One of the perks of being a member of the Weaverville Garden Club is the chance to attend special events such as the guided tour of the Botanical Gardens at Asheville we took in May.
Club members enjoyed an intimate look at one of Asheville’s natural wonders, the Botanical Gardens. Garden Manager, Jay Kranyik’s guided tour included information about various plants, flowers and trees and colorful anecdotes about the four North Carolina State Champion Trees and two National Champion Trees the Gardens can boast of. The story of the Moon Tree is truly out of this world. It sprouted from a Sycamore seed that orbited the moon 34 times in the Apollo 14 capsule before taking root in 1976 and it now grows here.
What started as an old dairy farm in 1960 can now lay claim to being one of the finest examples of Southern Appalachian native plants in the country with the distinction of selecting and documenting those plants.
“The gardens honor the natural landscape and it’s incredible diversity,” said Jay Kranyik. “There are 650 different species in 10 contiguous acres. That makes for hyper compaction of biodiversity. Plus, one out of eight plants are rare or endangered.”
Several Garden Club members volunteer at the Botanical Gardens and happily pointed out the areas in which they work and shared some of the knowledge they’ve gleaned.
Afterwards, a leisurely picnic style potluck in the shade of the gazebo…the perfect spot to share a delightful lunch.
The gardens include a half mile walking path, two creeks and a Monarch Butterfly Way Station. They are free and open to the public from 10 AM – 4 PM daily with free parking on site. Pets and bikes are not allowed.