Raleigh, NC: Juniper Level Botanic Garden to Open Two Weekends in May

Source: Juniper Level Botanic Garden, Raleigh, NC
Source: Juniper Level Botanic Garden, Raleigh, NC


Juniper Level Botanic Garden, a $7.5 million gift to North Carolina State University, will open two weekends in May 2020 for public viewing and plant purchases.

Said Tony Avent, founder, and benefactor:

“There’s so much to see by visiting the garden every season of the year. For each season, we schedule two open nursery and garden weekends. Our spring open house is delayed by two weeks this year to allow extra time to prepare for social distancing in the nursery.”

Spring visitation weekends are now May 14-17 and May 21-24, 2020. Admission is free, and reservations are not required.

On Thursdays and Fridays, 8am-5pm, visitors will have the opportunity to walk the gardens and pick up pre-ordered plants from Plant Delights Nursery. Pickup orders should be placed 24-48 hours in advance. Greenhouses are closed on Thursdays and Fridays.

Saturdays, 8am-5pm, and Sundays, 1pm-5pm, visitors can walk the gardens and shop for plant selections in the nursery greenhouses. For proper social distancing, staff will limit the number of people allowed in the greenhouses at one time and will add another checkout area.

Nursery sales provide operational funding for Juniper Level Botanic Garden. Plant Delights Nursery grows and ships over 100,000 plants each year and sells plants during the open garden weekends.

Established in 1988 on a two-acre tract 12-miles south of downtown Raleigh, not-for-profit Juniper Level Botanic Garden has grown into a 28-acre educational, research, and display garden.

Globally known by horticulturalists, botanists, and discerning gardeners, Juniper Level Botanic Garden amassed one of the world’s most diverse plant collections over the past 25 years.

Said Avent:

“Currently, we have just over 27,000 different kinds of plants. That makes our botanic garden one of the top five collections in the United States.” Avent has participated in 13 foreign and 60 domestic plant expeditions.

“I began to travel in the mid-90s. We knew the climate was changing and wanted to preserve plants. We wanted to get them where people could study them, propagate them, and share them. Many of the plants we found on our trips are now extinct in the wild, and we’re the only place they exist. The more the climate changes, the more paramount it becomes to preserve these plants for human benefit.

“My late wife Michelle and I started the garden and agreed that we wanted it preserved. After Michelle passed away, and later, when Anita and I married, we decided we needed to preserve the gardens and that NC State was a perfect choice.

“We have always had a close connection with JC Raulston Arboretum and North Carolina State University. Our missions are identical. To collect, study, propagate and share plants. The Arboretum’s primary focus is woody plants, and Juniper Level’s focus is primarily perennial plants.

“Raulston Arboretum currently has about 7,000 different plants. Between this collection and the 27,000 at Juniper Level, the result is one of the largest and top collections in the world of genetics. Combined, these two institutions have the capacity to be the center of the ornamental universe.

“We set up an endowment through the university. When the endowment for the garden is fully funded, that will allow us to open full-time as a public garden and a sister to Raulston Arboretum.”

Fundraising efforts for Juniper Level Botanic Garden in conjunction with JC Raulston Arboretum, operate under the auspices of The Endowment Fund of NC State University, a 501(c)3 non-profit, tax ID 56-6000756. Donors will receive an official receipt for contributions to the fund.

Juniper Level Botanic Garden is located at 9241 Sauls Road, Raleigh, North Carolina.

For more information on the May 2020 Open Days, visit www.jlbg.org.

To order plants online, go to www.plantdelights.com.


Tony Avent with a corpse flower. Source: Plant Delights Nursery/Juniper Level Botanic Garden, Raleigh, NC
Tony Avent with a corpse flower. Source: Plant Delights Nursery/Juniper Level Botanic Garden, Raleigh, NC


Source: Robert Butler, RBButler.com

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