Arboretum Offers a Breath of Fresh Air
Posted on 8.27.12
Story by TAYLOR SASSER | Photo by MICHAEL OPPENHEIM
With summer almost over, it's a good time to consider a trip to the North Carolina Arboretum as a venue for recreation and adventure.
The Arboretum offers intriguing events for all ages and interests, including scenic strolls along a garden trail, flower shows, bikes and hikes, and a fun way to learn about nature. These activities are perfect for spending a day wrapping up the end of summer and welcoming the new season.
Allison Inman from the Arboretum gives us a sneak preview into what is happening in upcoming months.
Wicked Plants – The Exhibit
The newest exhibit on the grounds is a little wicked, one might say, but fun all the same. Inspired by Amy Stewart’s best selling book Wicked Plants: The Weed that Killed Lincoln’s Mother and other Botanical Atrocities, the exhibit offers hands-on experience with some of the world’s most diabolical botanicals—“without the risk of paralysis, poisoning, dismemberment, or death.” This exhibit is ongoing through September 3 in the Baker Exhibit Center.
Carolina Dahlia Society Annual Dahlia Show
Exhibitors from five states will participate. Displays will contain blossoms in varied colors and sizes in more than 17 distinct forms recognized by the American Dahlia Society. The event is September 8-9.
Carolina Craft Day
The North Carolina Arboretum celebrates Southern Appalachian traditions during Carolina Craft Day. The event, now in its seventh year, features craft demonstrations and many art and craft vendors, plant sales, and musical performances at the Education Center. This annual event has a date of September 22 for 2012.
Carolina Bonsai Expo
This event features juried work of bonsai enthusiasts from bonsai clubs in a six-state region. Occurring annually, the Carolina Bonsai Expo includes free educational programming, workshops, and a bonsai marketplace. The marketplace features anything you would need to feed your bonsai needs: plants, pots, tools, books, ikebana displays, and even a live auction of bonsai and bonsai-related items. Mark your calendar for October 13-14.
North Carolina Chrysanthemum Society Annual Show
This popular annual show features hundreds of chrysanthemum blooms in vibrant and varied colors. The exhibit is judged by Accredited National Chrysanthemum judges and strict NCS standards. The event highlights the exceptional variety in size, shape and color of these popular flowers. It takes place October 20-21.
Take a Self-guided Walk on the Natural Garden Trail
This 3/4-mile trail is a connector between the two main visitor facilities (the Baker Exhibit Center and the Education Center). This provides a little education for the walker along the way, as there are interpretive signs along the trail explaining plant, animal, ecological, and environmental topics. This walk is great for the kids.
Guided Trail Walks
Happening every Saturday and Tuesday afternoon at 1 p.m., small groups of visitors are lead along the woodland trails of the Arboretum and through a variety of forest types. Each group is lead by an interpretive guide. Topics of discussion vary upon season, but include wildflower, plant, and tree identification, natural history, and the cultural land use and history of the Arboretum. Registration for these guided walks is suggested, but walks are free for Arboretum members, and $3 for adults and $2 for children.
Hiking and Biking Trails
The Arboretum offers more than 10 miles of hiking and biking trails, and is a popular destination for amblers and athletes alike. No matter your experience level, you'll find the difficulty level you are searching for here with a variety of trails rated as easy, easy to moderate, moderate, and moderate to difficult. Visitors of all ages enjoy planning their own trail experience. A map of trails and gardens is available for pre-planning at the Arboretum’s website.
In addition to the many end-of-summer and fall activities, the Arboretum also offers a variety of educational classes for children and adults alike, and promotes natural fun across North Carolina, spawning from Asheville. The Arboretum is located at 100 Frederick Law Olmsted Way in Asheville. For more information, call 828.665.2492 or visit ncarboretum.org.