Garden, Grandparents & Grandchildren, Oh My!

The Day Trip Issue: Day Trips to Botanical Gardens in North Carolina

By Gayvin Powers

One of the most rewarding relationships is that between grandparents and grandchildren, and day trips are a great way to foster that relationship. Spring is here, and botanical gardens are a wonderful way to entertain and educate children on what nature has to offer. North Carolina has several breathtaking botanical gardens where families can enjoy landscapes, including Asian gardens, fruit orchards, native plants, bamboo gardens, bird watching, butterfly gardens, ponds, organic gardens and more. In Durham, The Sarah P. Duke Gardens at Duke University is considered a national architectural treasure with its sweeping vistas, array of landscapes and a hands-on garden for children of all ages.

This year marks the 100th birthday of Charlotte Brody, a master gardener and columnist, whose namesake graces the discovery garden at Duke University. Ahead of her time, Brody spent 40 years dedicated to spreading the word about organic foods and cultivating a healthy lifestyle.

Daniel Shiff, Brody’s grandson, summed up his grandmother and the enchantment of the garden, saying, ‘The Charlotte Brody Discovery Garden has been created and forever will be her legacy, a special place where children and adults can learn, get their hands dirty, and enjoy organic gardening.’

With healthy eating being in the forefront of education these days, the hands-on garden is not only educational, but also it’s downright fun for children, young and old, to play in the mud. Rightly so, the garden is one of the favorite places for children to visit.

According to the Duke website, “The garden features organic vegetable beds, an orchard, fruiting shrubs and vines, a reconstructed tobacco barn, a rain garden, a chicken coop, cold frames for winter planting, outdoor classroom space and two cisterns that can hold more than 7,000 gallons of rainwater.”

It’s more than spending a day together, it’s exposing them to a lifestyle that grandparents can pass along to their loved ones. At the opening of the Charlotte Brody Discovery Garden, Richard H. Brodhead, ninth President of Duke University and the William Preston Few Professor of English, said in his speech, “Wouldn’t you like to think that the kids who come here for the rest of time will discover the pleasure there could be in thinking of yourself as a steward of the Earth, as someone who takes care of the Earth so that there’s more and more of it for the people who come afterward?” Brodhead asked. “That would be a lot of great discovery to come out of a garden.”

Like the passing of seasons and cycles, a simple day trip allows families to get back to nature, spend time with each other and create memories that can make a lasting impression on grandparents and grandchildren alike.


Interested in a day trip? Visit some

of the local botanical gardens near you.


Sandhills Area

Sandhills Horticultural Gardens

3395 Airport Road

Pinehurst, NC 28374


Fayetteville Rose Garden


Fayetteville, NC 28303

Flora MacDonald Gardens


Flora Macdonald Academy

200 S. College Street

Red Springs, NC 28377


Southern Piedmont Area

All-A-Flutter Butterfly Farm

7850-B Clinard Farms Road

High Point, NC 27265


UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens


9201 University City Boulevard

Charlotte, NC 28223


Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens

6500 S. New Hope Road

Belmont, NC 28012


Wing Haven Gardens

248 Ridgewood Avenue

Charlotte, NC 28209


Triangle Area

North Carolina Botanical Gardens

100 Old Mason Farm Road

Chapel Hill, NC 27517


Sarah P. Duke Gardens

Duke University West Campus

420 Anderson Street

Durham, NC 27708


JC Raulston Arboretum

at NC State University

NC State University

4415 Beryl Road

Raleigh, NC 27606


Ellen Mordecai Garden

1 Mimosa Street

Raleigh, NC 27604