Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Ku'ulei 'Aina

We had planned to leave early on Sunday morning although the Blogger's Fling continued through Monday. There was, however, another garden that we desperately wanted to see. 

"Ku'ulei 'Aina" ("My Beloved Land") is the garden of Christopher, one of the planners of the fling. I've followed his blog "Outside Clyde" for years. He build his home from the ground up, documenting each step along the way. That is quite an accomplishment for anyone but especially when you see the terrain! The house sits on stilts on a steep mountainside near the town of Clyde, N.C. When I first start reading his blog, I didn't know that "Clyde" was a town and thought that the blog was written by a guy named Clyde who enjoyed being outdoors. 

We arranged to catch Christopher's garden on our way out of Asheville since it was on our route back home. It was a sunny morning with temperatures pleasantly brisk. A gorgeous drive it way, up the mountain, along winding turns and curves, with small grocery/gas stations along the way. It was like stepping back in time and I experienced a tinge of nostalgia as it reminded me a lot of the area where I grew up (Franklin County, Alabama).  

Standing on the porch overlooking an artful arrangement of stones
On the opposite side, a beautiful hillside meadow filled with wildflowers, annuals and perennials

At the top of the meadow and next to the vegetable garden stood an old chimney
An added bonus to this tour was seeing the garden of Christopher's mother, who livs next door on the other side of the woods. She was so nice and her garden was a treat. It sits on a large hillside above her house and is filled with wildflowers, hostas and native shrubs. There was even a rhododendron still blooming.

That concludes the gardens we saw during the Garden Bloggers Fling and I haven't even started on the gardens we saw before the Fling. We traveled to Raleigh (J.C. Arboretum, Plant Delights), Durham (Sarah Duke Gardens), Seaford, Virginia (Pam Harper's garden), Norfolk (Norfolk Botanical Gardens, the Pinkham garden) and Richmond (Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden). All of those gardens are coming up next. In hindsight, I can't believe I saw so many gardens on this trip!

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy

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