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2012 D-I-Y Tours | Azalea Society of America
Blue Ridge Parkway
ARS+ASA Joint Convention • APPALACHIAN SPRING 2012 • Asheville NC • May 4-7, 2012
This schematic map shows the general locations of a numbered list of gardens, nurseries and other attractions in and around Asheville, North Carolina that may be of interest to convention attendees. Their addresses and descriptions are given below. Along with a GPS unit or the use of an online mapping system such as to give you driving directions, these will help you plan your own trips. Click here to download the map and list.

Asheville North Carolina
(1) Asheville Botanical Gardens
151 W.T. Weaver Blvd.
Asheville NC 28804
Public garden (free); open daily, dawn to dusk; mostly wheelchair-accessibleA 10 acre forested garden with over 600 species of plants native to the Southern Appalachians, including trees, shrubs, wildflowers, vines, grasses and sedges. They include over 50 species that are considered uncommon, rare or endangered on a regional, state or federal level.
(2) WhiteGate Inn
Monday toursee convention writeup
(3) Reems Creek Nursery
70 Monticello Road
Weaverville NC 28787
M-F 8-6, Sat 8:30-5, Sun 10-4Full service nursery, good selection of trees, shrubs, ground covers and herbs.
(4) Biltmore Estate
Friday toursee convention writeup
(4a) Charles OwenSaturday toursee convention writeup
(4b) North Carolina ArboretumSaturday toursee convention writeup
(5) B B Barnes Nursery
3377 Sweeten Creek Road
Arden NC 28704
Mon-Sat 9-5Convention sponsor; large full-service nursery with top-quality plants and many unique and unusual plants
(6) Jesse Israel Nursery
570 Brevard Road
Asheville NC 28806
Mon-Sat 8-6, Sun 10-6Convention sponsor; large full-service nursery, top quality trees, shrubs, annuals, perennials, herbs and bedding plants
(7) Grove Park Inn
290 Macon Ave
Asheville NC 28804
Public, historic hotel; wheelchair accessibleBuilt in 1913 of huge boulders from nearby mountains; fun to walk through and look at the photos; famous guests ranging from F. Scott Fitzgerald to Barack Obama have stayed here.
(8) Folk Art Center
Milepost 382, Blue Ridge Parkway
Asheville NC
Public (free); daily 9-6One mile north on the Blue Ridge Parkway from the US 70 entrance. Outstanding folk and contemporary crafts of all kinds from the Southern Highland Craft Guild.
(9) Craggy Gardens
Milepost 364, Blue Ridge Parkway
Asheville NC
Public (free); daily 10-424 miles north of the US 70 entrance to the Blue Ridge Parkway; stunning views, many acres of native rhododendrons.
(10) Mount Mitchell
2388 State Highway 128
Burnsville NC 28714
State Park;
Public (free); 8-8
33 miles north of Asheville at Milepost 355 on the Blue Ridge Parkway, highest point east of the Mississippi River at 6684', breathtaking views.
(11) Asheville Airport
61 Terminal Drive
Fletcher NC 28732
off I-280 at I-26, 14 miles south of the Crowne Plaza hotel.

Hendersonville North Carolina
(12) Doley & Melody Bell
Monday toursee convention writeup
(13) Laurel Springs Nursery
34 Country Road
Hendersonville NC 28791
Mon-Sat 9-5Specializing in native azaleas and other native plants, shrubs and trees, many grown onsite at the nursery
(14) Bob & Audrey StellohSunday toursee convention writeup
(15) Kehr Memorial Garden
1905 Greenville Highway
Flat Rock NC 28731
Public garden (free), daily, dawn to dusk; some wheelchair accessA small garden at St John in the Wilderness Episcopal Church, dedicated in 2003 in memory of Dr August Kehr, and planted with his hybrid azaleas and rhododendrons and magnolias.
(16) Raymonds Nursery
1320 Kanuga Road
Hendersonville NC 28739
Mon-Sat 9-5Small full service nursery, many native plants grown onsite
(17) Carl Sandburg Home
81 Carl Sandburg Lane
Flat Rock NC 28731
Public (free, $5 for 30 minute house tour); daily 9-5Connemara, home of the US poet laureate and "poet of the people", many exhibits, prize-winning goats, 5 miles of trails through 264 acres.
(18) Collins/Stewart
Sunday toursee convention writeup
(18a) Richards
Monday toursee convention writeup
(19) Bullington Horticultural Center
Monday toursee convention writeup
(20) Larason & Juanita Lambert
56 Fernhaven Place
Hendersonville NC
Private garden; open May 8-9, 9-4, park and honk; not wheelchair accessible Fernhaven, the Lambert's three acre garden, is a forest garden with streams, waterfalls and a pond. More than 50 native species of ferns are planted in drifts in natural settings, and interplanted with a wide variety of native azaleas, along steps, paths and bridges leading the visitors to viewpoints and resting spots with garden vistas. With nearly a mile of trails, three shelters and numerous benches, there is plenty of opportunity to explore and rest in this uniquely lovely garden.
(21) Pearson's Falls
2748 Pearsons Falls Road
Saluda NC
Public garden ($5); Mon-Sat 10-5, Sun noon-5pm; not wheelchair accessibleQuarter-mile moderate hike through hundreds of species of wildflowers to the base of a 90 foot waterfall
Rutherfordton/Forest City/Marion North Carolina
(22) Plants-a-Plenty Farm
890 Crowe Dairy Road
Forest City NC 28043
Wed-Sat 8:30-5:30, call Mon-Tues for appointmentSpecializes in growing shade garden plants for over 25 years, including ferns, native azaleas and rhododendrons. Has a several acre display garden to see mature plants.
(24) Meadowbrook Nursery
2055 Polly Spout Road
Marion NC 28752
Wed-Sat 9-5, call at other times
USDA Zone 6B, 1300'
A 20 acre nursery and gardens nestled against Vein Mountain, with a beautiful lake-side display garden and a wide variety of native azaleas, native and exotic trees and companion plants grown on the property
(25) Chimney Rock State Park
431 Main Street
Chimney Rock NC 28720
Public park ($15); every day 8:30am-4:30am315' high monolith, 75 mile views, 400' waterfall, rock climbing clinics can be booked in advance, site of part of the film The Last of the Mohicans
Brevard North Carolina, Blue Ridge Parkway
(26) Fry Nursery
356 King Road
Pisgah Forest NC 28768
Mon-Sat 9-5 4 acre full service nursery, high quality ornamental trees and shrubs, dwarf conifers, annuals, perennials and fruit trees
(27) Dupont State Forest
1300 Staton Road
Cedar Mountain NC 28718
Public (free); daily, dawn to dusk, almost no wheelchair accessibilityA 10,400 acre native forest, all open to hunting, fishing, hiking, horseback riding and mountain biking. It has 6 public parking areas, about 80 miles of dirt roads, many miles of hiking trails, 4 major waterfalls.
(28) Curt Haag
8100 Greenville Highway
Brevard NC
Private garden; email or call for appointmentFormer home of Russ & Velma Haag, well-known rhododendron hybridizers. The house is surrounded by about 5 acres of selected hybrids they had planted for evaluation, and there is a large "seedling bed" with hundreds of hybrids planted about 30 years ago, along with a waterfall and a stream and lake, all nestled within 200 acres of forest.
(29) Fish Hatchery / Center for Wildlife Education
1401 Fish Hatchery Road
Pisgah Forest NC 28768
Public (free); Mon-Sat, 8-4:45; wheelchair accessibletrout hatchery, short paved interpretive trail through native plants
(30) Looking Glass Falls
Hwy 276
Brevard NC
Public (free); daily dawn to dusk6 miles N of Hwy 280 or 13 miles S of the Blue Ridge Parkway. View these falls from the road, with steps to the pool at the base, 60 feet below. These falls are the most-viewed falls in the area.
(31) Sliding Rock
Highway 276
Brevard NC 28712
Public ($1); daily, dawn to dusk8 miles N of Hwy 280, 11 miles S of Blue Ridge Parkway. 60' water slide ending in an 8' deep pool.
(32) Cradle of Forestry
Hwy 276
Brevard NC
Public ($5, free on Tuesdays); daily 9-515 miles N of Hwy 280, 4 miles S of Blue Ridge Parkway. Exhibits and trails relating to the beginnings of the US Forest Service in the early 1900s.
(33) Pilot Mountain
FS 475 off Hwy 276
Brevard NC
Public (free), daily dawn to duskSee the separate description of this moderate hike among native R. vaseyi azaleas and many species of wildflowers.
(34) Pisgah Inn
408 Blue Ridge Parkway
Brevard NC 28712
Public; daily, 7:30am-9pm 14 miles south of NC 191 entrance to the Blue Ridge Parkway; only inn and restaurant around; good food, huge windows in the dining room give beautiful vistas
(35) Betty & Walter Montgomery
145 Montgomery Drive
Saluda NC 29773
Private garden; May 8-9; call or email firstThe house is at the very top of the hill - take a hard right and double back on yourself at the white garage. Montaire was built in 1955, and contains a lovely babbling stream, with lots of rhododendrons and wildflowers�and 150 different varieties of hydrangeas.
South Carolina
(36) Marilyn Grist
Sunday toursee convention writeup
(37) Jackson & Pamela McCarter
280 Trammell Road
Traveler's Rest SC 29690
864-834-9721 or 864-483-7299
Private garden; May 1,2,7,9,10; call or email firstAn informal, rough, hilly, expansive rural woodland setting, in northern Greenville County, S.C., where rhododendrons and native azaleas have been naturalized. Most plants were raised in an on-site seedling nursery. Emphasis is on hardy and heat tolerant species, especially Japanese, with some hybrids.
(38) Boris & Jane Bauer
112 Woodward Way
Easley SC 29640
Private garden; anytime before or after the convention, call or email firstThe BauHaus (Bauer House) gardens were first cleared in the late 1970's. The two+ acre garden is set in a bottom land scenario which defies all the rules of planting rhododendron / azaleas in a Southern setting. Wander through tall 30 year old Dexter rhododendrons, one of the largest collections of deciduous magnolias on the east coast and laugh at a few of the garden art works scattered along trails and fields.
(39) Glenn O'Sheal
1408 Saluda Dam Road
Easley SC 29640
Private garden; May 1-2,8-10; call firstThe 3/4 acre garden reflects Glenn's eclectic tastes: evergreen and deciduous azaleas, rhododendrons and kalmias, dwarf conifers (and a huge California redwood), and wildflowers and perennials, all tastefully arranged.
Atlanta, Georgia Area
People driving from the south and west to Asheville are going by some of the very best azalea and rhododendron gardens and nurseries in the southeastern US. A few of them are listed below. Please contact their owners to let them know when you are interested in visiting their gardens.
Earl & Verdie

962 Old Mountain Road
Marietta GA 30064
Private garden; call or email first.A large garden featuring native azaleas he has been selecting and hybridizing for over 30 years.
Joe & Donna Coleman
7997 Pleasant Hill Road
Lithonia GA 30058
Private garden; call or email first.A large garden, primarily azaleas, with many specimen Japanese maples and other ornamental trees, shrubs and wildflowers.
Willis & Bettie Harden
653 Harden Bridge Road
Commerce GA 30529
Private garden; call or email first.A very large woodland garden with many mature species rhododendrons and native azaleas. They have another significant and more formal garden around their house.
East Fork Nursery
2769 Bethel Church Road
Sevierville TN 37876
Mon-Fri 8:30-4:30, or by appointmentConvention supplier; wide variety of native azaleas, evergreen azaleas, camellias, conifers, hollies, companion plants
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Crowne Plaza Hotel   see map
To go to the hotel from the south or west on I-26 W/I-240 E: take the left exit 3A and bear right onto US 19/23, go 0.5 miles to a right turn at 2nd red light onto Regent Park Blvd (becomes Clayton Ave), go 0.5 miles to the Crowne Plaza Resort.

If you miss exit 3A, take exit 3B toward Westgate Pkwy, go 0.5 miles to bear left onto Westgate Pkwy (becomes Cliff St), turn right onto I-240 W, quickly turn right onto Resort Dr and go 0.2 miles to the Crowne Plaza Resort.

If you miss exit 3B, continue on I-26/I-240 across the bridge to the east, make a U-turn by taking exit 4B for Patton Ave downtown, bear right onto Patton Ave, and immediately turn left onto Haywood St for 1 block, turn right onto Clingman Ave for 1 block, turn right onto Patton Ave and take the ramp to the right onto I-240 W/Patton Ave. After crossing the bridge to the west, take the exit 3B ramp to the right toward Westgate Parkway/Resort Dr, turn right onto Resort Dr and go 0.2 miles to the Crowne Plaza Resort. If you miss that exit 3B turn, take the next right turn, onto Regent Park Blvd (becomes Clayton Ave), and go 0.5 miles to the Crowne Plaza hotel.

To go to the hotel from the east on I-240 W/Patton Ave: take the exit 3B ramp to the right toward Westgate Parkway/Resort Dr, and turn right onto Resort Dr, go 0.2 miles to the Crowne Plaza Resort. If you miss that exit 3B turn, take the next right turn, onto Regent Park Blvd (becomes Clayton Ave), and go 0.5 miles to the Crowne Plaza hotel.

To go to the hotel from the north on I-26 E/US 19/23: bear right onto I-240 W/Patton Ave, take the exit 3B ramp to the right toward Westgate Parkway/Resort Dr, turn right onto Resort Dr and go 0.2 miles to the Crowne Plaza Resort. If you miss that exit 3B turn, take the next right turn, onto Regent Park Blvd (becomes Clayton Ave), and go 0.5 miles to the Crowne Plaza hotel.

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2012 Convention (parent page)
Updated March 31, 2012

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