A 28-acre wonderland of hidden rare plants will open near Raleigh this weekend
The Juniper Level Botanic Garden is open to the public only once per season. They will open this month on the weekend of September 15-17 and then September 22-24. After that, the Magical Secret Garden will not hold another day in the open garden until winter.
During these open days, no requests are required and admission is free. Guests can tour over twenty acres featuring more than 27,000 plants, trees, and shrubs that you can’t find anywhere else.
“We pretty much have anything you can imagine,” said Tony Avent, horticulturist and owner of Juniper Level Botanical Garden. “We have one of the five largest plant collections in the entire United States.”
For fans of the unique and massive century plant found at WRAL Azalea Gardens, here’s some exciting news: they also have the largest collection of century plants in the entire country.
“We got 17 flowers last year,” he said. “We have 9 flowers this year.”
Avent says they also raise their own plants, which means they have plants that no one else in the world has.
“We just bought a long ladder and started making our own,” he said. “That’s why we have things you can’t find anywhere else.”
The Juniper Level Botanic Garden is affiliated with Plant Delights Nursery, which has clients as far away as Thailand and Japan ordering food from here in Raleigh.
For two weekends this summer, Raleigh residents can access this wonderland of incredible, unique plants and trees. The photos in their website gallery show everything from a human-sized corpse flower to stunning top-to-bottom photos of their 25-foot-tall plants. There’s also a mystical waterfall above a hollow grotto, and winding paths that curl through acres of flowers of every size and color.
There is a rustic gazebo hidden among the trees and surrounded by soft purple flowers. Ivy trees hang from strangely shaped trees, and a stream runs down a pile of stones along the path. An arched wooden bridge decorated with sticks bends over a stream. Elsewhere, a shelf of tall stones forms a “naughty garden” that creates a unique walking path among pointed cacti and other desert plants.
The Juniper Level Botanic Garden hosts any type of garden you could imagine: from crevice gardens to bog gardens, greenhouses and cave gardens. It has a tropical island area and a water oak garden. The array of flowers, shrubs, and foliage looks like an impossible mix of tropical jungle plants growing side by side with plants familiar to North Carolina. Their collection of trees is visually stunning, with flowering branches adding a pop of color amidst the classic greenery.
You’ll see storybook-like blooms: tiny pink Fairy Wing flowers and mint-striped Crinum Lillies.
You can learn more about the Juniper Level Botanic Garden and the garden’s open days on their website. Their address is: 9241 Sauls Road, Raleigh, NC 27603.
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