Monday, August 16, 2010

Cool Breezes and Flowers in Blowing Rock, NC

If scenes like this don't convince you to visit Blowing Rock, how about this:  Cool breezes - even on Friday when temperatures were near record high for this northwest corner of the North Carolina mountains.  Less than a hundred miles from Charlotte, Blowing Rock was more than ten degrees cooler that day and nearly every day.

Every business along the downtown strip has beautiful plants and flowers.

Black-eyed Susan was in nearly every display.  Here it mingles with several colors of impatiens.

Coneflowers and Rudbeckia 'Henry Eilers'  bloom in front of the library.  The stone building  is characteristic of the mountains.  Stone walls are common, too, and accentuate the plant colors so nicely.

The dusty, subtle shades of Sedum 'Autumn Joy' and Huechera 'Caramel' (?) are so autumnal and gorgeous together.

The library had a book sale.  I sometimes lose my mind at these things, but I only bought two books this time. *

The library garden has several varieties of coneflower as well as many other perennials.

At the opposite end of town - a whopping few hundred yards - is St. Mary of the Hills Episcopal Church.  Theirs is a lush campus with an abundance of shade plants.

Huge hostas line a path to the small Memorial Garden.

Variegation always adds nice light to the shade.

The fruits of Kousa dogwood are like bumpy cherries, but I doubt they taste good.

Back out into the sun, it is a short walk back to the center of town.

"The Gardener" greets visitors to Blowing Rock Park which is in the middle of the downtown strip.

Benches face the sidewalk below so no one misses out on the action.  Children entertain themselves in the sandbox and on the swings behind.

The gazebo at the center of the park is another place to enjoy the cool air.

Streetside hosta and a ligularia in bloom.  

One last Monet-esque scene on the way out of town.    

Blowing Rock Tourism Development Website will give you many more reasons to make a trip to Blowing Rock.  I can tell you it is charming - full of good shops, restaurants, art and scenery.  And cool breezes and flowers.  It is an easy 2 hour drive from Charlotte, and only fifteen minutes from Boone, home of Appalachian State University.

* One is a book called Indoor Gardens (1967), and the other is Green Treasures - Adventures in the Discovery of Edible Plants (1974).  On the way home, I bought a botany textbook for non-science majors, Humanistic Botany (1977) at a thrift store.  The old photographs are great.


  1. what beautiful gardens, thanks for sharing them!

  2. my pleasure, jen! i love it up there.

  3. What a beautiful tour, I enjoyed it very much, Gina

  4. After reading this and seeing your photos, a trip may have to be planned.

  5. I just loved the different gardens. Thanks for sharing them. I just love flowers, and all of these were just gorgeous.

  6. Gina, Les and Paula Jo, I'm glad you enjoyed the flowers! Thanks for visiting.

  7. Wow, it looks like about 75% of the perennials in those gardens are the same types that I have in my garden - Rudbeckia, coneflowers, Autumn joy sedum, several types of hosta, ferns, a rhododendron, even a ligularia!