Explore unique, beautiful gardens

By Shannan Mashburn • SMN Intern

Gardeners, wannabe-gardeners and those who simply appreciate a fine garden can catch a behind-the-scenes peak of some of the best gardens in Haywood County during the upcoming Haywood County Garden Tour from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday, June 23.

The tour of six private gardens hosted by the Haywood County Master Gardener Volunteers will begin at the historic dairy barn at the Mountain Research Station at 265 Test Farm Road. The Research Station is located across Raccoon Road from the N.C. Cooperative Extension Center in Waynesville.


“I think everyone will want to linger at the barn before they begin the tour,” said Susan Greb, Master Gardener volunteer. “Our major sponsors will be set up to showcase their businesses and products.”

“Bloom” Sponsors are Old Town Bank, which is supplying the tote bags loaded with goodies from “Bloom, Plant and Seedling” sponsors: Haywood Landscapes, Hemlock Healers, Mountain View Nursery and BB Barns Nursery.

Elementary school children from Riverbend, Junaluska and Hazelwood schools will display art projects they have created depicting some facet of gardening.  

“Master Gardener Volunteers have been working with these three schools over the past several years to teach the children how to start, maintain and harvest vegetable and herb gardens,” said Janet Thatcher, co-chairperson of the garden tour. “Charlotte Casey approached the teachers about the art project and they were enthusiastic.”

Directions to the gardens will be distributed from this starting point and day of tour tickets may be purchased there. Tickets are $10. Included with the tickets will be list of restaurants that will give a 10 percent discount for lunch that day to people who have a ticket for the tour. The tour will take place rain or shine.

Several Haywood County non-profit associations will have tables at the barn with information regarding their groups. Habitat for Humanity and the County 4-H will be there along with Haywood Spay/Neuter and Sarge’s Animal Rescue Foundation’s Youth for Sarge. The Cooperative Extension Center and the Research Farm Center will have information available and the Master Gardener Volunteer Association will sell garden gloves and garden almanacs. The Haywood Waterways Association will have rain barrels for sale. The Blue Ridge Watermedia Society and Tuscola and Pisgah High School students have painted some of these barrels.

“Not only will tour goers be treated to the beauty of Haywood County’s mountain and valley gardens that day, there will be educational opportunities at each garden,” added Sammye Marsden, co-chairperson of the tour.  “At one mountaintop garden, the homeowner will speak about growing high elevation plants.  The gardener from the professional office park will discuss disease in the landscape and hemlock treatment will take place at two gardens.  Homeowners at one of the gardens are beekeepers. They will discuss this hobby and have honey for sale. There will also be a demonstration on the proper way to plant a viburnum.”

One of the highlights of the tour will be a drawing for a handcrafted garden sculpture by Grace Cathey. The metal butterfly can be seen at Mountain View Nursery at 1456 Hospital Drive in Clyde. Tickets for the drawing are $5 each. For more information or directions to Test Farm Road, call Erin Freeman at the NC Cooperative Extension Center at 828.456.3575.




• The Haywood County Arts Council’s, N. Main Street

• The NC Extension Cooperative Center, 589 Raccoon Road

• Preston Interiors & Décor, on Depot Street in Frog Level

• Rux Gardens, Old Balsam Road

• Trustworthy Hardware, Eagles Nest Road

• Twigs & Leaves Gallery, Main Street

Maggie Valley:

• Tupelos Indoor & Outdoor Furniture, Dellwood Road


• Mountain View Nursery, Hospital Drive


• @Home Computer Services in Canton,

By Phone:

• Haywood Country Cooperative Extension Center, 828.456.3575.

Tickets can be reserved for pick up at “will call” the day of the tour by e-mailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Other gardens on the tour:

• The Barn at the Mountain Research Station

The 2012 Haywood County “Gardens, Mountains and Streams Tour” begins at the Mountain Research Station barn in Waynesville. Peruse the vendor presentations inside and by the barn, pick up tour directions, and head out to view the gardens.

Bucolic Surround for Professional Offices

At this professional office in Clyde, no matter what window you gaze out of, you’ll enjoy landscaping to rest the eye and calm the mind.

• Lushly Landscaped Mountainside Home Garden

A wash of rhododendrons, hostas, wild bergamot, dahlias, and a weeping redbud greet you as you drive up to this mountainside home. The homeowner has put years of work into her selections to achieve variety and the splendid all-natural, native effect.

• Wooded, Whimsical Hillside Garden

Further up the mountain, cleome spikes the roadside entrance to another garden, breaking for a stone footbridge across a tiny creek that leads into the closely planted hill garden edged by azaleas and lilies of spectacular height and health.

• Formal, Informal, Horticulturally Unique Garden

This garden along Plott Creek is in shade and sun on both sides of the creek that splits her property—and plantings—in half. Scarlet New Zealand impatiens fill two urns on either side of a gravel drive, with grassed avenues branching left and right—one leading downhill to rhododendron, hemlocks, and a lace-leaf Japanese maple with an upright habit, the other leading past pure white althea, a parrotia with mosaic bark and various perennials and shrubs of all types, ending in raised vegetable beds and a berry patch.

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