> April 3-May 16, 2010 are the dates for the Biltmore Estate “Festival of Flowers” this year here in Asheville, North Carolina. I have no doubt that the gardens will be beautiful and I urge you to come and see them. Meanwhile at the Carolina Bed & Breakfast we are experiencing our own festival of flowers. Built in 1901, the property has seen multiple owners over the years, each of whom has put his imprint on the grounds as well. The garden shows simultaneous signs of love and neglect. Wonderful plants and flowers are scattered throughout the woods around the house and hidden behind other plants. Having just bought the inn this past fall this is a springtime of discovery for James and me, Every day we walk our acre of land and find new treasures. Our years living in England gave us a some knowledge about gardening but there is much we don’t know and we are working hard to figure out what we want to do but first, we need to find out what we have!
One thing we do seem to have is a lot of Spring bulbs. I can see daffodils in the woods, peeping up under leaves and behind trees as well as crocuses lining the driveway and sidewalk. This Fall I planted over 200 bulbs, many of which the squirrels dug up, but clearly I am not the only person to have done this in this garden!
When we bought the inn there was an herb garden next to the kitchen. It was not well placed, being in a shady spot and I knew that I would be replanting it elsewhere so I was not unduly upset by workmen stepping on the existing plants as they moved in and out of the kitchen. But I have to admit that I was surprised and pleased to see parsley sticking its green head up in defiance of this maltreatment.
By the front steps a Camellia plant blooms, in spite of leaves burned by the harsh weather. It is as if this plant couldn’t wait to thumb its nose at the snow and ice of this winter
And behind a wall of ivy on the side of the house, we found three small roses bushes, valiantly trying to find the sun.
In another corner is a plant which Sara thinks is a hollyhock. Now I wouldn’t know a hollyhock from a ham hock so I am going to watch this plant with interest!