I was excited to have the 1889 WhiteGate Inn gardens featured on the American Horticultural Society tour which was held in Asheville, NC April 23-27. These gardeners were from all over the country including CA, NY, FL and states in the Northeast and Midwest. 37 were in the group. The gardens were in full spring bloom and many orchids were blooming in the greenhouse. I knew the group would challenge my memory so I had a plant list available to refer to the more unusual cultivars.
Most of the group asked about the Kwanzan cherry tree that was in full bloom as well the native redbud.
Most of the Japanese maples were leafing out as well. The shade garden featured a number of ephemerals in full bloom. The sidewalk was lined with yellow wood poppies in full bloom and the snowball hydrangea was covered in white snowball shaped blooms.
The most spectacular show was presented by our Lady Banksia climbing roses in full bloom over the front arbor greeting visitors as they arrived. You can see the bright yellow display from a block away. I enjoyed showing visitors the new plantings around our new Carriage House behind the main Inn. The Japanese Umbrella pine and the Metasequoia Ogon, a yellow variety, captured their attention.
The group left after more than an hour for the Richmond Hill Inn gardens and another private garden. Over the next few days they visited the NC Arboretum, the Biltmore House, and other private gardens. Time was available to enjoy the great city of Asheville and its many galleries and outstanding restaurants. The group visited the last garden, John Cram’s wonderfull 11 acre lakeside garden full of interesting sculpture and unusual plants, where my partner Frank and I were invited to a luncheon. The AHS presented us with a wonderful framed print of the AHS headquarters and were given a membership in the AHS for our help in providing an educational experience for the group. Pictures will be posted soon.