Beauty in Nature: The North Carolina Arboretum

The North Carolina Aboretum, a 434 acre public garden located within the expansive Bent Creek Experimental Forest, is a towering feat of landscape architecture – a lush Eden of botanical mastery. It holds endless wonder and beauty for visitors keen on the marvel of Mother Nature. With spring looming on the horizon, the Carolina Mornings Team is amping up for many a visit to this Western North Carolina Gem. For those visiting the area, it is positively a "must see”.

A Thriving Historical Artifact

The Arboretum was established in 1986 by the General Assembly as an affiliate of the University of North Carolina. Though it is a relatively new project, it began as a dream of Frederick Law Olmsted – a man perhaps best known for designing Central Park in NYC and, more locally, spearheading the vast and stunning gardens at Biltmore Estate. It promotes a vision of conservation, education, stewardship and economic development - a connection between people and plants that solidifies a responsibility to the land from which we take life, health, and enjoyment. Through the Arboretum, the community has an opportunity to share values of insight, authenticity and responsibility. It is a true Southern Appalachian treasure.

Meander, Gander, Enjoy

There are more than 10 miles of hiking and biking trails within the Arboretum grounds – enough to keep visitors enthralled for days. And with a wide variety of trails rated from Easy to Difficult, there is a path for everybody. Whether you’re interested in working up a sweat or taking a romantic stroll with the one you love in an awe-inspiring environment, the Arboretum has what you’re looking for.

An Event to Remember

No matter the time of year, events at the Arboretum always impress. At the end of this month, the Western North Carolina Orchid Show, an annual event, is scheduled in the Education Center. Hundreds of orchids will fill the space and be judged by a panel of experts. From 10 am to 5 pm on the last Saturday and Sunday of the month, visitors are sure to be astounded by the brilliance of the floral display. Educational classes will also be offered and Orchid Society members will be on sight to provide advice and guidance for growers.

In addition to the orchid display, two current exhibitions, "sLowlife” and "Seeing with New Eyes” will be up until May 10th and April 19th, respectively.

sLowlife, a collaborative project of the United States Botanic Garden, the Chicago Botanic Garden, and Roger Hangarter, explores the intimate relationship between a plant and its environment – the changes to which it responds, the reproduction process, the effects of disease and injury. In essence, the exhibit reminds us that the saga of a plant’s life is just as intricate, just as epic, as our own journeys through life.

Seeing with New Eyes is a project executed by photographer Sharon Mammoser. Through her work, Sharon hopes to bring attention to the beauty that exists in the minutia. In the artist’s words, "People notice the grand sweeping vistas, colorful sunsets, the towering mountains and still lakes, but don’t see the tiny wonders hidden in the subtle details of ordinary scenes.” Her work is powerful, beautiful, and anything but ordinary.

Stay Local

The Arboretum is reason enough to visit Western North Carolina, though there is an almost inexhaustible itinerary for those who want it. For those looking for the perfect home away from home, Carolina Mornings has dozens of rentals from which to choose. Take a peek at Storybrooke Place - an elegant 4 bedroom Arts & Craft Bungalow located in Arden, NC – a truly perfect home to retire to after a truly perfect day.  

To arrange the details of your Mountain Vacation, contact Carolina Mornings at 877-902-9441.  A professional Vacation Planner will help line up your vacation rental accommodations, Biltmore Estate tickets, and outdoor adventures such as ziplining and whitewater rafting (included with every Carolina Mornings Rental!)


By: Dana Carrico

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