The Neuse Greenway stretches 27.5 miles from Falls Dam in Raleigh all the way down to Clayton. I’ve explored the upper sections of the trail extensively, but yesterday I took a run along the lower portion near the Wake and Johnston County boarder to get a peek at the famous sunflower fields along the trail. These fields are located between mile markers 23 and 24 near the intersection of the trail and Brown Field Road (map).
I’ve tried to get pictures of this field before but my timing in the past was off and I always missed the flowers in bloom. If you want to see them you need to go out there
by mid July otherwise the plants start dying off from the heat. (Update: I’ve gotten reports that the sunflowers are already “spent” from the intense heat – best to try and catch them next year). To get there I parked my car at the the parking lot along Mial Plantation Road, which is a little past mile 26 on the trail. I then ran about 2.25 miles to mile marker 24 which is where the fields are located. If you don’t want to run or bike there you should be able to pull off the road along Brown Field Road and sneak a peek at the field.
Many don’t realize this, but these fields are owned by the City of Raleigh and are used to land apply treated wastewater. The plants are grown on the fields to take up the nutrients from the wastewater, which basically acts like a fertilizer for the flowers. Because it is City of Raleigh property you’ll need to enjoy the view of the field from behind the white fences that line the fields. To learn more about the Neuse Greenway and download a full map of the trail visit the Neuse Greenway website here.
Tulips at Duke Gardens in Durham
This past weekend my wife and I made the short trip to Durham to explore the Sarah P. Duke Gardens on Saturday. We got caught in a brief sun shower while browsing the vast garden paths that wander through 55 acres, but it was well worth it to catch the flowers in full bloom on such a mild day. I took the picture above while exploring the colorful tulips growing on the historic terraces by the fish pool. This is easily one of the most beautiful sections of the garden and a popular spot for photographs. The gardens are open daily from 8am until dusk. Admission is free but you do need to pay for parking ($2 per hour). For more information visit https://gardens.duke.edu.
Sarah P. Duke Gardens
420 Anderson Street
Durham, North Carolina (map)
Filed under Durham, Garden
Second Saturday ~ August 9th
This Saturday, August 9th, is the “Second Saturday” of the month. This means you will have another chance to participate in a series of community events that celebrate food an community along the Raleigh Food Corridor. These fun and engaging food related events and projects rage from pop-up markets, city walks, urban farms, volunteer opportunities, community gardens, food installations along a two mile stretch downtown along Blount and Person streets.
A complete schedule of the August 9th Second Saturday events can be found here: raleighfoodcorridor.org/secondsaturday
There are MANY awesome individual events to attend as part of Second Saturday. One of my favorites is the Stanbury & Escazu Pop-up Market held from 10am-2pm in the parking lot at 938 N. Blount Street. This is a great PopUp neighborhood market featuring many local vendors like Locals Seafood, Old Milburnie Farm, Green Button Farm, Boulted Bread, Raleigh City Farm featuring Endless Sun and Kailyard Farm, Escazu Chocolates, Stanbury Bloody Mary and Mimosa Bar, and wood-fired pizzas!
Second Saturday Raleigh
After 7 weeks of hiding my potted sunflower plants from the deer each night I was finally rewarded with the first bloom today! The wet spring and mild summer has resulted in a vibrant landscape in the Triangle this season. If you would like to get out and see some of the area flora for yourself here my recommendations – all FREE:
- Sunflower field between mile 23 & 24 of the Neuse Greenway
- Sarah P. Duke Gardens – Durham
- JC Raulston Arboretum – Raleigh
- Raleigh Rose Garden
I can’t grow much in my yard because I don’t have a fence and my plants usually just end up as deer food. So I’m glad I have managed to grow this sunflower and claim a minor gardening victory! I’m also grateful for the public gardens we have access to here in the Triangle. No matter what you do this weekend I hope you are enjoying this great weather we are experiencing and spending as much time outside as possible. Happy exploring!
2014 Wake Forest Herbfest
The Annual Wake Forest Herb Festival returns to Festival Park in downtown Wake Forest April 18-19-20 and April 25-26-27. After a long cold winter now is the time to start planning your summer garden and thinking ahead about the veggies and herbs you want to grow this season. The Herbfest is a great local source to help start your garden and it a fun way to spend the afternoon in downtown Wake Forest.
At the festival you will find the largest selection of Non GMO organic herbs, heritage tomatoes, heirloom vegetable plants & local grown perennials for our climate The festival also features live entertainment, beer from local White Street Brewery and gardening educational seminars.
The Wake Forest Herbfest
While this is a small town event by “festival” standards, the Herb Fest is recognized as the largest herb and perennial festival east of the Mississippi. There is a ton of free parking along White Street next to the park and the festival provides wagons and carts to load up your plants (and to tote your children). For details about daily festival events you can visit their website here.
Wake Forest HerbFest 2014
Festival Park – 525 S White St, Wake Forest, NC (map)
April 18-20th and 25th-27th