Take a good long look: The Cullowhee Native Plants Conference, running from July 15 through July 19, encourages enthusiasts to really 'dig in' to their love of native plants. Photo by Ashley Evans, courtesy of WCU.

Video: Plant enthusiasts assemble for the Native Plants Conference

Brace yourselves — the plant enthusiasts are coming. From Tuesday, July 15 through Saturday, July 19, Western North Carolina will once again play host to the Cullowhee Native Plants Conference, an annual event with workshops and field trips exploring many aspects of native plants. Get a feel for the conference with a video tour of the plants of Black Balsam Ridge.

COMPASSIONATE CARE: Dr. Janet Bull, chief medical officer at Four Seasons Compassion for Life, describes palliative care as "the right care, at the right time, for the right patient."

The right care: Four Seasons nonprofit wins federal grant for palliative health care reform

In essence, community palliative care is simply identifying “the right care, at the right time, for the right patient,” says Dr. Janet Bull, chief medical officer at Four Seasons Compassion for Life. The approach hardly seems radical, but it’s the basis of the potentially game-changing health care model that won the local nonprofit hospice and […]

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Driving sales: Mobile businesses roll into WNC

by Alli Marshall, Rich Rennicks and Gina Smith —

Food trucks are a known entity: Those mobile dispensaries of cheap, tasty meals drove into downtown Asheville (and our hearts) in 2011. And with revised city ordinances, a dedicated lot on Coxe Avenue and regular appearances at local festivals and music venues, food trucks have only increased in number. But sandwiches aren’t the only thing that can fit into a truck.

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Am I right or am I right? The spirit of compassionate communication

What: Jerry Donoghue is the founder and coach at Asheville Compassionate Communication Center on E. Chestnut Street. His training is based on the nonviolent communication model developed by Marshall Rosenberg in the 1960s during his work in the civil rights movement to forge ways for people to communicate and interact in a way that emphasizes quality […]

The eve of Wamboldtopia: "This whole place is a love story," says Damaris Pierce, seen here in the garden's wedding circle — Damaris' "engagement ring" built by Ricki Pierce (left). "There's a lot of letting go." Photo by Carrie Eidson.

Leaving fairyland: Wamboldtopia’s creators say goodbye to their garden home

Since 1999, Wamboldtopia has been the ever-growing home and garden of artists Damaris and Ricki Pierce. It began as a steep, shady hillside covered in grass, but after 15 years of transformation, Wamboldtopia is a West Asheville institution — a fairyland covered in stone. But for Damaris and Ricki, this is the last season in the garden before they place the home on the market and prepare to move on to new and separate lives.

Paul Vest and Gibbie Harris at Aspen Ideas Festival in Colorado accepting the RWJF Culture of Health Prize from Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, MD, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation President and CEO.

For your health: local wellness news and events

Buncombe County receives Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health Prize Buncombe County was recently announced as a recipient of the 2014 RWJF Culture of Health Prize awarded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The prize honors communities that are harnessing the collective power of leaders, partners and stakeholders to help residents live healthier lives, and […]

A garden for a foodie: Sheila Dunn transformed her steep Weaverville lawn into an edible landscape where fruits, vegetables and other delights take the place of grass. Photo by Carrie Eidson

Why I grow: Edible landscaping with Sheila Dunn

For many, edible plants are grown in rows in the vegetable garden — often kept out of sight in the back or side yard. But for Sheila Dunn, a retired microbiologist and Master Gardener, edibles are a beautiful necessity to be woven into the landscape. Dunn converted her steep, rocky Weaverville property into an edible landscape that now provides more than half of everything she eats.

Photo courtesy of CarePartners

For your health: Wellness news and events throughout WNC

Mission Health Partners is NC’s first clinically integrated network Mission Health, MAHEC and a group of independent physicians have spearheaded the development of a new health network: Mission Health Partners. Mission Health Partners is a patient-centric, physician-governed network of clinicians, hospitals and other providers working collaboratively to improve patient care, reduce costs and ultimately, according […]