Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Daniel Boone Native Gardens in Boone

My grandmother, Edna "Granny" Winkler, and me at Daniel Boone Gardens in July of 1988.

Today is my grandmother's birthday.  My sweet granny would have been 90 today.  She loved the mountains where she spent her entire life, and often shared stories with me about all the mountain plants she knew and the memories she had of them.  She liked that I loved plants and she would have enjoyed seeing these pictures.  Our day together at Daniel Boone Garden was a happy time and is one of my favorite memories.

The young photographer (pictured below) is my daugher, Emily.  She climbed rocks and did a little housekeeping at Squire Boone's cabin when she wasn't taking pictures of us. She turned 26 on Labor Day.

Daniel Boone Native Gardens
August 13, 2010

Daniel Boone Native Garden was already moving quickly toward fall when I was there in August.  The altitude is 3300 feet in Boone which adds about a month to winter and takes away a month of summer compared to Charlotte.  For a town only a couple of hours away, the climate difference is remarkable.

This small, wild and weedy garden has a great diversity of plants - hundreds of species the brochure says.  You can get a copy as you enter the garden.from the mailbox  (pictured above).   A visit here is a lot like going to a big flea or antique market where rummaging through the stuff looking for treasures is half the fun.  And there are plenty to find.

This plant was labeled "Ragwort." Most were not labeled.
Virgin's Bower clematis.  This vine featured prominently in the garden.

Red clover in front of Black-eyed Susan which was everywhere you look.

Flowering spurge.

White mountain wood aster.

Stewartia ovata, the Mountain Camellia.  This is a rare tree native to the southern Appalachians.  You may remember other Stewartias I've written about.

Remember wells and asking for coins to throw in?  I hope all your wishes came true.

Cardinal Flower, Lobelia cardinalis.

Jewel Weed or Touch-me-not, Impatiens capensis.  The juice is good for poison ivy rash.  Children (of all ages) love to touch the seed pods and watch them explode.
The boggy pond in front of the Squire Boone cabin.
Sunflower, Helianthus sp.
The cabin where we always pretend Daniel Boone lived.  It is, in fact, an authentic pioneer cabin, reconstructed on this site in the 1960s.  It was named the Squire Boone cabin after Daniel Boone's father.

Pokeweed, Phytolacca americana.  
This looks like Ginny's Pagoda dogwood, so I'm guessing that's what it is. Cornus alternifolia.

Obedient Plant, Physostegia virginiana.

Leaving the garden a pretty vignette with the split rail fence - Eupatorium purpureum, Joe Pye Weed and more black-eye Susan.

Beautiful Oakleaf Hydrangeas were in full bloom all over Boone.  These shrubs were all around the outer perimeter of the garden.

The Daniel Boone Native Gardens are at 631 Horn in the West Drive in Boone.  Open daily May- October from 10 am - 6 pm.  Also available for weddings.


  1. So sweet. Brought tears to my eyes. Loved seeing you and Granny and Emily and all those wonderful "weeds" I grew up with.

  2. little emily looks like me in one of those pix. like one of the pix of me when i was that age. freaky.

    i miss granny.

    maybe we'll get married there!

  3. I am glad there are places like this that promote regional natives. Your words and first photo remind me of a treasured photograph of my grandmother and my son taken in front of a wall of blooming azaleas. He was still young enough to allow her to carry him, and she was still able to do so.

  4. Yet another garden I need to go visit! :) I love the way colors match in your pictures of the aster and the pokeweed. Little girls (and boys) grow so fast, don't they?