Visiting Plant Delights Nursery, Inc. and Juniper Level Botanic Gardens
Thank you for your interest in visiting Plant Delights Nursery and Juniper Level Botanic Gardens. We are one of the premier plant nurseries in the U.S. to visit and we offer thousands of plants for sale. If you are wondering where to buy plants, Plant Delights is the place. Whether its sun or shade tolerant perennials, groundcovers, vines, or any other kind of hardy perennial, we probably have it.The Nursery Layout/Photo/Map will give you an idea of the layout before you arrive. While we encourage gardeners to visit the nursery and gardens, we are primarily a place to order perennials via mail-order or the internet. We are not a typical retail walk-in nursery. Therefore, your visit must be scheduled unless it coincides with one of our open house days. To allow access to the gardens and nursery on a controlled schedule, you will find our ground rules below.
We have four open nursery and garden events each year. Our open sale days are limited to eight weekends per year, two each in winter (Feb/March), spring (May), summer (July) and fall (September). During the open nursery and garden days, anyone can come during the posted hours without an appointment...see schedule below. During open house, you will be able to stroll through the gardens, shop till-you-drop, and ask questions of our expert staff.
Open House Dates
Directions to the Nursery
We have several acres of parking including handicapped spaces. Much of the garden and nursery area is also handicap accessible. If you have specific questions or concerns, please give us a call.
As much as we might like to think that humans have control over the weather, we have not found this to be the case. In the summers, you can often expect daytime temperatures in the 90's and 100's, with high humidity, so dress accordingly. Rain showers are always a possibility, so keep those umbrellas and rainsuits handy. We always have a few extra umbrellas, so if you get caught without one, don't hesitate to ask.
In the summer, our pet mosquitos (pronounced "skeeters" in the south) like visitors as much as we do. If you are one of those fragrantly-endowed people that skeeters just seem to adore, please bring your preferred bug repellent for summertime walks through our woodland and bog garden. Although we use organic skeeter treatments, we still haven't convinced these little buggers to leave. Our skeeters can't impress you with their size or numbers...they are just mildly annoying. We apologize that our efforts to teach them better manners hasn't panned out, but a good slap seems to get their attention.
We provide portable restroom facilities for our garden and nursery visitors, although we promise that they will not be portable while being used. We also have vending machines available with a variety of soft drinks, fruit drinks, and water. We do not have food on-site, but will be glad to direct you to nearby eating establishments that are within 10-15 minutes.
Our 5-6 acre display gardens contain over 17,000 different unusual perennials. Even the keenest gardener will realistically only see a few hundred during a typical visit. We open the nursery and gardens during each of the four seasons, since the garden changes dramatically season-to-season. Additionally, planting in the garden continues nearly every week, at the rate of 1000-2000 new plants per year. If you are visiting for the first time, you may find the gardens quite overwhelming and intimidating. This feeling is quite common when accomplished gardeners come to the realization of how little they actually know. It usually takes a couple of visits before you can overcome this feeling and derive the inspiration and knowledge that the garden was created to impart. We strongly recommend taking a break/lunch after a couple of hours to allow your mind to refresh.
The nursery contains approximately 1600 different plants at any one time. When the nursery is open, you can pick out your own plants. If you are from out-of-town, you have the option of taking the plants with you or, if your space or schedule prevents this, having them shipped to your home. To schedule enough time for your visit, we have prepared the following guide.
Visitor Scheduling Classifications
30-60 minutes -gardener who likes pretty flowers...depending on weather
45-60 minutes -gardener with ADD children or impatient spouse...forget shopping (time can be extended if you chain them to a tree in the parking lot...water bottles recommended)
60-90 minutes -garden club member who doesn't use those pesky latin names...including shopping
75-90 minutes -gardener with normal children (leashed or garden-trained) or patient spouse...quick shopping
90 min-2 hours -beginning master gardener...including shopping
2-3 hours -advanced master gardener or equivalent, wholesale nurserymen...including shopping
3-5 hours -plantsmen/women, specialty nursery staff...including shopping
3-10 hours -plant nerds with no social life...not including shopping
24-48 hours -professional garden photographers
Visiting at Non-Open House Times
If you are coming from out-of-town during NON-SCHEDULED open days, or would like to bring a group, call WAY in advance (919.772.4794) or email (email@example.com). We will be delighted to try and make arrangements to schedule a visit. Please DO NOT drop in unannounced.
Before spring open days, we schedule visitors with appointments in the garden, but the sales areas are closed. There are no on-site sales during this time. This is because many of the plants in our sales areas are already paid for by folks in northern climates who have not yet had their orders shipped. You would not be happy if we sold you a plant, held your money, and then re-sold your plant to a visitor who dropped by the nursery. We can be much more flexible with allowing on-site purchases after our spring open house (early May). Prior to this time, the shipping process must take precedent. We enjoy visitors, but we must ask that you adhere to these rules.
If you would like to pick-up your order instead of having it shipped, please let us know when you place your order ... either on-line or via phone/fax/mail. Plant pickups can only be scheduled during the week or on an open nursery day. The time that it takes to assemble your order will depend on the time of year. While we can schedule a quick turnaround before mid-April and after mid-June, the hectic nature of mid-April to mid-June may result in a week delay in getting orders pulled for on-site pickup. We must minimize customer interaction with our shipping staff as this causes confusion and often results in mis-directed mail-order shipments.
We only schedule visitors during the week, since our weekends are scheduled very tight, either with on-site classes or out-of-state travel. It is virtually impossible for us to allow visitors during weekends, unless it is an open weekend or we have a scheduled class. Please remember that this IS our home and garden, and occasionally even we need a break from visitors. We have unfortunately had visitors so brazen as to remove chains across the entrance gates and enter on weekends. I know this sounds strange to some, but this is NOT ACCEPTABLE! Our cats are armed and have orders to claw on-sight!
On open house days, we bring in extra staff and re-allocate all of our resources to customer service. This is not the case during other times. Even though we may allow you to visit, we do not keep a sales staff here to answer plant questions on non-open house days. Please check in with a staff member when you arrive and the staff will direct you to the garden maps, the shopping carts, and the open greenhouses. You will then be on-your-own until checkout. Also remember that since we grow our own plants, the production process may result in closing off a particular greenhouse during your visit. For this, we apologize in advance.
Plant Delights Nursery and Juniper Level Botanic Gardens is not a playground for children and pets. Pets are not welcomed nor are misbehaving children, who also need to be on a leash. Running in the garden and walking into bed areas are not permitted. Many plants in the garden are one-of-a-kind, and we don't take kindly to their abuse by visitors.
There are two hotel/food complexes near the nursery. The Highway 70/401 interchange area is about 12 minutes north of the nursery and the Hwy 42 and Interstate 40 interchange (exit 312) is about 8 minutes southeast of the nursery. Please see our list of hotels for area lodging. Nearby hotels list.
If you are flying in and out of the Raleigh-Durham Airport, the drive takes 31 minutes with average traffic.
Group tours of the gardens are available by calling 919.772.4794 or email Karen Kwitnieski (firstname.lastname@example.org). There is no charge for garden tours, but we ask groups to remember that our Botanic Gardens (including staff) are solely funded by sales from the nursery at the rate of 10% of gross sales. Please understand that it takes staff time to arrange your visit and show you the gardens. If you feel that your tour was worth $200, then a $2,000 group purchase of plants would ensure that $200 (10% of sales) goes to assist with garden upkeep. Group tours will usually include a staff introduction, a brief walk if time permits, garden maps, and a catalog. Bus, van, and car parking is available on the property.
If your group will have time to visit other area gardens, we will be glad to help with the logistics of your visit.
We hope you will find time to visit during your next trip to NC. Thanks again for your interest in Plant Delights Nursery @ Juniper Level Botanic Gardens.