Secrets of the Arboretum

If you hang around NC State’s campus frequently, especially in the Horticulture department, you may have spotted some flyers for “Black Coffee Walks” at the JCRA.  If not, don’t worry, I am about to share our magical Thursday mornings with you all. 

Although our days as interns at the arboretum are filled with sweat, dirt, and sometimes cleaning out frog infested ponds; our Thursday mornings are quite peaceful. At 6:30am, upon our arrival at work, Lizzi, myself, and the other interns, fill our coffee cups and head out into the still dew-ridden, hazy garden. We take our time to walk through the gardens, not checking for weeds or broken limbs, but simply taking in this amazing space which we have been given this summer. On occasion, it results in a delicious morning snack of figs, and it always ends with awesome photos. 

This weekly experience, for me, has been a learning opportunity to try my hardest to learn as many plant names as Tim knows (folks, it’s impossible) and to spend a bit of time in my own thoughts. It has made me realize that the best time of day at the arboretum is the crack of dawn, and even if you are not a morning person, I promise it is worth it. 

Here are some photos from these walks that I hope might inspire you all to enjoy the arboretum at a time when the birds are just getting up, you cannot hear cars roaring by on 440, and you have the time to take everything in. 

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