Thursday, July 16, 2009

Late Bloom Day - Part 2

Yes there are times even for gardeners when it is important to stop .... and smell the roses. But these were Knockout Roses and they didn't have any smell. They look much better than mine though which bloomed once this spring and have just sat there since, not growing at all.

We were in the neighborhood and decided to stop by the Grove Park Inn and have a look around. I have no recollection of ever being here before, but the resident gardeners recall taking their young brood here for lunch one day many moons ago.

This is just one side of the main inn. Scaffolding encased the main entry of the Great Hall and large parts of the rear of the inn. The building is getting a new roof and restoration work done for its upcoming 100th birthday.

Check out the boulders above the windows. Click on the picture for a better look at the rough stone face of this building. This is totally 3-D stone work

This must be some cultivar of the Oakleaf Hydrangea. It is much more striking than the regular type.

Big pots on a big patio.

My friend Deb checks out the view on a terrace below the inn and above the spa which was added to the resort in the last decade.

Downtown Asheville peaks up through the tree tops. This haze is typical of warm summer days.

Is the stone used in the new spa real or fake? It is hard to tell. Could that single stone arch over the spa entry possibly be one piece of stone? They did stay with the theme of the original inn, but this stone work is decidedly different from the 3-D rock of the original.

Looking down at the spa complex.

Looking up towards the main inn. The building in the back ground is one of two new wings added to the original inn.

The gardens in the central courtyard created by the two new wings and above the spa were a bit lacking I thought. It seemed to be planted in the New American style with native perennials like Iron Weed, Joe Pye, grasses and small trees and a few shrubs. I did not really look close enough to take it all in. There were huge areas of bare mulch and next to nothing blooming. Perhaps this garden is still relatively new from all the construction that went on.

But let me tell you there is absolutely no reason a meadow type garden should be so devoid of bloom at this time of year in North Carolina. Someone needs to speak to their head horticulturalist.

Chuck B was contemplating a sculpture for a problem spot in his garden and I thought of him when I saw these kinetic sculptures on a small lawn in the parking area.

Next stop was downtown and the Vortex Cabaret at the Boiler Room. Sorry no pics. Produced by the Rev. Johnny Lemuria, Holy man, absurdist radical, and host of the Pleasure Saucer, it truly had to be seen to be believed. Two musical acts that were just noise, but watching the odd physical aspects of the musicians themselves was amusing, a puppeteer, a comedian and one burlesque performance. Different and enjoyable in an absurdest sort of way.

And that was my Bloom Day in Asheville. Now back to you Carol.


Siria said...

Loved your bloom day! And it looks like you had a great time too. I love the Grove Park Inn. I always try and go at Christmas to see the Gingerbread Houses on display. The view over Asheville is beautiful on a clear day as the sun is setting.

Grace Peterson said...

Thank you for the tour. The stone work is magnificent. Maybe not enough but the flowers that were there looked lovely. The kinetic sculptures were cool too.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

It sounds like you had a refreshing outing. I really like the 3-D stonework in that old building. They don't do things like that anymore.

There is a fellow in our town that makes those kenetic sculptures.

Frances said...

Hi Christopher, so you don't remember the family Grove Park experience? Must have been really young, that seems like something one would remember. We stayed there once, the same day we took the over the mountain five hour drive to Asheville. We opted for the cheaper room in the newer parts. Like the Biltmore Inn, just like any other hotel unless you were willing to pay even more big bucks for the fancy rooms. But the buildings are amazing. The spa wasn't there yet, I remember many articles about it in the shelter magazines though, I think it is real rock?

Christopher C. NC said...

Siria, I think I need to go back in the fall after a nice cold front has passed clearing the air for a crisp view of the fall color over Asheville.

Grace I am hoping this is still a new garden. The Spa and new wings are pretty recent additions so that whole center garden area with the rock walls, stairs and terraces is new.

Lisa they sure don't do things like that any more and the history blurb said the inn was built in 12 months. I'm sure they had a larger crew than one, but they did use mule power to haul a lot of that stone.

Frances, I searched my memory and there is faint glimmer of the huge fireplaces, but I don't know if it is real. Glancing at their web site I saw what looked like cheap summer specials at the inn and spa. The Grove Park was my recommendation for the recent 80th birthday, but the Biltmore won out.

Anonymous said...

Aha, that's what you need - a mule to haul your rock! He and the cats would love each other! (:


Lola said...

A great bloom day for all. Loved the tour. They don't use rock that much any more. I do think it's neat.
Glad you got away.