Botanical Gardens at Asheville

The Botanical Gardens at Asheville is one of those places that we consider to be a true gem in our area. It’s not as big or as well-known as, say, the gardens at Biltmore Estate or the North Carolina Arboretum. But it’s a wonderful spot for people who want to experience nature in a leisurely setting.

Stream surrounded by plants and trees with arched bridge in the background

Picturesque bridge at the Botanical Gardens at Asheville

Established in 1960, the Botanical Gardens at Asheville is located at the confluence of two creeks, and features a variety of natural habitats, including forests, meadows and rocky outcroppings. A half-mile trail and several side trails meander through the Gardens, featuring more than 600 species of native plants, and there’s even a birding garden for bird watchers.

Here are ten reasons we think you should visit the Botanical Gardens of Asheville:

  1. It’s FREE. Donations are welcome and support the Gardens.
  2. The Gardens are open year-round, seven days a week, from sunrise to sunset.
  3. Due to the variety of plants, something is in bloom from spring through fall.
  4. With ten acres, there are lots of opportunities for nature photography.
  5. Many items in the Gardens are labeled, so it’s a fantastic way to learn about the different trees, shrubs and flowers that are native to the Southern Appalachian Mountains.
  6. It’s a great spot for a picnic lunch, with benches, tables and plenty of space to spread a blanket.
  7. In the summertime, you can cool off in the shade under magnificent trees, or dip your toes in a cool babbling creek.
  8. You’ll see more than just plants: cool rock formations, beautiful water features, and even an original dog-trot cabin that was relocated from Madison County are on the grounds. There’s also a set of earthworks that were constructed during the Battle of Asheville, one of the last Civil War battles, which took place in April of 1865.
  9. The Gardens are managed as a non-profit, dedicated to the outstanding cause of conservation and preservation of native plants, many of which are now uncommon, rare, or endangered. Donations and any profits from the gift shop go toward furthering the organization’s mission.
  10. It’s not far from the Inn on Mill Creek B&B, just 25 minutes away (north of downtown Asheville and near the UNC-Asheville campus).

Below are some photos we took on a visit in May to the Botanical Gardens of Asheville. Enjoy!

Dirt path in the woods lined with a short stone wall with more terraced stone walls on one side and leafy plants on the walls

Beautiful paths let you see plants up close

Single story log cabin with a wide dirt path running along side it in a sunny park like setting with several trees

Cabin at the Botanical Gardens of Asheville

Close up of a dainty six-petaled purple flower blooming on a plant with grassy foliage

Wildflowers abound at the Botanical Gardens of Asheville

Plant with large leaves and brightly colored yellow flower blooming with rocks and leaves underneath

Green and Gold, one of many types of wildflowers at the Botanical Gardens

Large vertical rock formation with several grooves in the rock and other stones nearby

Flowers aren’t the only interesting items at the Botanical Gardens

Path of stone steps leading through a forested area with leafy foliage and scattered wildflowers all around

All paths lead to beauty at the Botanical Gardens

Sign saying Small's Beard-tongue next to plant with tall stems and purple flowers near some stones in the woods

Many of the Botanical Gardens’ plants are labeled for easy ID’ing

Close up of a two purple flowers on the end of a stem with fern foliage in the background

Get up close with native flowers and plants at the Botanical Gardens

Large flowering shrubs along a wooded path with a split rail fence on the other side

Spring blooming shrubs at the Botanical Gardens of Asheville

A few things to keep in mind: Due to the fragile habitats and mission of preservation at the Gardens, and for the consideration of all visitors to the Gardens, they do have some restrictions: no picking the flowers, berries, or other Garden features, no dogs/pets, no bicycles, and no sporting games like frisbee or football. They request that visitors be mindful of staying on trails rather than venturing into fenced in or roped off areas, and also ask that all trash be placed in containers near the Botany Center.

To learn more about the Botanical Gardens at Asheville, visit www.ashevillebotanicalgardens.org.

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