Cherry trees

Duke in Pics: Signature Spring Scenes

From the popular cherry allée in Duke Gardens to the pops of color around campus, see where spring shines at Duke

In early March, Duke Gardens' cherry trees delight visitors. Photos by Stephen Schramm.

The cherry allée was planted in 2011 and since 2014, when it reached maturity, it’s been an immensely popular spot for visitors, who often take cherry-blossom filled selfies.

“It’s magical for us, too,” Mottern said about the gardens’ staff. “It’s why we do it. We love plants and we love to see other people love plants.”

The cherry allée is just one of the spots at Duke that shines in the spring. Duke University Landscape Architect Mark Hough said that plenty of thought is given to making spring special at Duke. From cherry trees and redbuds, which bloom early in the season, to hydrangeas and dogwoods that flower later in the spring, the goal is have splashes of color sustain through February, March, April and May.

“We try to extend the experience as long as possible,” Hough said. “We constantly think about how to maximize the show, so to speak, throughout the season.”

As we celebrate the first official day of spring on Monday, March 20 take a look at some spots on Duke’s campus that are already greeting the new season with beautiful color.

With a mild winter and a dose of warm weather in February, the early spring plants, such as these daffodils on East Campus, popped up early, signifying that spring was on its way.

“Once the bulbs like the crocuses and daffodils come up, it gives you the hint in February that something is coming,” Hough said.

The spring is a popular time for prospective students and families to visit campus. The ribbon of redbud trees which run from the Undergraduate Admissions office and down Chapel Drive toward West Campus are designed, in large part, to give visitors a pretty walk to the heart of Duke.

While Krzyzewskiville has little of the life that it had a few months ago, flowering shrubs, such as these outside of Card Gym, give students a pretty scene in which to enjoy a warm afternoon.

With Duke Central Tower now complete, areas near Duke University Hospital which were recently construction zones now feature small doses of greenspace and splashes of spring color. In this small sitting area near the CARL Building, spring flowers brighten up a small grassy alcove.

While there are a few dashes of color, such as this redbud, the area around Duke Pond has yet to break from its winter slumber. Hough, who led the design of the award-winning space, said that with so many native plants around the pond, there’s an element of unpredictability to what kind of springtime show you’ll get.

Though, Hough also pointed out that scores of wildflowers have been planted around the pond so, later this spring, there should be plenty to enjoy.

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