IMG_9337Raleigh, North Carolina has beautiful treasures. One is quite famously known for its horticultural significance, The J.C. Raulston Arboretum and the other is a special Garden Communicator by the name of Helen Yoest. A Garden Stylist, Garden Coach, author of several books, including Gardening with Confidence, Plants with Benefits and her latest book, Good Berry/Bad Berry. When I received the invite from my friend and mentor, Helen Yoest, for an event celebrating the J.C. Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh North Carolina,  I absolutely jumped for joy!!  The J.C. Raulston Arboretum has been on my “Must See for Me” list for quite some time. What better opportunity to visit this highly rated treasure at the beginning of the season, as the garden was welcoming Spring.

I met Helen Yoest after joining The Garden Writers Association.  A more than awesome group of individuals who communicate to the world about what else – horticulture.  While everyone has their own style of sharing information, I admired how Helen made it okay to garden the way that is right for you or gardening fearlessly, as I call it.  Her book,” Gardening with Confidence” is one that I have gifted to budding gardeners. To receive an invite to celebrate with her was something that I was simply not going to miss. What a wonderful event it was!Let me share with you a bit about the JC Raulston Arboretum located in Raleigh, North Carolina.  Mr. JC Raulston started planting the Arboretum, a year after he came to the University of North Carolina Horticultural Science Department.  Forty years later, this Arboretum is 10 acres of sheer beauty, inspiration and plant collections that would make a true gardener’s heart skip a beat or two. The JC Raulston Arboretum has also earned its designation of being one of the BEST University Public Gardens that teaches and holds events to continue to educate patrons. Plants found at the JC Raulston Arboretum are generally plants that are cultivated for surviving the conditions in the southeast or piedmont region of the United States.  Helen Yoest honored this wonderful birthday of sorts by inviting plants people and supporters of the JC Raulston Arboretum to stop by for some cake, libations and leave a donation to benefit this essential resource.After enjoying the delicious cake and checking out her garden (fabulous, I might add) I made my way to The JC Raulston Arboretum….a less than ten-minute ride away.IMG_9471

When I reached the parking lot I  just KNEW that I was in store for some jaw dropping moments.  Perhaps it was this…IMG_9259or perhaps it was this…IMG_9248I am not sure what it was, but as I strolled down each path, paused and admired the plantings of weeping, contorted yet interesting evergreens…I was in a horticultural fantasy land. The swollen buds of blooms to come, the sight of the garden as it was emerging out of its winter nakedness….I was in absolute amazement of the beauty that surrounded me.

From the Lath House…IMG_9266the Trial Gardens…IMG_9308

the Xeric rooftop garden…IMG_9452

to the wonderful waterfall under the overpass…IMG_9466that created a place to pause and figure out a way to stay and embrace the serene beauty found on the grounds of The JC Raulston Arboretum.  Did I mention the Magnolia’s? IMG_9363or the Redbud’s??IMG_9302or the White Garden in Winter?IMG_9396

IMG_9406I have the memory of The JC Raulston Arboretum in late winter, etched in my mind, anticipating a summer return. If the late winter/early spring beauty captivates my heart and makes my imagination run wild, I can only imagine the garden in the next season.

For more information on The JC Raulston Arboretum, including driving directions and how to donate, click here – JCRaulston Arboretum

For more information on Gardening With Confidence, click here Helen Yoest

Perhaps I will see you there?IMG_9422

Always mentally in the garden,




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