Garden tour season will be in full swing starting Monday, May 7. The gardens at our bed and breakfast in Asheville have been featured on a number of tours over the past decade, so we are used to hosting these groups. The Southeastern branch of the Azalea and Rhododendron Society is having their annual conference in Asheville next week and we have agreed to host about 150 participants in the WhiteGate Inn Gardens. Buses are scheduled to arrive at 9:00AM, 3:00 PM, and 4:00PM. Ralph will give a brief history of the gardens describing his 13 years developing the gardens and answering questions.
The conference was scheduled for early May, when the Azaleas and Rhododendrons are normally at their peak. Due to the unusually warm early spring all of our azaleas in the Asheville area have bloomed out. Frank and Ralph made a point of visiting the Biltmore Estate gardens three weeks ago to see the azaleas at their peak. They were spectacular and the fragrance of the native azaleas was amazing. Many of these azaleas were planted over 100 years ago and are the size of small trees.
The WhiteGate Inn garden does not feature azaleas or rhododendrons even though we do have a few varieties of fragrant native azaleas. The tour participants will get to see a wide variety of unusual trees, including 20 varieties of Japanese Maple. There are also over 40 varieties of conifers and several hundred perennial and tropicals from the greenhouse. We think the group will be very pleased seeing a garden that is a “little bit of everything”.
The second group the WhiteGate is hosting is the Asheville Garden Fling meeting in Asheville May 17-21. Our Asheville bed and breakfast is one of the sponsors for this event. This group of garden bloggers and travel writers meets in a different city every year. We have issued an invitation to the group to visit our gardens anytime they wish since the host hotel is located only 3 blocks from the Inn. They will visit as a group on May 21, as they wonder the Chestnut Hills Neighborhood on the way to a luncheon at Nan Chase’s house, one of our local garden writers and author if the book “Eat Your Yard”. Ralph is excited to be able to hang out and trade stories with fellow plant nerds.
The last Spring tour will be on June 10th when the WhiteGate Inn will open it’s doors and gardens as part of the “Spring Inn Asheville Tour”. Fifteen members of the Asheville Bed and Breakfast Association (ABBA) will be on tour on Saturday and Sunday. Each Inn is partnered with a local independent restaurant, featuring the Farm to Table Concept, to provide a taste of Asheville. The WhiteGate Inn is excited to be partnered with The Market Place restaurant. Part of the proceeds of the two-day tour will benefit ASAP, a group that actively promotes the Farm to Table Concept.
Ralph is hoping for good weather over the next few days, as he fine tunes the gardens for these groups. It is always gratifying to be able to share the gardens at our bed and breakfast in Asheville. Sharing is what gardeners do!