Thursday, September 27, 2007

Botanical Gardens at Asheville

Located adjacent to the campus of UNC Asheville, The Botanical Gardens of Asheville made for a very pleasant afternoon stroll. Something to help the $200 it cost me to get a NC license plate go done a bit easier. $200 Ouch! The gardens were free.

Between the drought, the end of summer season and the predominantly forest habitat there was not a lot in bloom. Which does not mean there was not a lot to see. This is mainly a native plant collection and many of the trees, shrubs and perennials were well labeled. There just were not any of those glossy plant porn shots you garden bloggers have grown so accustomed to.

The site spoke for itself though and the garden is located in a beautiful forested setting. It is comprised of two parts mainly, a stream valley and the hill that runs parallel to it.

Looking back from the way I came the stream is on the right and the ridge line on the left. The main plantings with labels were on the ridge.

At the far end of the garden an authentic log cabin with a dog trot, the Hayes Cabin, sits bordering a sunny open lawn.

Nice Fireplace and chimney and a side view of the big shady front porch.

Headed back along the ridge. There were many Rhododendron and Azalea species and native woodland perennials through this section of the garden. They were all in desperate need of rain.

This caught my eye of course. Color. Strawberry Bush, Euonymus americana.

What is a garden without art? This looked like it was an actual functioning fountain at one time or at some point. Yes that is a pond in the stone planter bed.

Now I guess I believe the local garden columnist who said it was a bad year for butterflies. Under normal conditions this garden may have had more in bloom at this time of year.

It is worth a return visit. The ambiance of the garden itself was worth the trip today. Spring would be a good time.

Back at home where I think I got a bit more rain and still have manageable numbers of plants to hand water, the Monarchs were liking my store bought Joe Pye Weed big time.


chuck b. said...

There are so many ways to conceive and design a botanic garden. Which is cool, and which is why I love them. In the Bay Area, U.C. Berkeley and San Francisco Bot are pretty similar affairs (although the former is way better funded than the latter), while Tilden, UC Santa Cruz, and UC Davis feel completely different and each offers something completely different to the visitor.

Asheville looks wonderful. The "authentic cabin" strikes me as a particularly enjoyable element. Really connects the landscape to the people who live in it, and perhaps by incorporation, the local wildlife.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tour. Having been to the gardens before, your photos captured it well. We especially appreciated the large trees in the valley's open area and the bridge to the ridge path. Your blog is so informative and entertaining.

Annie in Austin said...

This looks like a nice lowkey place for revisiting at different seasons - especially since it's free.

Your 'ouch' made me wonder, Christoper, so I checked the state website - looks like tags for a newish, regular size car would cost about $70 in TX.


Christopher C. NC said...

Annie I asked because I was so shocked by the price and the women said it would be $28 or so next year. They are treating newcomers like a new car purchase and have a highway use tax in leiu of a sales tax, and a title fee to change the title to NC, and a notary fee(that's a racket).