spring color

August Moon and Autumn Fern
a good combo...

Wildflower Gardern, an urban wilderness...

Our entrance garden is an attempt to copy some of the plant community we see and like in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
This area was a gravel parking lot 5 years ago.
We began the garden by putting 4 inches on compost on the gravel surface then an additional 6" of wood chips and mulched this with 2" of leaf mulch. 
The beds were shaped  and contoured to give a natural feel.
Yellow birch, rhododendron, spruce and fir were planted the first year.
The second year we added and irrigation system and moss.
By year three the shade from the trees was good enough that we could introduce the under story flowers

These column were built this spring, a gate should arrive any day.

We use some plants that are not native like this yak rhodo.

nordman fir and blueberries

We add additional plants each year: flowers trees and shrubs.

This garden is different everyday of the year.

Wildflower Route, Bunches Creek Rd. Blue Ridge Parkway, to Big Cove Rd. Cherokee,NC

Just beyond Big Witch Tunnel (Blue Ridge Parkway) on the right, is a dirt road , Bunches Creek Rd, which winds from over 5,000 ft elevation on the parkway down to 2,000 ft. in Cherokee
 The route is back country, and filled with wildflowers. The change in elevation has different species blooming all along the way. It like driving through spring. With early spring up top and it gets later
the lower, and warmer you go.

When you arrive at Big Cove Road you can turn right and go to Straight Fork Road another good spot to see wild flowers, water and woods.


Spring Wildflowers After The Fire 4-17-2017

Image result for chimney tops 2 fire mapSmoky Mountains National Park, 11,000 of the parks half million acres burn in the November forest fires (  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2016_Great_Smoky_Mountains_wildfires).                             Image result for chimney tops 2 fire map Now in April what will spring be like in the Park?
Chimney Tops' chared ridge line is bare.
The forest leaf litter (duff) is gone in fire zones. 
Wild flowers are returning.
In areas where there was no fire the spring flowers are the best in years

     The forest sericev reports that the burned areas will recover and  that fire is good for the forest.
If you can get out to the park in the next couple of weeks and check the spring flowers,

             and support our national park system.             

Snow on Trees

A late snow storm created an opportunity to see the form of different trees.
ironwood, fastigated


black walnut

albert spruce


red pine

black gum

Chinese witchhazel blooming

red maple

sugar maple

yellow locust


norway spruce

Nordman fir
These shots were taken before the sun broke through, and relly show the personalities of the different species.

Spring Flowers at Canyon Kitchen
Cashiers, North Carolina

 The frost date is May 15th here, but this year we had a light frost on the 19th. So we plant with frost in mind. The planting above consist of pansies, chard, purple cabbage, onions, and strawberries. It was planted
May 1st. and was not damaged by the cold.

rhubarb should last until mid June.

JOHN McCarley

PO Box 524
Cashiers, North Carolina 28717
United States


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