Friday, September 10, 2010

Two Parks In Asheville

I have been given the task of the official photographer for the upcoming West Asheville Garden Stroll. I could not be more pleased. Except for one shift as a greeter in one of the gardens, it means I can just go on the stroll like the rest of the garden fanatics. For a while I was concerned that as a volunteer my duties might actually prevent me from seeing any of the gardens.

I snuck out a little early to get started on my job. This year two public parks in West Asheville are on the stroll. While not gardens per se, it is a great way to get the residents and visitors interested in and maybe involved with urban green spaces that do so much to enhance the quality of life.

Buttermilk Creek in Malvern Hills Park is the subject of a stream restoration and storm water runoff mitigation project. It is a collaborative effort between the city of Asheville, Riverlink and countless volunteers.

The tagged plants are some of the newly installed native plantings to help stabilize the banks and prevent erosion.

Part of the Garden Stroll this year is a service project to assist in the Buttermilk Creek restoration.

Volunteers will be weeding around and mulching some of the new plantings and expanding a walking path that will connect a nearby apartment complex to the park.

I thought this was the native Helenium autumnale or Sneezeweed now blooming along the creek because of the winged ridges all along the plants stems, but it doesn't look quite right so I don't know what it is. There are boat loads of yellow Asteraceae family members blooming now. The sunflower types are as hard to decipher at times as the asters.

There were several new rainwater catch basins in the park. I don't know if there are plans for them to be rain gardens at some point.

The main point is that one day these signs can be taken down.

The second urban green space on the stroll this year is the Waller tract. It was a little scary at first walking in. It's in the big city ya know, but the further I went, the slower I walked and the more entranced I became. This is truly a diamond in the rough.

This eleven acre parcel of land along Hominy Creek is planned to be placed in a permanent conservation easement and become part of the Wilma Dykeman Riverway Plan that will eventually connect West Asheville all the way to downtown by safe pedestrian routes.

There were more than a few invasive species in there, like Porcelain Berry, Ampelopsis brevipedunculata and Ligustrum sinense. I see ample opportunity for volunteers to get involved.

What ambiance. This would make a most excellent place for an evening stroll.

Pokeberry, Phytolacca americana is not my favorite because it seeds like crazy, has a tap root like steel reinforced concrete and wants to be six feet tall. I'm all for enjoying it in the wild or other people's gardens. One day maybe I will have eliminated all of it in mine.

Even in the city there is evidence of wildlife. As a matter of fact they see bears more in the city of Asheville than I have ever seen up here in the wilderness.

Two lobelias side by side, down by the river.

This begins the West Asheville Garden Stroll 2010 series. Next comes the real gardens of real gardeners in West Asheville.


phrago said...

They were right to enlist your talents for the photo shot of the park tours. You are an excellent photographer, Chris. I always enjoy looking at your blog. The rocks across the river bed are wonderful. Both locations seem to be very nice parks for a quick strowl to unwind in... I too have a love/hate relationship with poke weed. As long as it doesn't get in the way, I let it be. Anyway, thanks for posting this... Patrick

Anonymous said...

I remember when way back, you talked a lot about stablizing the bank at your place. How did that come out?

Lola said...

A great accomplishment. I'm sure you will enjoy that.
That creek bed looks awesome.

Siria said...

Hi Christopher! I agree...they sure picked the right guy as the photographer for the Garden Stroll! Sounds like a fun job for you too. I loved these parks ~ thanks for sharing. I can't wait to see what is coming up.... :)

fairegarden said...

This is the perfect gig, Christopher! I look forward to seeing the gardens. These parks are full of potential and will give pedestrians a wonderful place to amble. :-)

Randy Emmitt said...


Looks like you had lots of fun. That Pokeweed is awful isn't it. I was working with bird banders in VA and when the Catbirds came in, all of these birds puked purple pokeberries on the bird banders whenever they handled them.