The Chronicle’s guide to spending the fall at Duke Gardens

This fall, Sarah P. Duke Gardens is hosting a slew of events, including a Harvest Festival, tea gatherings, and other artistic and educational experiences.

The fall schedule at Duke Gardens “has a bunch of different class types,” said Kavanagh Anderson, director of learning and engagement at Duke Gardens. Event themes include “garden-inspired art and creativity” as well as practicing mindfulness in nature.

Pictures of flowers

Flower picture lessons provide participants of all skill levels the opportunity to create botanical drawings in the garden. Raleigh City Farm’s 2023 artist-in-residence, Julia Einstein, will help attendees become immersed in the gardens and teach attendees how to play with scale in order to create small drawings and larger, nature-inspired gestural pieces.

The goal is for participants to “notice, slow down and develop a sense of place and appreciation” for things one might not otherwise notice, Anderson said.

The class will be held on September 17 from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Guests can participate for $32 and Duke Gardens members can receive a 20% discount. Registration can be completed on the Duke Gardens website.

Harvest feast

The Harvest Festival, which will be held on October 8 from 1 to 4 p.m., is an opportunity to learn more about the agricultural side of gardens while also participating in a variety of activities including story readings and beekeeping demonstrations.

“We want everyone to come, from the Durham community and beyond, and the students are a part of that,” Anderson said. “So, if you’re interested in learning about edible plants, bees, reading a book and our storyboard, visiting the chickens or just taking a walk in the garden, we hope there’s something exciting for people of all ages.”

This event is free and does not require registration.

Beginning birds for adults

Led by an experienced birder, our adult beginner birding class welcomes birdwatchers of all levels and abilities to their bird watching experience.

“Garden plants create habitat that supports many different animals and all types of wildlife, including birds,” Anderson said. “It’s an exciting time for bird migration, so you may see birds this time of year that you wouldn’t see at other times in North Carolina in this area.”

Classes will be held on October 2nd and 16th from 8 to 9 a.m

Advance registration is required and costs $10, with a 20% discount for Duke Gardens members.

Japanese tea collection: kana-zuke

Participants looking for a moment of calm can register to visit the Tea House at the Culberson Asiatic Arboretum to experience a traditional Japanese tea gathering. In small groups, attendees witness the preparation and serving of Japanese tea, while sitting on the tea house floor unless a chair is requested.

“It’s a very conscious, sensory-based experience,” Anderson said, where visitors seeking to learn more about Japanese culture can “practice this centuries-old tradition.”

Japanese tea gatherings will be held on October 20 from 10:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. and on October 21 from 10:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. and 1 to 2:30 p.m.

Advance registration is required and costs $68, with a 20% discount for Duke Gardens members.

Climate Circle Small Group Series

In the Climate Circle: Community Development, Capacity and Cultural Transformation small-group series A Changing Climate, participants can develop “resilient strategies for managing emotions around climate change,” Anderson said. Led by a community healing artist, “participants will build community, work in small groups, and learn practices that relate to personal and community resilience.”

“(This is) a class I really want to highlight for students,” Anderson said. “They’re really transferable skills to academic stress management as well.”

This series of five sessions will be held on October 4, October 11, October 18, October 25 and November 1 from 12 to 1:30 p.m.

This series is limited to 10 participants. Advance registration is required and costs $135 for the entire session, with a 20% discount for Duke Gardens members.

More information and listings for the event can be found on the Duke Gardens website.

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