Garden Journal

Bonsai!: This weekend, think small. The North Carolina Arboretum is hosting the Carolina Bonsai Expo on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 11 and 12. The Expo features juried exhibits by bonsai enthusiasts from throughout the Southeast, as well as unique workshops, demonstrations and a bonsai market.

The event includes a live demo: “With the help of two of my bonsai buddies from South Carolina, I’ll be making a bonsai landscape and having a lot of fun doing it,” says Arthur Joura, the arboretum’s bonsai curator. The resulting tree will be auctioned off, and other bonsai will be on sale. The arboretum collection is particularly distinctive because it artfully blends traditional bonsai with plants native to the Southern Appalachians, such as American hornbeam, red maple and eastern white pine.

The event is free, but you’ll pay to park.

For more info, call 828-665-2492 or visit

Farm dollars: Feeling the pinch of soaring costs and drought conditions on your farm? If you’re a current or former tobacco farmer (or live in a tobacco-dependent community), North Carolina might have some money for you. Provided by the N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission, awards totaling $675,000 over a three-year period will be granted to Western North Carolina farmers.

Farmers in 17 WNC counties and the Cherokee Reservation are eligible, but it’s a competitive application process. Get more details from your local extension agent or visit

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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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