Are you looking for a date idea, things to do in Charlotte or a free event for the family? Check out the Duke Mansion Gardens. They have been on my date idea list for a while now. A reminder popped up on my calendar Friday night and we decided to give it a try first thing Saturday morning.
The 4.5+ acres of Southern gardens are located at Duke Mansion, 400 Hermitage Road in Charlotte. They are open to the public for free during daylight hours. Just be sure to call the front desk ahead of time. There might be a private function and there won’t be access to the gardens. The number to call is 704-417-4000.
I took my own advice and called the night before. Unfortunately, no one answered. We took our chances and arrived bright and early at 9AM. There was a bridal party in the lobby for a wedding that day. Thankfully, our early morning idea was perfect as the gardens were available.
about the gardens
The Duke Mansion Gardens were designed and created to mark its 100th anniversary back in 2015. The house was built in 1915 in the new neighborhood of Myers Park. It was originally purchased by James B. Duke and has changed hands multiple times. As of now, it is owned by a nonprofit foundation that aims to preserve the estate.
My garden experience
It was an overcast, humid morning when we visited Duke Mansion. The grounds are tucked away in Myers Park. As you drive up the winding driveway to the house, you feel as if you are leaving the queen city behind. Sounds of traffic drift away and you are left with sounds of birds chirping.
We started in the Nisbet Garden. The roses were in full bloom. A water fountain bubbled nearby and benches could be found at all corners of the garden.
We followed the path that circled the mansion to a lovely, grassy area strung with lights. What a beautiful spot for a wedding reception!
To the right of lawn is a small peony garden. I was hoping I hadn’t missed the season and they would be in bloom!
There was also foxglove in the peony garden.
In front of the Duke Mansion, there is another garden tucked away by itself. It was a lush, green garden with ferns, foxglove and more. We found a bench and took in the beauty of nature.
We spent 45 minutes in the Duke Mansion Gardens. I took several minutes to photograph the plants and flowers. There is a small children’s play garden with swings if you are bringing a family. The gardens are a great place to visit for an hour or two. The proximity to Uptown and South End is perfect if you have multiple things to do in Charlotte during a single day!
If you are a photographer that enjoys capturing plants or you love to wander Southern gardens, be sure to check out my latest visit to the UNC Botanical Gardens.