Here’s how to spend your fall at the Duke Gardens

The Sarah P. Duke Gardens are offering a variety of activities this fall, including a harvest festival, tea tastings and educational experiences.

“We would love to have Duke students, families and community members of all ages participate in these exciting events,” said Kavanah Anderson, Duke Gardens Director of Learning and Engagement.


The festival, held October 9 at the Charlotte Brody Discovery Garden, features art, music and other hands-on demonstrations, including presentations by Durham County beekeepers and local musician Mr. Steve.

“Some characteristics of [Discovery Garden]that add to the bounty of the fall celebration include a small orchard, herbs, and sensory plants,” Anderson said. The garden specializes in “sustainably grown fruit and vegetables using a variety of techniques.”

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Registration is not required for this event. It will be from 1pm to 4pm

way of tea

Japanese tea tastings have returned to Duke Gardens’ Asian Arboretum for the first time since before the COVID-19 pandemic. Guests can either attend a tea demonstration for $24 per person or a tea meeting for $58 per person.

The demonstrations aim to “teach about the different traditions and tools that go into a tea meeting,” Anderson said. Guests sit and drink tea outside the Duke Gardens Tea House.

Tea demonstrations will take place on the following dates:

  • September 30, 10:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m
  • Oct. 1, 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m
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Japanese Tea Gatherings are held on the following dates:

  • October 21, 10:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m
  • October 22, 10:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m

Places for Way of Tea events are limited. Registration can be done on the Duke Gardens website.

flowers after hours

Duke Gardens will be held on October 13 from 4:00 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. and will offer a short, free tour of the grounds. Participants will have the opportunity to stroll through the garden and see the fall colors. As the program ends in the garden, tour-goers have the opportunity to explore further afterwards. Although this experience is free, registration is still required.

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perceive nature

Students will have the opportunity to unplug in this course, part of The Gardens Piedmont Naturalist Series. The Noting Nature course will be held on October 1st from 9:30am to 11:00am at the Doris Duke Center. Led by naturalist Kim Smart, the course invites participants to sharpen their observational skills while immersing themselves in the gardens. Prior registration is required and costs $21.

Visit the Duke Gardens website for more event information and listings.

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