Juniper Level Botanic Garden Opens for Winter Tours

Juniper Level Botanic Garden in Raleigh. Photo courtesy of Julie Williams Dixon

Juniper Level Botanic Garden, a $7.5 million gift to North Carolina State University, will open this weekend for public viewing, plant purchases, and free advice from the experts. There is no admission fee.

“Two open garden weekends are scheduled each season,” said founder Tony Avent. “Winter has turned out to be the most important because people can see how the garden is put together. They can see the bones of the garden.

“There are so many incredible plants in the garden in the winter, both for form, for texture, and in flower. Wonderful things from broadleaf evergreens, to conifers, to evergreen perennials. A garden doesn’t have to be a flat pallet of mulch in the wintertime. This is what your garden can look like.”

Winter visitation weekends are February 26-28 and March 5-7. The garden has scheduled eight visitation weekends during 2021.

“With more people working and staying at home and trapped indoors, gardening boomed throughout 2020,” said Avent. “Gardening allows us to get outside and draw healing energy from the earth. Gardening is especially beneficial during tough times, not to mention the beauty and joy it brings.”

Since the mid-1990s, Avent participated in dozens of domestic and international plant expeditions, eventually amassing one of the world’s most diverse plant collections.

“Currently, we have just over 27,000 different kinds of plants. That makes our botanic garden one of the top five collections in the United States,” he said.

“We knew the climate was changing and wanted to preserve plants. Many of the plants we found on our trips are now extinct in the wild, and we’re the only place they exist. The more the climate changes, the more paramount it becomes to preserve these plants for human benefit.”

Established in 1988 south of downtown Raleigh, the not-for-profit Juniper Level Botanic Garden has grown into a 28-acre conservation and inspiration garden whose mission is to discover, grow, study, propagate and share the world’s flora.

“We have always had a close connection with North Carolina State University and JC Raulston Arboretum,” said Avent. “The Arboretum’s mission and ours are identical. To collect, study, propagate and share plants. The Arboretum’s primary focus is woody plants, and Juniper Level’s focus is primarily on perennial plants.”

Operational funding for Juniper Level Botanic Garden continues to be provided by plant sales, growing and shipping over 100,000 plants each year, and selling plants during the open garden weekends.

For more information, visit

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *