Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The North Carolina Arboretum

Located just south of Asheville, the North Carolina Arboretum is a stunning garden just for the scope of its hardscape alone. I was last there about 10 years ago when much of the current facility was still under construction. The construction continues and a new large visitor facility is currently being built and new gardens added.

Ten years ago most of the plants were covered in netting because of the deer that roamed freely through the 434 acre nature park along Bent Creek that is part of the Arboretum. It has since been fenced and a decade of growth has turned tiny plants into beautiful specimens.

Pedestals in the entry fountain have been used as a container planting demonstration. Much discussion occurred about the choice to use cheap plastic terra cotta pot look alikes.

One of many Japanese Maples in the gardens. This one is to the right of the entrance to the main building.

There was an extensive Bonsai collection that was in an outdoor display area that was a garden in its own right.

My favorites of the Bonsai were the miniature forests.

The display pattern in the Quilt Garden must change every year.

But the structures that hold it in place and frame it are impressive on their own.

I wish I had paid more attention to the artist and the message of this sculpture titled "Extinction". I see a lot of hands reaching out to clutch at things.

The sweet smell of success for a garden and learning center well done. A southern Magnolia grandiflora finds a home in a mountain valley at the northern end of its native range.


LostRoses said...

The miniature forests are fabulous! Now that's a bonsai I could love (but would probably kill)!

Christopher C. in Hawaii said...

Bonsai are major particular if you follow the rules to the letter. I have cheated and used larger, but still wider than deep pots for more roots and soil and tree saplings like Dogwood or small Italian Cypress to make small forests.

Not going to win a blue ribbon at the county fair but they made me feel good and were easier to keep alive.