Show and tell

Gardens aren’t the only thing in full bloom this month. There’s also a bouquet of local gardening events. Here are several that may be of interest.

A fair view of flowers

The French Broad River Garden Club Foundation will host a Let’s Go Back to School-themed flower show at the Fairview Community Center on Thursday, July 7 (1:30 to 5 p.m.) and Friday, July 8 (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.). The event will include exhibits on floral arranging, horticulture and photography as well as educational displays by RiverLink, Quality Forward and other local nonprofits.

The community center is located in the former Fairview Elementary School gym. For more information, phone (828) 274-1259.

Seeing secret gardens

Nearly 400 private gardens from Maine to California will be open to the public on specified dates throughout the year as part of the Garden Conservancy’s Open Days Program 2005. Five Asheville gardens will be open on July 16.

The Open Days Directory, a guide to all the gardens in the tour, is published in regional editions, and the $6.95 cost includes one free admission ticket. (Normally, admission is $5 per garden.) The Guide to Visiting Private Gardens in the South covers Georgia, North Carolina, Texas and West Virginia. The Garden Conservancy is the only national nonprofit dedicated to preserving America’s gardens.

For more information, contact Deborah Friedman at (201) 385-9903 or via e-mail (

Going native

Western Carolina University is gearing up for its 22nd annual Cullowhee Conference, Native Plants in the Landscape, to be held July 19-23.

Both professional landscapers and laypeople are welcome to participate in the various field trips, lectures and workshops to be offered.

“The native-plant movement in North America is characterized by many diverse and enthusiastic individuals and organizations, each pursuing their own native-plants agenda,” notes Program Director Dennis Niemeyer.

“Participants’ goals include conserving native flora, studying and promoting the understanding of native flora, building expertise in the propagation and cultivation of native plants, and using native plants in a diversity of natural and designed landscapes,” he explains.

The 2005 conference will include assorted field trips, from Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest to Wadakoe Mountain in South Carolina, providing diverse opportunities to study natural communities. The trips will be led by recognized experts in the field.

The conference registration fee is $105. Housing and meal costs range from $91-$202, depending on the plan selected.

[For more information or to register, call Western’s Division of Distance and Continuing Education at (828) 227-7397 or (800) 928-4968, or visit]

About Cecil Bothwell
A writer for Mountain Xpress since three years before there WAS an MX--back in the days of GreenLine. Former managing editor of the paper, founding editor of the Warren Wilson College environmental journal, Heartstone, member of the national editorial board of the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies, publisher of Brave Ulysses Books, radio host of "Blows Against the Empire" on WPVM-LP 103.5 FM, co-author of the best selling guide Finding your way in Asheville. Lives with three cats, macs and cacti. His other car is a canoe. Paints, plays music and for the past five years has been researching and soon to publish a critical biography--Billy Graham: Prince of War:

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