Whether you’re celebrating a graduation, engagement, new family member, or just looking for a place for a stunning Instagram post this summer, we’ve got local recs for you. Bonus: All of these gardens are free to enter and don’t require a photo permit.
🌹 The Raleigh Rose Garden, 301 Pogue St., Raleigh | Located right behind Raleigh Little Theater, this garden houses 60 flower beds with a wide variety of roses blooming from May until November. This smaller spot is secluded and romantic and is a good fit for any occasion throughout the year. Pro tip: There is street parking available.
💐 JC Raulston Arboretum, 4415 Beryl Rd., Raleigh | The biggest of our garden picks, JC Raulston Arboretum has a wide variety of plants and curated areas for many backdrops in the same location. The arboretum also acts as a living laboratory for NC State, which makes it a great spot for plant enthusiasts. Pro tip: Make sure to check the arboretum’s hours before you visit — they often close before sunset, so don’t expect golden hour pictures.
🌻 Sunflower Field at Dorothea Dix Park, 75 Hunt Dr., Raleigh | Although they won’t be blooming until mid-July, the Dix Park sunflowers are a summer must for any Raleighite. Pro tip: Pair your visit with a trip to the State Farmers Market beforehand and pick up some freshly cut sunflowers to pose with in the field.
🌺 WRAL Azalea Gardens, 2619 Western Blvd., Raleigh | Featuring over 60 types of azaleas, this garden connected to WRAL is a well manicured gem. Bird feeders, sculptures, and benches also line this garden, adding some extra features for your pics. Pro tip: Bring lunch and a blanket to picnic among the azaleas on a sunny day.