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Colorful NC Arboretum among best sights in Asheville

This was our second visit to the 434 acre Arboretum near Asheville just off the Blue Ridge Parkway; admission is free but parking is a flat rate of $16 per car

This was our second visit to the 434 acre Arboretum near Asheville just off the Blue Ridge Parkway; admission is free but parking is a flat rate of $16 per car

The Arboretum has a special art exhibit called Wild Art featuring local artists with most artworks also being for sale; Leo is bronze and selling for $16,000

The Arboretum has a special art exhibit called Wild Art featuring local artists with most artworks also being for sale; Leo is bronze and selling for $16,000

The Arboretum is just a few miles from Biltmore House, the largest (178,926 sq ft) privately owned house in the US; the gardens at Biltmore are gorgeous but admission starts at $64 per person

The Arboretum is just a few miles from Biltmore House, the largest (178,926 sq ft) privately owned house in the US; the gardens at Biltmore are gorgeous but admission starts at $64 per person

We made a stop at Haywood Community College to see their rhododendrons but also saw this beautiful flame azalea; these plants are native to NC and can be seen mainly in the mountains (they are on a steep hill so my Dad is trying to keep my Mom from sliding down)

We made a stop at Haywood Community College to see their rhododendrons but also saw this beautiful flame azalea; these plants are native to NC and can be seen mainly in the mountains (they are on a steep hill so my Dad is trying to keep my Mom from sliding down)

The idea for the Arboretum dates back to 1898 and Frederick Law Olmsted who designed the gardens at Biltmore House as well as Central Park; the Arboretum didn't actually get developed until 1986

The idea for the Arboretum dates back to 1898 and Frederick Law Olmsted who designed the gardens at Biltmore House as well as Central Park; the Arboretum didn't actually get developed until 1986

Established in 2005, the Arboretum’s Bonsai Exhibition Garden is a world renowned garden that can host up to 100 bonsai specimens at a time

Established in 2005, the Arboretum’s Bonsai Exhibition Garden is a world renowned garden that can host up to 100 bonsai specimens at a time

The Rocky Cove railroad exhibit is a garden scale model train exhibit that demonstrates the coming of trains to Western NC at the turn of the 20th century (Saturdays and Sundays only)

The Rocky Cove railroad exhibit is a garden scale model train exhibit that demonstrates the coming of trains to Western NC at the turn of the 20th century (Saturdays and Sundays only)

Some species of rhododendron are poisonous to grazing animals because of a toxin called grayanotoxin in their pollen and nectar; people have been known to become ill from eating honey made by bees feeding on rhododendron and azalea flowers

Some species of rhododendron are poisonous to grazing animals because of a toxin called grayanotoxin in their pollen and nectar; people have been known to become ill from eating honey made by bees feeding on rhododendron and azalea flowers

This bonsai collection, entitled Aunt Martha's Garden, includes a false cypress, thyme, oregano, barberry and a blue forest juniper; bonsai can be created from nearly any perennial woody-stemmed tree or shrub species

This bonsai collection, entitled Aunt Martha's Garden, includes a false cypress, thyme, oregano, barberry and a blue forest juniper; bonsai can be created from nearly any perennial woody-stemmed tree or shrub species

The Arboretum is a popular venue for weddings (there's a wedding luncheon underway in the background); Asheville is the largest city in Western NC with 93,000 residents but the metro area has a population of 460,000

The Arboretum is a popular venue for weddings (there's a wedding luncheon underway in the background); Asheville is the largest city in Western NC with 93,000 residents but the metro area has a population of 460,000

This wood artwork, entitled Tributary ($12,000), was inspired by the Tuckasegee River in NC which the artist drives by daily; NC has almost 20 million acres of timberland with an annual economic impact of $5 billion

This wood artwork, entitled Tributary ($12,000), was inspired by the Tuckasegee River in NC which the artist drives by daily; NC has almost 20 million acres of timberland with an annual economic impact of $5 billion

There are numerous hiking trails here where you can see the largest redwoods anywhere in the South; the Arboretum is also famous for its Winter Lights exhibit during the holidays

There are numerous hiking trails here where you can see the largest redwoods anywhere in the South; the Arboretum is also famous for its Winter Lights exhibit during the holidays

My Mom is underneath The Great Monarch Migration ($35,000) where the butterflies are on springs so that their wings flutter in the wind; this piece illustrates the annual 3000 mile journey of the Monarchs

My Mom is underneath The Great Monarch Migration ($35,000) where the butterflies are on springs so that their wings flutter in the wind; this piece illustrates the annual 3000 mile journey of the Monarchs

The Quilt Garden represents an interpretation of a handicraft common in the Southern Appalachian region; this garden uses the Log Cabin block pattern

The Quilt Garden represents an interpretation of a handicraft common in the Southern Appalachian region; this garden uses the Log Cabin block pattern

We've tried to see the rhododendrons blooming in the NC mountains for several years now and can never get the timing correct; it seems the garden varieties are blooming now but the wild ones are still a month away

We've tried to see the rhododendrons blooming in the NC mountains for several years now and can never get the timing correct; it seems the garden varieties are blooming now but the wild ones are still a month away

I love otters but this piece entitled The Visitor doesn't quite capture their personalities (they look more like prairie dogs!); if you're interested it's a bronze selling for $11,500

I love otters but this piece entitled The Visitor doesn't quite capture their personalities (they look more like prairie dogs!); if you're interested it's a bronze selling for $11,500

The bonsai collection, established in 1992, includes specimens from around the world including this Japanese maple; Asheville was the first U.S. city recognized as a Green Dining Destination (significant density of green restaurants)

The bonsai collection, established in 1992, includes specimens from around the world including this Japanese maple; Asheville was the first U.S. city recognized as a Green Dining Destination (significant density of green restaurants)

The Eastern red columbine (aka American columbine) is a wildflower popular with hummingbirds; on July 14, 2020 the Asheville City Council voted unanimously to approve reparations to the Black citizens of the city (second city in the US to do so after Evanston, IL)

The Eastern red columbine (aka American columbine) is a wildflower popular with hummingbirds; on July 14, 2020 the Asheville City Council voted unanimously to approve reparations to the Black citizens of the city (second city in the US to do so after Evanston, IL)

Posted by VagabondCowboy 04:18

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