If you’re looking for something to do on one of these beautiful spring days, consider a visit to the North Carolina Arboretum. Located just a half hour from Creston, you’ll find 434 acres of lush green spaces with 65 acres of cultivated gardens and more. The North Carolina Arboretum has been nationally recognized for its many permanent and rotating collections, educational exhibits and its world class facilities.
The Arboretum features ten permanent garden collections including a stunning “Quilt Garden”, one of the largest collections of Bonsai in the nation, the National Native Azalea Collection and even the “Rocky Cove Railroad” which is a G-Scale model railroad track. The Bonsai collection is a masterpiece showcasing the precision art form of shaping and cultivating native and non-native trees into miniature biological preserves. But the permanent collections are just one of the many offerings.
There is always a rotating or seasonal exhibit on display. One of the present exhibits is titled “Slow Life“. We typically think of plants as being stationary and not interacting too much with their surroundings. This exhibit allows us to look at them in a different way as we see how they move and interact with their environments based on time of day, sunlight, moisture and even sound. A most interesting upcoming exhibit is “Savage Gardens” which will showcase carnivorous plants such as the Venus Fly Trap, Pitcher Plant and others. Within North Carolina bogs, one can find some of the highest concentrations of these endangered plant species, but at the Arboretum you’ll be able to see them all from May 23rd through September 7th. They’ll even have larger than life size models to give you an idea as to what it might feel like to be a bug about to be trapped by one of their unique feeding methods.
In addition to plants and gardens, the Arboretum provides a wonderful backdrop for events such as weddings and celebrations. During the Christmas season, they host “Winter Lights”, an outdoor lighting extravaganza produced by a team of Disney techno-engineers. There’s a delightful restaurant, “Savory Thyme Cafe” offering salads, soups and sandwiches to satisfy your hunger. Live cultural performances also often take place throughout the year. So check out the website by clicking here and on an upcoming sunny day (or even rainy day), take a drive over. The cost is just $12 per carload regardless of the number in the car, so pack ‘em in!