Garden Tours to Enjoy at Home

In the weeks since stay-at-home orders went into place, museums, opera companies and institutions around the world have made their art accessible to anyone with an Internet connection. Well, that’s all well and good but, I’d rather visit a garden, wouldn’t you? That is  possible, thanks to the sites and resources listed below.  

In North Carolina

Audobon North Carolina is hosting a virtual Field Trip this Saturday, April 18 from 9 –to 10:30 a.m. via Facebook live. Nesting pelicans, singing songbirds and backyard owls are the stars. Tag along at facebook.com/audubonnc.

Via their Facebook page, Durham’s Sarah P. Duke Gardens posts videos of their staff demonstrating best practices for home gardening. To date, topics have included planting, tree pruning and  dividing perennials.  The videos are several minutes in length.

Mark Weathington is the director of J. C. Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh. He is presenting an hour-long video lecture via Zoom each Wednesday at 3 p.m., Midweek with Mark. The lectures are being recorded so you can watch later if you’d like.  Learn more.  

Native plant landscapes are the highlight of the live video feed on the website homepage of the North Carolina Botanical Garden in Chapel Hill. (Scroll down the page a bit.)  The Plant Power Podcast is also worth a listen.

Take a virtual trip to the mountains and visit Arborcrest Gardens, a 25-acre ornamental plant evaluation garden in Boone. There is a short aerial video plus photo galleries for every season. Learn more

a little farther from home

The Missouri Botanical Garden is a fabulous place to visit, even if only virtually.  There are dozens of virtual tours, aerial drone videos and videos of featured flowers to enjoy. Their YouTube channel is robust. Learn more

The Brandywine Valley near Philadelphia is home to some wonderful public gardens and, there, spring has just sprung. (So we get to enjoy it all over again.)

The virtual tour of Mt Cuba Center is a most realistic walking tour of this exquisite native plant conservation garden. Learn more

Our Gardens Your Home is an online, curated selection of ways to experience the best of Longwood Gardens from home. It is updated weekly. Learn more

Chanticleer Garden is a colorful, contemporary garden within a historic setting. Never been to Chanticleer? Then you’ll want to go on the virtual tour first, then poke around the more educational offerings such as pruning a boxwood hedge or planting an asparagus bed. Learn more

Go abroad

If you like tulips, head to the Netherlands. Or to the YouTube channel of Keukenhof Holland for a bold glimpse of 7 million bulbs, 800 varieties! Learn more.

London is home to the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and they have a YouTube channel, too. Fifteen of the videos are less than one month old.  Learn more.

Get educated

Plants, Pests and Pathogens is an educational offering from NC State Extension. It’s a series of 90-minute  webinars that are recorded and available to the public. Follow the link to view an index of recordings by date that lists speaker and topic for presentations going back to 2009. Learn More.

Curious about land conservation? Triangle Land Conservancy has hosted webinar conversations with their conservation staff. All are recorded and posted on their website. Learn more

Plant Knowledge

As you are introduced to plants that you might like to add to your own garden, visit NC Extension Plant Toolbox. This online database of thousands of plants will show you which plants will grow best in your landscape. You can search for a plant by its common name or its scientific name. Then read about each plant’s growing requirements, potential disease and insect problems, and scores of other pieces of information useful to deciding if the plant will thrive wherever you live in North Carolina. Learn more.

This list was compiled by Extension Master Gardener Volunteers who serve Durham County. We wish you happy travels from the comfort and safety of your home.