The Natural Gardens of Rockcliff Farm

The Natural Gardens of Rockcliff Farm

Rockcliff Farm

The Natural Gardens of Rockcliff Farm is a fantastic place - home to a vast variety of upland wildflowers, native plants, and geological wonders. B. W. Wells and his wife, Maude, purchased the farm in 1950 for the wildflowers that grew along the Neuse River. It was to be their retirement home.

B. W. Wells, professor of Botany and Plant Pathology at N. C. State University, made it his life’s work to study and document the botanical makeup of North Carolina plant diversity. He is recognized as the pioneer ecologist of North Carolina. Professor Wells wrote two books; “The Natural Gardens of North Carolina” (available on Amazon) and “Natural Gardens of Rockcliff Farm”.

In 1980 the Falls Lake impoundment inundated all the lowland wildflowers, but the upland wildflowers still flourish in what is now the B. W. Wells Park, part of the Falls Lake Recreation Area, and is under the care of the B. W. Wells Association.

Since the WFGC toured Rockcliff Farm in 2000 and discovered this treasure trove of wildflowers, we determined to make an effort to support the B. W. Wells Association in the care of this invaluable preserve of native plants, wildflowers, and geological formations.

While the farmstead is normally closed to the public, it is open for Heritage Day, usually the first Saturday in April, and open to members of the Association for the annual meeting on the third Sunday afternoon in September.

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