This fern garden was established in 1968 with contributions given in memory of Hugo L. Blomquist (1885-1964), the first professor of botany at Duke and an authority on Southeastern flora. In subsequent years, the rolling woodland terrain of the 6.5-acre H.L. Blomquist Garden of Native Plants grew to hold an extensive collection of Southeast flora, including ferns and more than 900 species and varieties of regional native plants. Many of them found a home in the Blomquist after approved plant-rescue operations from land facing development.
The Blomquist has many plant environments, including a pitcher plant bog, a fern grotto, and a sunny pond, as well as the Steve Church Endangered Species Garden and the Blomquist Wildlife Garden. The wildlife garden has plans to create a place dedicated to educating the public about gardening for wildlife and will be home to many plant species that provide food and nectar for birds as well as sustenance for the many stages of the insect life cycle.
Exhibits in the Perkins Gallery are sponsored in part by the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation