Duke Gardens offers visitors four primary sections that expand across 55 acres of fertile land. These gardens have flourished since the mid-1930s on Duke University's historic campus.
The Historic Gardens began in 1934 with irises covering what is now the South Lawn; the H.L. Blomquist Garden of Native Plants expand across 6.5 acres of rolling woodland terrain; the W.L. Culberson Asiatic Arboretum offers 18 acres of Southeast Asian plants such as Japanese maples, irises, peonies and ginger lilies; and the Doris Duke Center Gardens, which includes the new Charlotte Brody Discovery Garden, feature the Virtue Peace Pond, Page-Rollins White Garden and Angle Amphitheater.
A walking tour takes approximately 1.5 hours, while a trolley tour takes about an hour. (A maximum of five people can ride a trolley.) Trolley tours cost $8 and advanced booking is recommended.
Duke Gardens also offers two certificate programs for anyone interested in pursuing home horticulture or nature photography. A number of learning programs cater to children—from school groups to summer campers.
Japanese tea gatherings take place in the teahouse, and daytime teas are open to children ages 6 and older with an accompanying adult. Visit the Terrace Shop to browse an eclectic array of garden-related souvenirs and gifts, such as wall calendars, note cards, postcards and mugs.
The grounds are open 365 days a year, 8 am to dusk. Duke University charges $1 per half-hour for parking Monday-Friday from 8 am-5 pm, and Saturday and Sunday from 1-5 pm.