Sarah P. Duke Gardens

The Sarah P. Duke Gardens were first opened in 1939 on 55 acres, designed by Ellen Biddle Shipman (1869-1950), a pioneer in American landscape design. Considered Shipman’s greatest work and a national architectural treasure, Duke Gardens continues to thrive long after many of Shipman’s 650 other gardens have disappeared. Duke Performances’ Music in the Gardens concerts are held every summer on a stage on the lawn, and often feature local indie rock bands and musicians from a range of American vernacular traditions. Accessed via the Doris Duke Center, the lawn can hold up to 700 people. Visitors are encouraged to bring picnics, picnic blankets, and lawn chairs; food and beverages are also available for sale. Pets are not permitted. This is a fully accessible venue with indoor washrooms.

Mission

Sarah P. Duke Gardens creates and nurtures an environment in the heart of Duke University for learning, inspiration and enjoyment through excellence in horticulture.

Vision

Sarah P. Duke Gardens is a premier public garden. Our living collections promote knowledge of the vital connections between people and plants, fostering an appreciation of the natural world, environmental awareness and sustainable practices. It is an indispensable and lasting feature of life at Duke University, accessible to all, providing outreach and respite to a diverse and vibrant local community and visitors from around the world.

Core Values

Excellence: We model excellence in horticultural display, educational programming, public garden management and sustainability.

Beauty: Duke Gardens is an inspiring expression of art in nature.

Inspiration: The environment we create and nurture lifts our visitors’ spirits, touches their hearts and engages their minds.

Integrity: We act ethically and with respect in fulfillment of our mission, and in our relationships with staff, volunteers, visitors and all constituents.

Stewardship: We conserve our natural resources and model best practices in environmental sustainability.

Community: By connecting people with plants, we improve quality of life and strengthen the communities we serve.

Sarah P. Duke Gardens
420 Anderson Street
Durham, NC 27708
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Events at Duke Gardens