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.
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:
- It’s FREE. Donations are welcome and support the Gardens.
- The Gardens are open year-round, seven days a week, from sunrise to sunset.
- Due to the variety of plants, something is in bloom from spring through fall.
- With ten acres, there are lots of opportunities for nature photography.
- 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.
- It’s a great spot for a picnic lunch, with benches, tables and plenty of space to spread a blanket.
- In the summertime, you can cool off in the shade under magnificent trees, or dip your toes in a cool babbling creek.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
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.