Category Archives: Previous Meetings

Botanical Gardens of Asheville Guided Tour & Picnic – May 9, 2017

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.

Garden Tour – Members Only – Tuesday, May 9, 2017

On May 9, our members are invited to a very special picnic at the Asheville Botanical Gardens.  We’ll arrive at the Gardens at 10:15 and meet the Gardens’ manager, Jay Kranyik, who will take us on a botanical journey of native discoveries, enlivened by lots of stories and interesting comments.    We’ll then proceed to the meadow and gazebo area where we’ll  have a casual picnic.  There are two picnic tables there, and benches to sit in the gazebo.  Please bring your own salad/sandwich, etc… as well as drinks.  Some cookies or a simple shared dish would also be nice and in the casual spirit of the event.  And come prepared with good walking shoes, as Jay is a fast walker!

 If you wish to carpool, we’ll meet at the Weaverville Town Hall parking lot, and leave promptly for our destination at 9:45.  

Continue reading Garden Tour – Members Only – Tuesday, May 9, 2017

March 14 – A Tale of Two Meadows – Burroughs and Collier

Randy Burroughs was commissioned by The Garden Club of Weaverville to create a unique spot to relax and enjoy the sights and sounds of nature.  The result are the two, large wood benches and table near the sculpture in the Main Street Nature Park in downtown Weaverville that serve as a focal point in the park.

Join us for Randy’s presentation
 Tuesday,  March 14th at 9:30 a.m.
Weaverville Town Hall Community Room

A Tale of Two Meadows

The first is the Meadow Garden”.  It tells the story of the evolution of the herbaceous border which you can build yourself. By using a selective palette including native grasses, garden interest is extended on through the winter with warm colors, play of light and birds, bugs and butterflies. He’ll review local case studies, such as a 100 square foot courtyard garden, and discuss planning, planting and plant sources. Handouts will provide instructions.

The second kind of meadow is the “Old-field Meadow”.  It is a nature-based plant community augmented with local wildflowers and grasses and a few native cultivars, which Randy intends to develop in the Main Street Nature Park. The goal is to engage wildlife in the urban landscape for the benefit of people and their natural neighbors and reduce the need to mow.  This will also be a demonstration garden to teach, inspire and even provide seeds for local gardeners. The end goal is to replace 50% of the mowing with “intelligent management”.  The benefits are many and include enhanced wildlife habitat, less noise and pollution and a healthier, more sustainable method of landscaping. Atlanta uses a similar system along their greenways.

About Randy Burroughs:

Randy Gordon Burroughs is a landscape architect, horticulturist and nature lover. From 1996-2000 he served as Garden Manager – Botanical Gardens at UNC-Asheville.

From 2000- Present  he has been in private practice, Cullowhee Native Plant Conference presenter & field trip leader, National Forest volunteer invasive exotic plant eradicator.

About Kaita Collier:

Kaita Collier has worked with plants and nature for the last 20 years as a gardener, horticulturalist, landscaper, forester and naturalist.  She serves as the chair of the Weaverville Conservation Board as well as the volunteer coordinator for the Main Street Nature Park.

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February 14th – Tuesday 9:30 – Grow Biointensive – Climate Smart Gardening by Laura Lengnick

Do you have only a small space to garden, but you’d like to grow your own food?  Do you want to use climate resilient gardening practices?  Are you looking for a way to contribute to climate change solutions?  Grow Biointensive may be for you!

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Bed of kale in early June, bed of beets to left and sweet corn in bloom in background

Grow Biointensive is a small-scale system of gardening that places an emphasis building soil while producing healthy, high yielding crops through the use of deep soil preparation, composting and crop diversity.

Because Grow Biointensive practices can reduce water, fertilizer and fossil fuel use in the garden by 50 to 90 percent, this method of gardening offers significant advantages to gardeners who want help slow climate change as well as help their crops thrive in the more variable weather and extremes associated with climate change.  Over the last decade, presenter Laura Lengnick has been developing a Grow biointensive garden at her home in Swannanoa.  She will share her experiences developing this garden as she teaches about Grow Biointensive methods.

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Looking south across 15 garden beds in June

Main Topics:

  • How I started my Grow Biointensive garden and tips on how you can get started
  • 8 key practices of Grow Biointensive: deep soil prep, composting, intensive planting, carbon/calorie crops, companion planting, seed saving, whole system approach
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Laura’s husband, Weogo, and a neighbor working up a bed in Sept for winter crops

About Laura Lengnick:

Laura Lengnick is a soil health expert and climate resilience planner based in Asheville, NC.  She consults with business, government and community organizations on nature-based climate risk management through her company Cultivating Resilience, LLC.  She has long experience growing vegetables, small fruits and flowers in containers and backyard gardens from Pennsylvania to South Carolina. Since 2005, she has used Grow Biointensive practices to create 3000 square ft of productive garden beds at her Swannanoa home.

Continue reading February 14th – Tuesday 9:30 – Grow Biointensive – Climate Smart Gardening by Laura Lengnick