This has been the warmest winter we can remember in the thirteen years we have owned the 1889 WhiteGate Inn. Frank and Ralph have no complaints, as it has created a very busy winter season at our bed and breakfast in Asheville. We remember very well last February when it snowed three weekends in a row and potential guests were staying away. This February has been our busiest ever and March, with spring arriving later in the month, is already shaping up to be our best March yet.
Some of the heaviest snows can occur in WNC in March so we will keep our fingers crossed that this year there will be no more snow. The “Old Timers” in the area are reminding us that we had a similar warm winter in 1993 and March brought the infamous “Blizzard of ’93″ when 20 inches of snow shut Asheville down.
The gardens at our B&B in Asheville seem to be about 4 weeks ahead of schedule because of the warm weather. We have had green grass all winter, a first since we have been in Asheville. And we have had the least amount of snow, less than an inch, for the whole winter.
The greenhouse also seems ahead of schedule as many of the orchids are blooming early, and requiring a lot more water than is normal. Ralph has sent blooming orchids for the WNC Orchid Society exhibit in the SCOS and NCPOS shows. Not to brag, but he has collected a few blue ribbons. Late winter is a peak time for orchid bloom and this is why you see many orchid shows scheduled around the country this time of the year.
The Annual orchid show for the WNC Orchid Society will be held March 31-April 1 this year at the NC Arboretum and this is a milestone anniversary for both organizations. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Western North Carolina Orchid Society and there is no better way to celebrate than with their stunning annual Orchid Show. The Secret Garden of Orchids, this year’s theme, will be an adventure of the imagination. World-class orchid growers from around the country, as well as regional orchid societies, will fill the exhibition hall with blooming orchids. There will be orchids for sale from ten regional vendors, with enough variety to tempt both the novice and the expert. There will be something for everyone at this year’s show, including educational programs presented throughout the weekend by professional growers.
The WNCOS raffle table, our biggest fundraiser at the show will tempt visitors with blooming orchids and even a free night at our bed and breakfast in Asheville.
The NC Arboretum always uses the annual orchid show to kick off the spring season. This is a special occasion for the Arboretum as they celebrate their 25th year of operation. The WNC Arboretum is one of WNC’s most treasured assets and we send many of our guests to enjoy the gardens and the fifteen miles of trails. Many of our guests have enjoyed visiting the Arboretum during this mild winter season and it is only a 20-minute drive from our Asheville inn.