Garden Conservancy's Open Days

Sponsored by the Garden Conservancy and the JC Raulston Arboretum

  • Saturday, September 22, 2007 – 11:00 am4:00 pm
  • Sunday, September 23, 2007 – 1:00 pm4:00 pm

The Garden Conservancy's Open Days Program comes to Raleigh, North Carolina in September, featuring five private gardens to visit on Saturday, September 22, 2007 (11:00 AM to 4:00 PM) and Sunday, September 23, 2007 (1:00 PM to 4:00 PM).

A portion of the proceeds from the weekend will benefit the JC Raulston Arboretum, a working research and teaching garden of NC State.

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 2007 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:

Brian Simet – A Plant Collector's Paradise

Planted beneath a canopy of mature oak trees lies a plant collector's paradise. The design and choice of material offers an alternative to the traditional "Southern" garden. This garden well-represents a new genre of gardening being seen ever more frequently in Raleigh. Gone are the camellias, hollies, azaleas, and crepe myrtles. Bright colors, unusual growth habits, and topiary, combine to provide a feast for the eye, all the while paying careful attention to color, texture, and form. While the collection emphasizes the breadth and depth of conifers available today, it is also sprinkled with many unusual deciduous trees including over 30 different Japanese maples cultivars. Many dwarf and miniature forms of plant material are also well-represented in this garden. A must see study for the garden and plant enthusiast.

3218 Oak Grove Circle, Raleigh, NC 27607

Lara and Stillman Hanson – The Hanson Garden

The gardens of this beautiful home were updated in 2004 to open up lawns and bring in the sunlight. A number of walking paths were also established to highlight forgotten spaces. Visitors may appreciate the addition of numerous perennials and the care for the historical deciduous and evergreen trees and shrubs, including Japanese maples, English boxwoods, and a spectacular osmanthus. The garden features a grape arbor, a courtyard garden, a spring walkway, and an herb garden. There is also a game lawn.

2419 Anderson Drive, Raleigh, NC 27608

Nicholas and Katharine Davies – The Davies Garden

The owners of this Southern style home found a little bit of their native Wales with the English designed garden. The home and gardens are designed for entertainment. Visitors can delight is the formal sitting areas out front, and then stroll through the boxwood edged courtyard. The path then leads you to the back gardens to stroll by the little creek and wonder where the charming footbridge must lead to, and finally, afternoon tea can be enjoyed sitting out on the back porch overlooking the rose and perennial gardens. The quaint potting shed holds the secrets of the garden's necessities.

508 Hertford Street, Raleigh, NC 27609

Matilda Smith – Mrs. Alton B. Smith Garden

This fantastic southern home is graced with abundant trees providing shade for the many different garden rooms. Various paths of stone, gravel, and grass, lead visitors to the garden beds of azaleas, ferns, hellebores, hostas, spotted deadnettle, English laurels, and many more delights. The home is the central accent to the design with gardens boarding the home and designed to be enjoyed from inside the home and out. The fish pond and water garden are situated for a visitor to pause and reflect. The garden also has a wonderful sense of calm with seating to encourage you to stay awhile and garden accents providing focal points and interest.

2503 Wake Drive, Raleigh, NC 27608

Laura and Bob Bromhal – The Bromhal Garden

The owners of this French-influenced house renovated their home and garden to flow seamlessly from indoors to out. The brick walkways throughout the gardens allow visitors to stroll leisurely to view the pond, a stream, and a very private courtyard garden off the bedroom; a visitor will definitely feel like they are visiting a quaint garden in Europe.

2507 Lewis Farm Road, Raleigh, NC 27608

Photography by Peggy Walters.

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 per person. Discount ticket books (six tickets for $25.00) are available in advance at the Arboretum or through the Garden Conservancy at (888) 842-2442 or Tickets are also available at each garden during the event.
No reservations required, but tickets will be available prior to the event.
Five gardens in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Download the map and driving directions flyer for details (coming later). Use the PDF plug-in's print icon to print the document.
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.