The North Carolina Arboretum is one of our favorite destinations to recommend to our guests. A number of Asheville Bed and Breakfast guests have visited recently and enjoyed the beautiful early spring blooms. Due to the warm weather, particularly in March, the Asheville area is at least 3-4 weeks ahead in spring bloom. What we normally expect to see in early May we are experiencing in early April.
The Arboretum sits on 434 acres and is a beautiful place to stroll, hike, or bike on the thirteen miles of trails. It is actually in the Pisgah National Forest located at the entrance to the Blue Ridge Parkway.
The arboretum is celebrating it’s 25th anniversary in 2012 and offers a wide range of activities for visitors of all ages. There is always a variety of educational programs, tours, garden demonstrations and work shops available. This past weekend the Arboretum hosted the annual Orchid Show sponsored by the WNCOS. This show serves as the grand opening of the spring season at the Arboretum and attracted over 3000 visitors. A number of orchids from the WhiteGate Inn greenhouse were in the main exhibit and Ralph did take home a few ribbons. Most of the local horticultural groups have their annual shows at the Arboretum. The Bonsai Show is second only to the Orchid Show in visitors.
There is even a bamboo festival held every July featuring a number of vendors and exhibits. All eight varieties of bamboo that Ralph grows at our Asheville NC Bed and Breakfast came from vendors at the bamboo festival. Ralph’s personal favorite is our Black Bamboo which is just starting to put out new growths for the year.There are many trails to choose from but our favorite is the Bent Creek Trail. Ida Claire and Stryker Roch have grown up walking this trail and love the opportunity to swim in the shallow areas along the trail.There are many gardens area to visit. Of particular interest is the Heritage Garden featuring plants used in the region’ medical herb and craft industries. The National Native Azalea Repository helps preserve and protect native azaleas.
Next time you are in Asheville be sure and check out the NC Arboretum, only a 20 minute drive from the WhiteGate Inn.