Cape Fear Botanical Gardens, Fayetteville, NC

Looking at the inside of the Botanical Gardens entrance.
Looking at the inside of the Botanical Gardens entrance. | Source

Cape Fear Botanical Gardens is located on seventy-eight acres nestled between the Cape Fear River and Cross Creek, just two miles from downtown Fayetteville, NC. It was founded in 1989 and now boasts more than 2,000 varieties of ornamental plants and has several specialty gardens including the Camellia, Daylily and Hosta gardens.

There is also a River Walk, Heritage Garden, Children's Garden and PWC Water Wise Garden that provide unique educational experiences for people of all ages.

There is a new addition to the Children's Garden (that I have not had a chance to visit yet). This addition is the Butterfly Stroll. This stroll is a 450 foot, paved walkway beside the Cypress pond that showcases over 100 different "butterfly irresistible" plant varieties. These plants attract all kinds of butterflies.

Visitors to the Botanical Garden find something in bloom all year round. You will also discover a place where plants, trees and wildlife indigenous to the Cape Fear River Basin are meticulously preserved for everyone to appreciate now and for years to come.

Visitor Information

Admission to the Botanical Gardens:

  • General Admission $8 ($1 discount with Military I.D.)
  • Children ages 6-12 are $2.50
  • Children 5 and under are FREE

There are Guided Tours:

  • Adult group tours are $10 per adult which includes Garden admission; $50 minimum.
  • Student group tours are $5 per student; $50 minimum; teachers and chaperone's are free.

Hours of operation:

  • Monday through Saturday 10am to 5pm
  • Sunday 12pm to 5pm
  • Hours may change during holidays and inclement weather.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
One of the many fountains in the gardens.One of my favorite flowers in the garden.Trumpet flowers.Purple berries.Pretty yellow and white flowers.Bees doing what they are best at.Bird houses all over the garden.Elephant Ears!!!!!  They are huge!
One of the many fountains in the gardens.
One of the many fountains in the gardens. | Source
One of my favorite flowers in the garden.
One of my favorite flowers in the garden. | Source
Trumpet flowers.
Trumpet flowers. | Source
Purple berries.
Purple berries. | Source
Pretty yellow and white flowers.
Pretty yellow and white flowers. | Source
Bees doing what they are best at.
Bees doing what they are best at. | Source
Bird houses all over the garden.
Bird houses all over the garden. | Source
Elephant Ears!!!!!  They are huge!
Elephant Ears!!!!! They are huge! | Source
Click thumbnail to view full-size
The very tall Praying MantisAll about the praying mantisThe kids and the grasshopper.All about the grasshopper.The spider exhibit.All about the spider.Part of the big bug exhibit.The ladybug.Standing underneath an Ant.My favorite the Dragonfly.
The very tall Praying Mantis
The very tall Praying Mantis | Source
All about the praying mantis
All about the praying mantis | Source
The kids and the grasshopper.
The kids and the grasshopper. | Source
All about the grasshopper.
All about the grasshopper. | Source
The spider exhibit.
The spider exhibit. | Source
All about the spider.
All about the spider. | Source
Part of the big bug exhibit.
Part of the big bug exhibit. | Source
The ladybug.
The ladybug. | Source
Standing underneath an Ant.
Standing underneath an Ant. | Source
My favorite the Dragonfly.
My favorite the Dragonfly. | Source

The Big Bug Exhibit

David Rogers' Big Bugs presented by Terminix was at the Cape Fear Botanical Gardens when we were there.

5 stars for Big Bugs by David Rogers

The garden had been invaded. The critters were not your usual suspects, however. This swarm was friendly and larger than life. They are called Big Bugs and feature a 1,200 pound praying mantis, a 25 foot long at and 8 other enormous natural sculptures. The gigantic bug sculptures are made using various combinations of whole trees found standing or fallen dead, dry branches and other forest materials. The different shapes, colors and textures of these materials provide the bugs with character, definition and a sense of motion. The weight of the sculptures varies from 30 to 1,200 pounds and some of the bugs stand nearly 10 feet high and stretch 25 feet long. The sculptures were displayed through the garden for visitors to get a "bug's eye view" of the creatures.

These big bugs were all over the Gardens area. You could walk all around the garden and see a new bug in each spot. The kids' favorite were the ants because there were several in a line and you could run around underneath them. My favorite was the dragonfly. Such a magical "bug" and they positioned this one in a really awesome spot for my picture taking!

Arts and Crafts in the Garden

During many of the exhibits that the Botanical Gardens puts on each year, they usually have arts and crafts for the kids and other "fun" stuff to do on the weekends. Some of the great stuff they had available for us to do during the Big Bugs Exhibit were:

  • Make your own clay pottery
  • Make your own butter using a jar and some cream (a lot of shaking went into this)
  • Painting your own "plate" (they had a fancy one that had been painted and cooked that the kids were supposed to copy from)
  • Horse/Pony rides for all the kids
  • Making of husk dolls (These are super cute and you can learn more about them with randomcreative's hub How to Make Corn Husk Dolls and Other Corn Husk Craft Ideas)
  • The kids learned how to take the corn off the cob
  • There was an egg hut from the chickens
  • The kids had to search for different vegetables in a big pool of sand (large onions, potatoes, carrots, etc.)
  • And there was some incredible stew being cooked for all the visitors (best stew I've ever had)

Click thumbnail to view full-size
How to make clay pots.Making our own butter.Our butter turned out great.Painting a plate.Painting a plate.Painting a plate.Horse rides for the kids.Horse rides for the kids.Ladies making corn husk dolls.My youngest daughters corn husk doll.My oldest daughters corn husk doll.Learning how to take the corn off the cobs.Looking for hidden eggs from the chickens.Searching for vegetables in a big pool of sand.A huge pot of stew.Some of the best stew I have tasted.  Even the husband liked it!
How to make clay pots.
How to make clay pots. | Source
Making our own butter.
Making our own butter. | Source
Our butter turned out great.
Our butter turned out great. | Source
Painting a plate.
Painting a plate. | Source
Painting a plate.
Painting a plate. | Source
Painting a plate.
Painting a plate. | Source
Horse rides for the kids.
Horse rides for the kids. | Source
Horse rides for the kids.
Horse rides for the kids. | Source
Ladies making corn husk dolls.
Ladies making corn husk dolls. | Source
My youngest daughters corn husk doll.
My youngest daughters corn husk doll. | Source
My oldest daughters corn husk doll.
My oldest daughters corn husk doll. | Source
Learning how to take the corn off the cobs.
Learning how to take the corn off the cobs. | Source
Looking for hidden eggs from the chickens.
Looking for hidden eggs from the chickens. | Source
Searching for vegetables in a big pool of sand.
Searching for vegetables in a big pool of sand. | Source
A huge pot of stew.
A huge pot of stew. | Source
Some of the best stew I have tasted.  Even the husband liked it!
Some of the best stew I have tasted. Even the husband liked it! | Source

Cape Fear River Trail

The Cape Fear River Trail that is located in the Botanical Gardens grounds is a nice little hike through the woods of NC. You get far enough away from the main building that you can't see nor hear anything that is happening there. While walking there are a couple bridges you go across, and there are a few spots where you can stop and see the river. You are not supposed to go off the path but you can tell many people have. This Walk winds all the way around to the other side of the entrance building so you don't have to walk down and walk back the same way. Just keep walking straight down the path and you will eventually end up back where you started.

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Holiday Lights in the Garden

The next main event that I am going to at the Cape Fear Botanical Gardens is called "Holiday Lights in the Garden". It is from December 14th through Dec 29th of 2012. There will be thousands of lights as the garden will be transformed into a sparkling wonderland that will offer visitors the occasion to embrace the outdoors during the holiday season. On select evenings, music will fill the air as choral and instrumental groups perform concerts. Seasonal treats, hot drinks and refreshments will be available as well. You can find the perfect gift for everyone on your Christmas shopping list in the Garden Gift Shop. Viewing times are from 5:45pm to 9:00pm with the last entry being at 8:45pm. The Garden is closed on December 24th and 25th in observance of Christmas.

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Comments 7 comments

Mhatter99 profile image

Mhatter99 4 years ago from San Francisco

Thank you for this beautiful and picturesque tour.


CassyLu1981 profile image

CassyLu1981 4 years ago from Spring Lake, NC Author

Mhatter99 - you are welcome :) thanks for the comment!


leahlefler profile image

leahlefler 4 years ago from Western New York

I love Elephant Ears. What a beautiful botanical garden! My kids would love the big bug exhibit!


CassyLu1981 profile image

CassyLu1981 4 years ago from Spring Lake, NC Author

leahlefler - My mom loves elephants so these pictures were taken for her :) I can't believe how huge they are!!!! The big bug exhibit travels to different cities. Maybe it will come up to your area one day! Thanks for the comment :)


Efficient Admin profile image

Efficient Admin 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

This sounds like it was a really fun day. I am originally from Fayetteville and don't remember this place, but it is probably newer. It looks like a place I would like to visit and your hub covered a lot of very useful information. I would love to learn how to make some butter! Thanks for sharing and voted up.


CassyLu1981 profile image

CassyLu1981 3 years ago from Spring Lake, NC Author

I'm not sure how long the Gardens have been there but we still love going to them :) Although it doesn't change a whole lot it is still amazing to do the walk around the whole area. Maybe one day you will get the chance to come back to Fayetteville and check it out. Well worth the time if you do!!! Check their website and see when they have some happenings going on. Christmas time is supposed to be amazing! Thanks for the votes and comment!!!


thumbi7 profile image

thumbi7 15 months ago from India

Wow! Really beautiful.

I liked all the pictures especially that of cute children standing near elephant ears and that of purple berries

Thanks for sharing

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