RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA – Juniper Level Botanic Garden will host their first North Carolina Agave Festival during Summer Open Garden, July 14-23. Hundreds of agave plants, representing over 80 types, will be showcased throughout the garden and nurseries.
“Agave is known as the ‘plant of life’ due to heat resistance, soil adaptability, low water requirements, erosion control, and as a source of sustenance,” said Tony Avent, founder and proprietor of the garden. “Agave plants range in width from several inches to over eight feet across, with the tallest plants flowering upward over 20 feet. Agave typically lives 8 to 40 years, and most will bloom and seed only once before dying.”
Established in Wake County in 1986 and recently gifted to NC State University by Tony and Anita Avent, Juniper Level Botanic Garden is a not-for-profit 28-acre educational, research, and display garden open just two weekends each season for self-guided tours, plant purchases, and free gardening walks and talks with experts.
“Combined with the eye-catching variety of colors and the symmetrical rosettes of the agaves, summer is an amazing time of year to see plants blooming in the garden,” added Avent. “There’s color everywhere and incredible pollinator activity. That’s when all the insects and birds are gathering nectar they need to survive. If you want a lot of pollinator activity in your garden in the summertime, you need plants that have a burst of flowers – Crinum lily, white top sedge, ginger lily, variegated and hardy hibiscus, spider lily, heliopsis, hidden cone ginger, also a source of turmeric, Jack-in-the-pulpit, obedient plant, love lily, flowering spurge, pineapple lily, and many more.”
“Our mission is to collect, preserve, and share plants worldwide,” said Avent, an organizer and participant in foreign and domestic plant expeditions. “The Juniper Level Botanic Garden collection now exceeds 27,000 types of plants and is one of the top five collections in the United States.”
Juniper Level has shipped more than 3 million plants to all US states and 41 nations – including a recent shipment to war-torn Ukraine.
“We will open full-time as a public garden when our endowment at North Carolina State University is fully funded,” added Avent.
Fundraising efforts operate under the auspices of The Endowment Fund of NC State University, a 501(c)3 non-profit. Donors receive an official receipt for contributions to the fund.
2023 Summer Open Garden / Agave Festival dates and times:
(Note: New extended Sunday hours):
Fri. 7/14: 8 AM – 5 PM
Sat. 7/15: 8 AM – 5 PM
Sun. 7/16: 9 AM – 5 PM (New extended hours)
Fri. 7/21: 8 AM – 5 PM
Sat. 7/22: 8 AM – 5 PM
Sun. 7/23: 9 AM – 5 PM (New extended hours)
Juniper Level Botanic Garden
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