“Something I’ve observed in Duke Gardens is people bringing loved ones here and pointing out things like the koi pond or the different flowers, and wanting to have these teaching moments and sharing with people why the Gardens are important to them. So it’s kind of become this really interesting place to watch people connecting with other people. I love that so much.”
Executive Director, Duke Gardens
“Nature has kind of a beauty, a sonic quality to it that I think is really unmatched,” says Alexa Burnston, a Duke senior whose Program II major is titled “Understanding the Concept of Value Through the Lens of Classical Musical Traditions.”
Alexa was among the first students to flock to Duke Gardens on April 1, when it reopened to Duke students, faculty and staff. She couldn’t wait to immerse herself in the sights and sounds she had sorely missed during the Gardens’ temporary closure.
“A lot of times I use it to inspire creativity,” she says of time in the Gardens. “And as someone who has spent a lot of time learning music in various genres, I feel the sound of nature is itself beautiful, so I like to take time to listen to that.”
Duke Gardens is a beloved part of many Duke students’ campus life. Our staff is committed to ensuring that we engage meaningfully with students, and this past pandemic-challenged year was no exception. Our student activities included class visits by appointment on site, wellness walks, free professional portrait sessions, and plant giveaways. These images tell part of the story. If you’d like to support one of our student initiatives, please let us know!
Students and faculty from the Asian Pacific Studies Institute came together in the Ruth Mary Meyer Japanese Garden this fall for a luncheon and a discussion about traditional Japanese tea gatherings.
Although we missed welcoming visitors during our temporary pandemic closure, the Gardens were anything but dormant. In all four sections of Duke Gardens, you’ll see new benches, paths, plantings and other features, and some exciting new projects in process. Here is a sampling.
Growth in the Gardens
Your Gifts Make an Impact
“The mailbox is just such a good way for parents to teach their kids to be thankful, and to think about and express what coming to the garden means to them. It’s also a good way for garden staff to get feedback, and maybe some cute art you might use in promoting the gardens.”