Secluded alcoves, winding paths and great greenhouses create mystery and intrigue in gardens both large and small, and several of Asheville's public and private gardens offer a little something to be discovered. Take advantage of these opportunities to see how vision, patience, and love can transform a few acres of ordinary land into something unique and inspiring. Among the garden treasures on this special list are a bamboo grove, a daylily farm, a mountainside propagation nursery, and a lovely greensward created from industrial wasteland.Click here for a full list of private gardens.
Tucked behind a high wall at the North Carolina Arboretum is an intricately designed garden displaying up to 50 exquisite bonsai trees. The collection is botanically diverse and includes a number of plants native to the Blue Ridge region as well as specimens from traditional Asian bonsai species and other American plants. The design of the exhibit itself combines traditional bonsai heritage with the atmosphere of a contemporary American garden.
Nearby, the Arboretum's Quilt Garden puts a new spin on the Appalachian heritage craft of quilting by interpreting traditional quilt block patterns as colorful flower beds. A different quilt pattern is chosen each year, and the garden designs change seasonally. The garden is viewable from an observation area—for an overview perspective—as well as from pathways that divide the garden's 24 beds.
A woodland garden nestled by the banks of Bent Creek features nearly every species of azalea native to the U.S., as well as some natural and selected hybrids. The National Native Azalea Collection is a little-known but easily accessible area, where azaleas can be found blooming in yellow, white, pink, purple and orange from March to August.
Another colorful celebration of the native azalea plan can be found at Biltmore. The 15-acre azalea garden is the estate's largest and the collection of 1,000+ blooming bushes is largely the work of Chauncey Beadle, who was hired as an estate horticulturist and who stayed at Biltmore for 60 years.
Biltmore's Conservatory—located on the edge of the Walled Garden—is a Gilded Age testament to opulence through horticulture. The impressive glass structure features room after room of tropical plants from palms to cacti to orchids, with interesting specimens tucked into every corner.
A handful of exceptional private gardens in the Asheville area are open to visitors by appointment.
Site of propagation and display beds on more than two acres of pristine farmland alongside a mountain creek, north of Asheville. The owner/operator is Bobby Selman, hybridizer of daylilies, with more than 2,000 varieties. Customers are located …more
An inspiring formal garden in the River Arts District, created by one woman on the remains of earlier industrial operations, the CURVE Studios & Garden demonstrate how mass plantings can mitigate industrial brownfields hazards. Owner Pattiy Torno …more
Two towering dawn redwood trees take pride of place in this 15-acre garden in Asheville. The owners have created a highly textural and varied garden themselves over some 40 years, at the historic Blue Briar Cottage. Owner Peter Gentling propagates …more
This specialty garden on six acres holds some 24 bamboo species which grow in a picturesque setting a short drive from Asheville. The creators of this nursery and garden are Keiji and Stefani Oshima, a couple – he is from Japan, she from the United …more