North Carolina-Duke Gardens-July 24

North Carolina People, Places, and Things-July 24

I am the dad to five adult children. As they were growing up I attempted to remind them they were special and to implore them to learn something new. My goal was to do that daily.

In 2016 my goal is to learn something new daily on the people, places, and things that make North Carolina special. Everyday this year I am doing a post on what I have learned new.

This weekend my wife and I are vacationing in Chicago. It is a trip to celebrate her recent birthday. Over the past 5-6 years we have also started a tradition to celebrate our anniversaries by visiting different cities in the Carolinas. This past year it was Winston-Salem, NC but in 2015 it was Durham, NC.

Part of that trip to Durham involved spending part of Sunday morning touring the Duke Gardens on the campus of Duke University.

Sarah P. Duke Gardens has been serving the Duke and Durham communities for more than 75 years.

The idea of a public garden arose in the early 1930s, due to the vision and enthusiasm of Dr. Frederic M. Hanes, an early member of the original faculty of Duke Medical School.

Photo below from 1939 dedication ceremony of the Duke Gardens.

duke garden 1939 dedication

Dr. Hanes possessed a special love for gardening and was determined to convert the debris-filled ravine, by which he walked daily, into a garden of his favorite flower, the iris. In the previous decade, the land had been under consideration for creation of a lake. But funds were short and that project was abandoned. So the idea for a garden took root.

Dr. Hanes persuaded his friend Sarah P. Duke, widow of one of the university’s founders, Benjamin N. Duke, to give $20,000 to finance a garden that would bear her name.

Sarah P Duke


I did a search on Word Press and found quite a few blog posts about the gardens that were insightful. I have provided links to those blogs below.



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