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Garden Talk

Red Japanese maple foliage

Fall Foliage Highlights

By Katherine Hale

Marketing & Communications Assistant

Fall in Duke Gardens is an incomparable experience, with the fiery palette of changing leaf colors making this a favorite season for many. Whether you're able to visit or only to admire from afar, we thought you'd enjoy a virtual tour of highlights from previous years featuring the fall color at its finest.

A frequently recurring guest star in this collection is the Japanese maple (Acer palmatum, pictured above by Cathi Bodine), which is widely planted throughout the Gardens. Although it is exquisite in any season, it truly comes into its own in October and November.

Doris Duke Center Gardens

A pair of Adirondack chairs under two red Japanese maples besides a pond

A pair of Adirondack chairs beneath two ornamental Japanese maples (Acer palmatum [Matsumurae Group] ‘Suminagashi’) beside the Virtue Peace Pond, by Clarence Burke.

Red and yellow star-shaped sweetgum leaves attached to a branch

Close-up of Formosan sweetgum leaves (Liquidambar formosana) near the border between the Welch Woodland Garden and the Culberson Asiatic Arboretum, by Brian Wells.

Wooden tobacco barn on a hill surrounded by green cabbages

In addition to the fall color provided by native ornamental shrubs, the Charlotte Brody Discovery Garden also features cool-season vegetables like collards, kale and cabbage (Brassica spp.) that offer a welcome note of green. Photo by Brian Wells.

Historic Gardens

Red Japanese maple foliage with a metal pergola in the background

An ornamental Japanese maple (Acer palamatum) in the Terrace Gardens, by Cathi Bodine.


Yellow gingko tree behind the Roney fountain

A bright yellow gingko (Ginkgo biloba) behind the Roney Fountain, by Cathi Bodine.

Paved path covered with fallen leaves

A winding path paralleling Flowers Drive, by Clarence Burke.

Blomquist Garden of Native Plants

Yellow redbud branch with Blomquist gatehouse in the background

A redbud tree (Cercis sp.) near the main entrance of the Blomquist Garden of Native Plants, by Clarence Burke.

View of autumn leaves through a wooden window

Fall foliage framed by the Bird Viewing Shelter, by Gabriel Campos.

Pinnately compounded red sumac foliage

Staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina), by Sue Lannon.

Culberson Asiatic Arboretum

Tiled gate

The main entrance to the Culberson Asiatic Arboretum, looking out at the Mary Duke Biddle Rose Garden, by Clarence Burke.

Fall foliage with a view of the lake beyond

View of fall foliage from the Durham-Toyama Sister Cities Japanese Pavilion, with the pond beyond, by Sue Lannon.

Stone path surrounded by moss

A winding path through the Kathleen Smith Moss Garden, by Brian Wells.

Autumn foliage with a thatched shelter in the background

Fall foliage in the Garden for Peace, by Sue Lannon.

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