Asheville's Secret Gardens & Storybook Blooms

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ASHEVILLE, N.C. (March 19, 2013) — Spring: The color season no one talks about. Colors are beginning to dot the landscape near Asheville, as the first day of spring arrives. The majestic Blue Ridge Mountains make headlines each autumn, but the lore of a lush Appalachian spring has long been a fount of inspiration for artists, authors and savvy travelers. This spring, travelers can look to expert advice for vacation ideas and colorful recommendations as some of the oldest mountains in the world unveil their unmatched biodiversity, petal by petal.

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NEW! Weekly Spring Bloom Report

Each week, the tourism office will work with naturalists and attractions around the region to compile tips and adventures in bloom at Find out which spring flower hikes have early spring wildflowers, choose a color-filled spring flower drive just as the flame azaleas begin to pop, or book a travel package to view a royal array of red tulips as Biltmore Blooms with a festival of flowers.

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8 Amazing Secret (and not-so-secret) Gardens in Asheville

Asheville's green love affair began in the late 19th century when George W. Vanderbilt hired Frederick Law Olmsted, the father of modern American landscape architecture, to oversee design of his great estate, Biltmore. Olmsted's landscape feat was equivalent in scale and vision to Vanderbilt's castle, America's largest home. Beyond the verdant grounds of Biltmore Estate, mountain horticulture traditions and Asheville's artistic verve nurture an array of garden experiences, some well-known and some…not so much.

  1. Quilt Garden at the North Carolina Arboretum — an Appalachian point of pride takes garden form
  2. Biltmore Shrub Garden — a veil of purple wisteria crowns a meandering path to the famed Walled Garden
  3. Gentling Garden — a 15-acre private garden that you have to see to believe, appointments only
  4. Botanical Gardens — a 10-acre wood enclave in central Asheville with 600 native wildflower species
  5. Curve Studios Garden in the River Arts District — a formal garden with artistic flare and an industrial edge
  6. Bonsai Exhibit at the NC Arboretum — tiny trees that mimic the spring glory of their forest cousins
  7. Zen Garden in The Spa at Grove Park Inn — rake away your cares in this subterranean rock garden
  8. Craggy Gardens along the Blue Ridge Parkway — dark pink rhododendron crown craggy balds in this scenic wild garden
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Mountain Vacation Deals & Spring Travel Packages

  1. Petal Hunter Travel Package — a wildflower guide, gourmet picnic and the Blue Ridge Parkway
  2. Forage for Fungi — experience "find dining" with an epicure of the obscure
  3. Wildflower Hike in a Bag — a mountain cabin and everything you need for a flower-filled excursion
  4. Biltmore Blooms — explore a festival of flowers with these Biltmore travel deals
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Flowers on the Parkway in Asheville, NC
Flowers on the Parkway in Asheville, NC
Sunshine on the Parkway in Asheville, NC
Asheville, NC Skyline