Garden Conservancy's Open Days

Sponsored by the Garden Conservancy and the JC Raulston Arboretum

  • Saturday, September 23, 2006 – 11:00 am4:00 pm
  • Sunday, September 24, 2006 – 1:00 pm4:00 pm

The Garden Conservancy's Open Days Program comes to Raleigh, North Carolina in September, featuring six private gardens to visit on Saturday, September 23 (11:00 AM to 4:00 PM) and Sunday, September 24 (1:00 PM to 4:00 PM).

Gardens participating on these two dates feature sumptuous plantings beneath the native red and white oak canopy of a traditional Southern home with a formal Italian fountain and cascading waterfalls; a Japanese-style garden with a magnificent pond spillway; and a half-acre suburban property with a rose garden, secret garden, and several follies and garden accents.

A portion of the proceeds from the weekend will benefit the JC Raulston Arboretum, a working research and teaching garden of NC State celebrating its 30th anniversary in conjunction with the tour.

Visitors may start the tour on either day at the JC Raulston Arboretum at 4415 Beryl Road in Raleigh, where discount admission tickets will be sold (6 tickets for $25.00). Open Days are rain or shine, and no reservations are required. Call (888) 842-2442 or visit for more information. For local ticket information, please contact Autumn Keck at the JC Raulston Arboretum at or (919) 513-3826.

The Open Days gardens in Raleigh are featured in the 2006 Open Days Directory, which includes detailed driving directions and vivid descriptions written by garden owners. The national edition includes garden listings in 16 states and costs $20.45, including shipping. The South edition costs $6.95, and features gardens in Florida, North Carolina, and Texas. Call the Garden Conservancy toll-free at (888) 842-2442 to order with a Visa or MasterCard, or send a check or money order to: the Garden Conservancy, P.O. Box 219, Cold Spring, NY, 10516. Discount admission tickets are available through advanced mail order.

Featured Gardens

The tour features the following spectacular gardens:

Cyndy Allison

The gardens grace all sides of the family's 30-year-old traditional Southern home. Innovative use of stone and brick provide beauty (a spectacular archway), privacy (the perimeter wall), access (meandering trails), and the architectural foundation for the sumptuous plantings beneath the native red and white oak canopy. Stacked stone retaining walls define the curved confines of beds that feature plants from around the world – the source of year-round color shows. And finally, her water features dazzle – the formal Italian fountain, the waterfalls cascading into multiple ponds, and the stream that threads through patios and secluded alcoves.

1411 Hedgelawn Way, Raleigh, NC 27615

Tommy and Linda Bunn

This splendid garden and its serene multilevel Japanese-style setting makes it difficult to believe that it is only a little over one acre and just off a busy street located in one of Raleigh's premier neighborhoods. The property includes a pond spillway that has been transformed to a magnificent water feature that feeds into an artistically designed stream that meanders through the garden. Plantings include flowering shrubs, Japanese maples, willows, conifers, and many more unique varieties of plants from the JC Raulston Arboretum's Connoisseur Plants program. The original stone sculptures range from the majestic to the whimsical. This garden is sure to put everyone is a Zen state of mind!

3800 Camp Mangum Wynd, Raleigh, NC 27612

William and Mary Coker Joslin – The Joslin Garden

The Joslin Garden, in a woodland setting of four and a half acres, has about ten distinct garden areas adapted to the topography of a relatively native unspoiled lot. Arranged with great sensitivity to cultural conditions, native plants are well represented in a substantial shrub and herbaceous perennial layer. The garden was begun around 1951 and is still being cultivated by the addition of rare plants and collections of similar species. Thanks to a generous life estate gift from the Joslins, this garden is now an official satellite of the JCRA.

2431 West Lake Drive, Raleigh NC 27609

Lacy and Carol Reaves – The Reaves Garden
These immaculate, formal gardens surround a lovely Federal-style home with a nod towards Williamsburg and Charleston gardens. Each season unfolds different colors and textures to keep this garden interesting year-round. The terraced beds were added to give even more structure to these formal beds. The rose garden courtyard is a masterpiece in design and pleasure. The driveway perennial bed is a visual delight, especially in the height of summer when the daylilies nod their heads as you drive by.

2304 Wheeler Road, Raleigh, NC 27612

Sylvia Redwine

This garden combines elegant style with high drama, an artist's eye with a collector's appetite. Clever design strategies and theatrical hardscape elements give the garden an illusion of size. Its dense plantings include innumerable flowering shrubs, Japanese maples, and a fabulous collection of unique conifers, while colorful perennials, annuals, and tropicals add seasonal pizzazz. Expect the unexpected in this garden!

1801 McDonald Lane, Raleigh, NC 27608

David Philbrook and Helen Yoest – Tiger Lily's Display Garden
Low boxwood hedges are used to create a formal atmosphere to complement the formal architecture of this Georgian Colonial-style home. Within these hedges are informal plantings of perennials and annuals designed to attract butterflies, hummingbirds, and finches. There are several gardens on this half-acre suburban property, including a rose garden, a front entrance garden, a butterfly garden, a Japanese-inspired garden, and a secret garden. These gardens lend themselves to a variety of several light-hearted, surprising, and interesting garden accents.

3412 Yelverton Circle, Raleigh, NC 27612

The Garden Conservancy introduced the Open Days Program in 1995 as a means of introducing the public to gardening, providing easy access to outstanding examples of design and horticultural practice, and proving that exceptional American gardens are still being created. The Open Days Program is America's only national private garden-visiting program, and is made possible by the work of hundreds of volunteers nationwide. Visit the Garden Conservancy and its Open Days Program online.

Admission to each garden is $5.00. Or purchase discount tickets in advance at the arboretum (six tickets for $25.00), or through the Garden Conservancy at (888) 842-2442 or
Advance registration is not available.
Raleigh, North Carolina. See map for garden locations.
Need directions? Click here.
Free parking is available at each of the gardens.
Call (888) 842-2442 or visit for more information. For local ticket information, contact Autumn Keck at or (919) 513-3826.