Native plants, ginseng and goldenseal, a runner’s apothecary

Plants of the Blue Ridge: Southern Highland Reserve near Lake Toxaway harbors more than 100 acres of plants, flowers and trees. Learn about the region's most useful and beautiful native plants on Saturday, April 13.
Plants of the Blue Ridge: Southern Highland Reserve near Lake Toxaway harbors more than 100 acres of plants, flowers and trees. Learn about the region's most useful and beautiful native plants on Saturday, April 13.


Native plants in the clouds

What do plants look like at 4,500 feet? Each spring, they emerge from the snow with purpose, especially in Southern Highland Reserve's 120 acres of forests, ponds and waterfalls. Located near Lake Toxaway, this maze of wildflowers, azaleas and maple trees harbors some of the region's most intriguing native plants. Learn about these local beauties at the Saturday, April 13 symposium Native Plants: Creating Consciousness," the second in a three-part series on greenery that grows well in our region.

From 8:30 a.m-3 p.m. that day, gardeners and designers will learn about "the merits and importance of using native plants in built environments." Four horticulture and design specialists will present the case for native plants, followed by a tour of the Southern Highlands Reserve core park. Breakfast and lunch are included and will be prepared by Asheville chef Brekken Casey. $65. Info and registration: http://www.southernhighlandsreserve.org or info@southernhighlandsreserve.org.

Of ginseng and goldenseal

Millions of ginseng seeds started their journey at North Carolina Ginseng and Goldenseal Co. in Marshall, according to owner Robert Eidus. Eagle Feather Organic Farm, which hosts the venture, grows ginseng, goldenseal and a range of other woodland botanicals for herbalists, naturalists and anyone interested in the medicinal properties of these wonder plants.

For the past 18 years, Eidus has presented a workshop on growing ginseng and goldenseal. This year, he offers a chance for participants to explore Eagle Feather Farm's "rich Appalachian hardwood cove" and discover the beauty of newly sprouted plants. Students will get their hands dirty, then learn about the cultivation of native medicinal plants, for both personal and commercial purposes. The class will be held on Sunday, April 14, from 1-4 p.m. $50. (If the class is out of financial reach, students can participate in a work/trade program in exchange for tuition.) Info and registration: http://www.ncgoldenseal.com or 649-3536.

A runner's apothecary

Joggers rush past the UNCA Botanical Gardens every day and many give little thought to the wild plants underfoot. Little do they know, some of these plants hold the key to natural home remedies. Medicinal herbs are common and abundant in our area — you just have to know where to look.

On Sunday, April 14, from 1-2:30 p.m., Jus' Running will present a program on the herbs of the trail. Runners are invited to enrich their health with spring herbs for first aid, detoxification and wellness. Asia Suler of One Willow Apothecaries will share the secrets to soothing poison ivy, alleviating bee stings, cleansing the body and more. Hands-on remedies will be tailored to runners and their families, although herbal enthusiasts of all fitness levels are invited.

The class will meet at the main entrance of the UNCA Botanical Gardens. In case of rain, the class will be held in the pavilion on the main green. $25. Info: http://arunnersapothecary.eventbrite.com.

Peek into Pearson Garden

Nestled among the stunning mansions of Asheville's Montford neighborhood is a haven of green. Grass is just starting to sprout around the Pearson Garden's beds and greenhouses, a promise that spring truly is on its way. For the past 13 years, the garden has delighted the community and taken on some impressive projects. The garden includes a cob oven, composting toilet and even an outdoor kitchen.

The Pearson Garden will celebrate spring with an afternoon of hands-on activities on Sunday, April 14, from noon-8 p.m. A plant walk, garden project, bird-song presentation and yoga are just a few of programs garden organizers have planned. A potluck with pizza from the cob oven will be held at 5:15 p.m., followed by an evening of waltzing, drumming and a fire circle. Additional speakers and activities will be held throughout the day and kids are more than welcome. Free. 408 Pearson Drive. Info: http://avl.mx/s0.

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