In Pinehurst, you can explore 11 gardens – and a native wetland trail through a bird sanctuary – for free.
Sandhills Community College ( www.sandhillshorticulturalgardens.com) has a landscape gardening program; the school’s 32-acre horticultural gardens were designed and created by students. What’s flowering depends on the season. The grounds include a winter garden, an interactive children’s garden, annual garden, rose promenade, and fruit and vegetable garden. There’s a succulent garden with plants of the American Southwest adaptable to Sandhills soil.
The three-acre Margaret Ambrose Japanese Garden includes a meditation garden. The Ebersole Holly Garden, with 28 species and approximately 400 cultivars, is said to be one of the largest collections on the East Coast. The natural-design Hackley Woodlands Garden holds shade-loving azaleas, camellias and rhododendrons. The Atkins Woodside Garden sports waterfalls, pools and a butterfly garden.
The showstopper is the 1.5-acre Sir Walter Raleigh Garden, a formal, Tudor-style affair that includes courtyards, a sunken garden, herb garden and holly maze.
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