We have had some exceptionally warm weather here in Raleigh, although today is cold and rainy. Since I knew bad weather was moving in, I decided to visit Raulston Arboretum yesterday with a friend.

Spring is so close…a few plants are starting to bloom. The great thing is that allergy season hasn’t started yet! I was able to walk around with a friend for several hours without a problem.

The day was warm but overcast. I had to really lighten and brighten the photos plus use a bit of Orton-ish to get good results. So here are my photos to get you anticipating sunny days, warmer weather, and lots of flowers.

Now I finally know what hellebores are:

Raulston hellebores

This orange bush is a flowering quince, which is in the rose family. You can make jelly from its fruit, although most flowering varieties do not bear fruit:

Raulston quince

A view into the Japanese garden:

Raulston Japanese view

I didn’t realize there were so many brightly colored early blooms. This is a gardenia tree:

Raulston gardenia

But don’t forget to look for the shy little narcissi:

Raulston narcissi

And lots of flowers to anticipate! This large cactus will be spectacular when it blooms:

Raulston cactus