Garden Photo of the Day

Enjoying Public Gardens

You can still enjoy gardens if you don't have one of your own

Today we’re visiting some public gardens with Jordan Foreman.

Rutgers Gardens inspired my passion for public gardens and is the garden that I call home. Longwood Gardens taught me the meaning of horticulture and turned me into an aspiring plant geek. I believe gardens are incredibly important for inspiration and quality of life, and I plan to visit gardens for as long as I’m able.

Jordan now lives in North Carolina, and though he doesn’t have a garden of his own, he visits public and private gardens to enjoy the beauty. Gardening is for everyone. Even if you aren’t in a place in your life to have your own garden, public garden spaces can be enjoyed and enrich your life.

The Biltmore Estate gardensA shot from the gardens at The Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina. You can tour the enormous house when you visit, but I’d say the gardens are the best part.

Duke GardensSet on the grounds of Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, Duke Gardens covers 55 acres, and all of it is open to the public. In this garden, tender succulents spend the summer outside in pots to create the effect of a much drier, warmer climate.

Duke GardensThis view from Duke Gardens shows off one of the more naturalistic parts of the garden.

Juniper Level Botanic GardenHardy succulents grow in the ground at Juniper Level Botanic Garden in Raleigh, North Carolina. This garden is the creation of Plant Delights Nursery and is only open to the public on specific days throughout the year.

Iris unguicularisAnother view from Juniper Level Botanic Garden shows the beautiful Iris unguicularis (Zones 7–9). Irises are always beautiful, but this species is unusual for blooming incredibly early in the spring or even late winter. Where it is hardy, it can be blooming as early as February.

Toad lilyToad lily (Tricyrtis hirta, Zones 4–8) is one of Jordan’s favorite plants despite the fact that the smell of the flowers is as terrible as their appearance is beautiful.

moon gateA beautiful moon gate at the UNC Charlotte Botanic Garden in Charlotte, North Carolina.

If you want to see more of Jordan’s garden visits, check out his instagram:


Have a garden you’d like to share?

Have photos to share? We’d love to see your garden, a particular collection of plants you love, or a wonderful garden you had the chance to visit!

To submit, send 5-10 photos to [email protected] along with some information about the plants in the pictures and where you took the photos. We’d love to hear where you are located, how long you’ve been gardening, successes you are proud of, failures you learned from, hopes for the future, favorite plants, or funny stories from your garden.

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View Comments


  1. PattyLouise 12/10/2020

    Beautiful tour! Thanks for sharing!

  2. User avater
    user-7007816 12/10/2020

    Both Michigan State University and the University of Michigan have outstanding gardens open to the public.

  3. User avater
    treasuresmom 12/10/2020

    Great pics!

  4. User avater
    cynthia2020 12/10/2020

    Hi Jordan. Thank you for sharing some of where you like to enjoy plants! I appreciate learning something about Iris unguicularis.

    I live in the Raleigh-Durham area and can't wait until Duke Gardens opens again!

  5. User avater
    simplesue 12/10/2020

    Thanks for the garden tour...and the link which led me to a nice online page- Plant Delights Nursery and discovered a plant I wish I could grow in my zone!
    Your Toad Lily photo is gorgeous- I might have to grow some those, I can't believe I've never heard of them until now.

  6. btucker9675 12/10/2020

    Jordan - I live in the Charlotte area and highly recommend Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden (we are members), and, in Asheville, the Arboretum. Their collection and display of bonsai are especially beautiful. It is a beautiful way to spend several hours! When we lived in NJ, we were members of the NY Botanical Garden and visited multiple times a year - they have art installations often which are quite wonderful. The installation of Chihuly glass works years ago there was one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen. Thank you for sharing these garden photos!

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