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  • Writer's picturePeter

Coker Arboretum - Chapel Hill, NC

It’s cold. It’s rainy. It’s gross. But when this patch of nasty weather finally passes, do yourself a favor and go out to North Carolina Botanical Garden’s Coker Arboretum for your own pre-spring mini-scavenger hunt to find the beautiful plants blooming in this Chapel Hill gem.

From the outside currently, the Arboretum looks like a lot of bare trees waiting for their cue to start blooming, but if you take a stroll inside, you’ll be delighted to find a number of beautiful plants coming to life. Check out all the ones we found today!

• Japanese Apricot • Winter Jasmine • Sasanque Camellia • Snow Camellia • Lenten-rose • Sweet-breath-of-spring (part of the honeysuckle family and you can definitely smell it!) • Stinking Hellebore (didn’t actually smell ironically)

And don’t worry, we didn’t actually know the names of any of these - they just have good signage at the park.

The birds are also out in force, chirping and rummaging through the leaves for some grub. It was nice to have a few quiet moments sitting on the benches throughout the Arboretum and just listening to the sounds of nature.

Logistics-wise: • The Arboretum is on the UNC Chapel Hill campus, and there is no official parking lot. We parked in the metered street parking just to the side of the park. (The meters take debit/credit cards and there is also a phone app, which is what we used.)

• From what we saw, there were no bathrooms. However, during non-COVID times, it might be possible to go into one of the surrounding college buildings and use a restroom.

• Also with COVID on the mind, now was actually a great time to go because there was no one there. You could probably say it’s the Arboretum’s “off-season” and, therefore, it’s on less people’s minds as a place to check out.

Have you been to Coker Arboretum? Do you have a favorite flower there? Let us know in the comments!

(Note: We're currently working on updating our website with our reviews. This review was originally posted on Instagram and Facebook on February 11, 2021.)

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