Afternoon: Arrival at the Assembly Inn, check in between 3 - 5:30 p.m. Registration for our program will be in the lower lobby from 4 - 5:30 p.m. Pull up to the Assemby Inn porch to unload, then park your vehicle in any designated spot close to the Inn or by the lake.
Dinner: Dinner will be served from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the Galax Dining Room, on the first floor of the Assembly Inn. A relaxing break after your day of travel. All our meals are served buffet style, so grab your plate and utensils and settle in for some comfort food. A choice of two entrées (or have both), good-for-you vegetables, a complete salad bar, bread and, of course, some yummy desserts. Tea (sweet and unsweetened), coffee, milk, and water available.
Evening: Our opening program/orientation will be at 7 p.m. (usually in Convocation Hall, also on the first floor of the Inn). We will spend some time learning a little about Montreat, meeting your instructors, going over the schedule, and answering questions. We know you're tired from your travels, so we'll wrap up around 8 p.m. with some "getting to know you" activities. Refreshments and fellowship follow in the lobby, or retire to your room to rest.
Breakfast: Our breakfast buffet is served from 7:30 - 8:30 a.m. in the Galax Dining Room. Is breakfast your favorite meal of the day? Then you're in for a treat this week! Breakfast options change each day, but will incorporate lots of your favorites. Biscuits and gravy, French toast, pancakes or waffles, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, grits, hash browns, oatmeal (and not the packaged kind either), and lots of others. Standard offerings include fresh fruit, cereal, yogurt, granola, baked pastries, orange juice (and another juice option). Fresh coffee or hot tea will start your morning off right!
Morning: Our first morning begins with an illustrated talk on the marvelous gardens of Scotland, beginning with notes on great garden design that is especially evident in Scottish garden design and a great selection of plants that are hardy in many American gardens because they actually were first collected in America back in the 1700s. Next, we’ll take box lunches to a day at the North Carolina Arboretum. The arboretum sits in the middle of a 434-acre public forest and garden located within the Bent Creek Experimental Forest, surrounded by lush folds of the botanically diverse Southern Appalachian Mountains. The arboretum’s namesake is Frederick Law Olmstead, the “Father of American Landscape Architecture,” who first envisioned such an institution near Asheville as part of his legacy to the Biltmore Estate.
Lunch: We'll be taking box lunches with us to enjoy at the Arboretum.
Afternoon: After Peter Loewer gives us an introduction to the many gardens on the arboretum grounds,we will lunch on the porch that overlooks the Plants of Promise Garden, an important collection of bulbs, perennials, shrubs, and small trees that all have proven to be great additions to American gardens. After lunch we will visit with Peter the largest collection of Japanese bonsai trees (and a few plants) in the Southeast’s grandest collection of such botanical wonders in a beautiful, specially designed pavilion that salute’s their classic beauty. We will then visit the beautiful Quilt Garden that is re-designed twice a year, once for spring and once for fall displays. We will examine many collections of native plants in designs that tickle the garden imagination but do not require a team of home gardeners to support. Learn more about the arboretum at http://www.ncarboretum.org
Dinner: dinner at the Assembly Inn. 5:30 - 6:30 p.m.
Evening: 7:00 to 8:00, "Fun in the Mountains," games/cards and tv available in the lobby for fellowship movie on a big screen
Breakfast: Another yummy buffet breakfast is served 7:30 - 8:30 a.m. Get your morning off to a good start! It's the most important meal of the day...
Morning: Rain or shine, our day begins with an illustrated talk on our instructor’s visit to twelve magnificent English gardens, gardens that feature great design (ever notice that there is never bare ground in an English garden and never any signs of artificial mulch?) and great plants, not to mention a number of American native plants that were taken from America to England in the 1700s. We’ll also touch on learning about garden photography. We'll load up and head into Asheville, with our first stop at Peter Loewer’s garden on Kenilworth Lake, followed by a visit to his neighbor Michael’s garden. Peter Loewer will be guiding us through these gardens.
Lunch: picnic lunch at Peter Gentling's garden.
Afternoon: We will lunch outdoors at Peter Gentling’s garden up on Town Mountain Road, a garden that overlooks the city of Asheville below. Or if it rains we’ll gather on Peter Gentling’s front porch then tour a garden not only in the English Style but with numerous salutes to the gardens of Japan. All three of these gardens are in full bloom from spring on to fall and all mix great design with knowledge of the terrain, and are home to many native plants and wildflowers --and a must for some great garden photography
Dinner: 5:30 - 6:30 dinner
Evening: 7:00 - 8:00 evening program Evening programs are typically a fun event -- a dance, a concert, or a storyteller games/cards/tv available in lobby for fellowship optional movie on big screen
Breakfast: 7:30 - 8:30 a.m. breakfast
Morning: Our morning consists of a brief class on Bees and Butterflies and then visits to two gardens in nearby Black Mountain. At "Hop n Blueberry Farm," we'll talk the history of the 165 year old farm and how sustainable farming practices are used to make the farm a success then and now using such things as permaculture and the incorporation of native pollinators.
Lunch: 12:30 - 1:30 lunch
Afternoon: The afternoon is free for visits to Black Mountain, the Folk Art Center, or downtown Asheville and its book and antique stores.
Dinner: 5:30 - 6:30 dinner
Evening: Movie Night! This evening will feature a movie where the subject is a story built around a garden. Choices will be: The Draftsman’s Contract; Just Like Heaven; Being There; Enchanted April; The Secret Garden; Greenfingers.
Breakfast: 7:30 - 8:30 a.m. breakfast is served. Have you tried the grits or Ronnie's biscuits and gravy yet? Don't miss out!!!
Morning: Thursday Peter will begin our time together with a talk and slide presentation on the Conservatory Gardens at the Biltmore Estate. After a morning break, we will load up and go over to the Biltmore Estate and visit that same conservatory for plants ranging from cactuses to orchids to tropical ferns!
Lunch: picnic lunch on the Biltmore Estate grounds
Afternoon: After a picnic lunch at the estate, we will go on to elegant, English-style gardens located in Biltmore Forest, the first belonging to Maryanne Binns and the second to Millie Elmore.
Dinner: 5:30 - 6:30 dinner
Evening: 7:00 - 8:00 evening program games/cards/tv in lobby for fellowship (no movie tonight)
Breakfast: 7:30 - 8:30 a.m. breakfast is served. It's your last chance to try Ronnie's biscuits and gravy.... you'll wish you had them all week.
Morning: Friday morning will feature an illustrated talk by Peter Loewer on the importance of containers in good garden design, followed by another visit to Asheville, starting with a tour of Ralph Coffee’s White Gate Garden and his great display of how to collect hundreds of plants on one city lot, not to mention the orchids in his greenhouse. Then it’s on to a six-acre sanctuary known as the Botanical Gardens of Asheville, located next door to the University of North Carolina at Asheville, where hundreds of native plants are grown in a garden of peaceful walkways that all salute the wonders of the world of plants found in our Western North Carolina Mountains. The Botanical Gardens are located in the Southern Appalachian Mountains, one of the most diverse temperate ecosystems in the world. Their mission is the preservation and promotion of the native plant species and habitats of these mountains. They hope to increase public awareness of this region’s unique botanical diversity by maintaining gardens for the enjoyment of the public and by providing educational programs and research resources for the community. The Cole Library of The Botanical Gardens at Asheville contains more than 1000 books relating to botany, horticulture, ecology, and ornithology. Visit their website: http://www.ashevillebotanicalgardens.org 12:00 check out of Assembly Inn (if returning for lunch -- box lunches are available for those who choose to leave from the Botanical Gardens). 12:15 - 12:30 closing program
Lunch: 12:30 - 1:30 lunch