886 Farmhouse.  There is also a tobacco barn on the property.
*A hellebore- and daffodil-filled Water-wise Garden accented by Lusterleaf Holly (Ilex latifolia)


*An Urban Forest full of American Beech (Fagus grandifolia), Chalk Maple (Acer saccharum ssp. leukoderme), and American Hornbeam (Carpinus carolinana).  For native plant lovers, this is the most exciting place in the garden.  The unique ecosystem is home to over 1000 species of plants.


As I was walking through the Forest, I came upon my favorite surprise of the day -- this dainty but bold wildflower filling the woods and even sprouting up through the gravel pathways.  I had never seen so many before!



Trout Lilies!  (Erythronium americanum)

Daylily and Hosta Gardens will draw me back to Cape Fear Botanical Garden this summer and I will plan to see the Children's Garden which I somehow missed.  I expect the herbs will be lush and fragrant.

The Garden is currently building a large visitor pavillion with classroom, gift shop, snack bar and an Orangerie which will host conferences, community groups and educational programs.  There are some exciting plans for more plantings, too.  Funding, I suppose, will determine when it is finished, but it is something to else to anticipate.


5 comments:

  1. Thank you for the tour. I never looked at Fayetteville as anything other than the half way point on my trips between Charleston and Virginia. If I am ever going through there again, I will stop, especially for those Trout Lilies.

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  2. Just as Les said above, when I used to live in Virginia, I looked at it as the halfway point to Charleston! That first picture is something else.

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  3. Very nice photos of flowering tree. Thanks.

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  4. I just have to head south before I explode. I went to school in the Sandhills - Laurinburg, St. Andrews Presbyterian College. Fayetteville was the closest airport but I never saw the botanical gardens if they were there 33 years ago. I guess we were more interested in other things at the time. I am sure from the leaves that I have trout lilies in my garden left over from when it was woodlands but they have yet to prove it to me by flowering. I'll just enjoy your photos in the meantime.
    nellie

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  5. les and jess - i know very little about fayetteville, even though i've lived in nc all my life! this was my first time driving through. the sandhills ecosystem makes the whole area pretty exciting to plant lovers.

    sue - thanks for dropping by. can you hear the first time visitor applause? :D

    nellie - i drive through laurinburg all the time! have to stop to eat at smithfields or stretch my legs at wal-mart on my way to the beach. i like that part of the state -- it seems to produce an inordinate amount of american idols and country musicians, don't you think? :D the cape fear botanical gardens came into existence in 1989, so they are not too old, as far as gardens go.

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