The Dirt: Almost secret gardens

"Edible" gardens in Asheville are everywhere. Two that recently caught our attention at Xpress are located right under our noses (or just outside our car windows): a Lexington Avenue garden within spitting distance of Interstate 240, and a neighborhood garden almost hidden below the Broadway/Chestnut Street bridge.

The owner of Rosetta's Kitchen got the Lexington site going, and local artist Aaron Brown tends it (even when the city requested he take down some creative bamboo fencing). From the garden, passersby and visitors can view the mural underneath I-240 or enjoy the mix of colors and textures offered by such plantings as basil, nasturtium, chives, marigolds and Jersey blueberries (it'll be a few years before the blueberries produce fruit). "This garden gives people a reason to stop and appreciate where their food comes from," says Brown.

Another block down the road, as Lexington becomes Broadway, Montford residents are enjoying the fruits of E.V. VonSeldeneck's garden. This past spring, she convinced a property owner to allow her to clean up a lot covered with empty bottles, drug paraphernelia and campsites. "No flat land resting in full sun should sit fallow, not in the city, when our food is being driven across the country or flown in from California," says VonSeldeneck, owner of Mantis Gardens Landscaping. Gardens, she says, break barriers — racial, financial, and otherwise.

Crops this season include everything from watermelon to Swiss chard.

Flowering on Lexington Avenue. Photos by Jonathan Welch

A slow-traffic pattern

Under the Chestnut Street bridge

Chestnut motto

Send your garden news to or call 251-1333, ext. 152.

About Margaret Williams
Editor Margaret Williams first wrote for Xpress in 1994. An Alabama native, she has lived in Western North Carolina since 1987 and completed her Masters of Liberal Arts & Sciences from UNC-Asheville in 2016. Follow me @mvwilliams

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One thought on “The Dirt: Almost secret gardens

  1. Citizen

    The more Garden’s we have in this City, the better and why? Because a gardean dis-spell a nuber of issue’s that we have, and from time to time over look.
    It also bring us together where you can see the true ligth of our “Fellow Citizens’.

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