The creative team at Sparking Design are providing this week’s blog again. Since Susan and James , our wonderful Asheville Bed and Breakfast innkeepers, are off on a hiking adventure of a lifetime in Patagonia, we thought we’d tell you about a favorite outdoors spot of our own, The North Carolina Arboretum. The Arboretum is situated along the Blue Ridge Parkway and has 10 miles of hiking and biking trails among 65 acres of cultivated gardens and a total of 434 acres of natural beauty. Two of our favorite areas are The Quilt Garden and the Bonsai Exhibition Garden.
The Quilt Garden is easily accessible, and you can view all 24 beds as a whole from an overlook and then explore the pattern up close by walking through the paths that divide each block. The plantings change seasonally, and each year the quilt pattern reflects ties to the local heritage of quilt-making. Beautiful sculptures and seating areas can be found throughout all the gardens. The Bonsai Exhibition Garden is always a favorite because of the walkway and garden design and because the collection of plants ranges from traditional Asian plants such as Japanese maple to the local American Hornbeam which is found in our very own neighborhood. There are over 100 specimens in the collection, and it’s wonderful to see them all up close. This exhibit has been the subject of national attention, and it’s not surprising!
There are also interesting and changing exhibits, educational programs, and tours to enjoy. Happening now is an exhibit of watercolors by local resident Ann Vasilik. Vasilik’s paintings often feature the natural and architectural beauty of our area, but many also reflect her many travels. It’s easy to spend a good part of the day exploring The North Carolina Arboretum, and we often take a picnic. Admission is $8 per vehicle.