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North Carolina

A Gardener’s Delight: The Private & Public Landscapes of Asheville

Come to Asheville to witness some of the nation’s most renowned gardens and landscapes as you explore the Biltmore Estate, North Carolina Arboretum and several private gardens.
Rating (5)
Program No. 21968RJ
Length
6 days
Starts at
779
North Carolina

A Gardener’s Delight: The Private & Public Landscapes of Asheville

Come to Asheville to witness some of the nation’s most renowned gardens and landscapes as you explore the Biltmore Estate, North Carolina Arboretum and several private gardens.
Length
6 days
Starts at
779
Program No. 21968 RJ
Prefer to enroll or inquire by phone? 800-454-5768
climate
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Select your type of room
Price will update based on selection
Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
May 9 - May 14, 2021
Starting at
779
May 16 - May 21, 2021
Starting at
779
May 30 - Jun 4, 2021
Starting at
779
Aug 22 - Aug 27, 2021
Starting at
779
Sep 12 - Sep 17, 2021
Starting at
779
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
May 9 - May 14, 2021
Starting at
969
May 16 - May 21, 2021
Starting at
969
May 30 - Jun 4, 2021
Starting at
969
Aug 22 - Aug 27, 2021
Starting at
969
Sep 12 - Sep 17, 2021
Starting at
969

At a Glance

Since Frederick Law Olmsted designed the landscape for George Vanderbilt’s Biltmore Estate in the late 19th century, the people of Asheville, N.C. have prided themselves on the gardens and natural beauty of the region. Join local experts as they share their botanical knowledge and lead explorations to public spaces including the Biltmore Estate, the North Carolina Arboretum and the Botanical Gardens at Asheville. Then, enjoy guided visits to several private gardens owned by local residents.
Activity Level
On Your Feet
Walking up to one mile over uneven terrain.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 10 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Spend an afternoon at the North Carolina Arboretum and admire its many gardens, including the Bonsai Pavilion — home to the largest collection of bonsais in the Southeast.
  • Enjoy guided visits to several private gardens in Montreat and Asheville, and walk the impressive grounds of the Biltmore Estate.
  • Admire the flora of the Botanical Gardens at Asheville, home to 600 species of plants native to the Southern Appalachian region and 50 rare plants including Pale Yellow Trillium.

General Notes

The Retreat Difference: This unique, often basic and no-frills experience at a Road Scholar Retreat includes opportunities for early morning exercise, interaction with the local community for insight into local life, an authentic farm-to-table or locally sourced meal, a live performance or event, and a value-priced single room. Opportunities are available for traveling companions to attend a different program at Montreat during the same week.
Featured Expert
All Experts
Profile Image
Steven A Frowine
Steve Frowine’s fascination with orchids started as a teenager. Holding a bachelor's and master's degree in horticulture from Ohio State and Cornell, Steve has worked in senior positions with many of the top botanical gardens and companies in the horticultural world and has written five books on orchids and "Gardening Basics for Dummies." Steve has lectured throughout the U.S., and has made frequent guest appearances on radio and TV shows. He has always been an avid gardener and enjoys sharing this passion with others.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image of Tracy Bailey
Tracy Bailey View biography
Tracy has been on the program staff of Montreat Conference Center since 1986. She began working with Elderhostel programs in 1989, and in 1997 assumed the additional role of on-site coordinator. A native of the area, she graduated from Asheville-Buncombe Technical College in 1981. Her favorite hobbies are hiking, pottery and reading. Tracy married Sam in 2007, and added three daughters to her family. In addition to her own grown children, she and Sam have been foster parents since 2010. They have four grandchildren.
Profile Image of Steven Frowine
Steven A Frowine View biography
Steve Frowine’s fascination with orchids started as a teenager. Holding a bachelor's and master's degree in horticulture from Ohio State and Cornell, Steve has worked in senior positions with many of the top botanical gardens and companies in the horticultural world and has written five books on orchids and "Gardening Basics for Dummies." Steve has lectured throughout the U.S., and has made frequent guest appearances on radio and TV shows. He has always been an avid gardener and enjoys sharing this passion with others.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Gardening Basics for Dummies
by Steven A. Frowine
You’re now officially out of excuses for not planting the garden of your dreams. Even if you’ve never sowed a seed nor pulled a weed, Gardening Basics For Dummies contains everything you need to know about flowers, beds, borders, trees, shrubs, and lawns to create your own private paradise. This friendly and informative guide also covers all of the tools and additives available to make gardening easier. You’ll discover: Clear definitions and descriptions of the different types of plants Tips on choosing the type of garden you want How to create a garden plan Easy-to-follow instructions for soil preparation Advice on planting, growing and caring for annuals and perennials Step-by-step plans for organic and edible gardens Plans for butterfly and children's gardens Packed with helpful tips on controlling pests safely, managing weeds, and correcting common gardening problems, Gardening for Dummies turns your brown thumb green in a hurry.
A Clearing in the Distance, Frederick Law Olmsted and America in the 19th Century
by Witold Rybczynski
In a brilliant collaboration between writer and subject, Witold Rybczynski, the bestselling author of Now I Sit Me Down, illuminates Frederick Law Olmsted's role as a major cultural figure at the epicenter of nineteenth-century American history. We know Olmsted through the physical legacy of his stunning landscapes—among them, New York's Central Park, California's Stanford University campus, and Boston's Back Bay Fens. But Olmsted's contemporaries knew a man of even more extraordinarily diverse talents. Born in 1822, he traveled to China on a merchant ship at the age of twenty-one. He cofounded The Nation magazine and was an early voice against slavery. He managed California's largest gold mine and, during the Civil War, served as the executive secretary to the United States Sanitary Commission, the precursor of the Red Cross. Rybczynski's passion for his subject and his understanding of Olmsted's immense complexity and accomplishments make his book a triumphant work. In A Clearing in the Distance, the story of a great nineteenth-century American becomes an intellectual adventure.
Biltmore Estate, The Most Distinguished Private Place
by John Bryan
"The most distinguished private place" - that is how, in 1893, the great landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted described Biltmore Estate, perhaps the most ambitious private building project of America's Gilded Age. It was only five years earlier that George Washington Vanderbilt purchased the first parcel of what would become his 125,000-acre estate in Asheville, North Carolina. Along with Olmsted, he commissioned the preeminent architect of the day, Richard Morris Hunt, to design the estate. The house, modeled in part on the chateaux of the Loire Valley, has become one of the greatest and most important in American architectural history. Its 255 rooms, with spectacular and finely crafted interiors, opulent furnishings (some designed by Hunt), and furniture and decorative arts objects collected by Vanderbilt from all corners of the world, have made it a rich national treasure. The estate served as the cradle of the profession of forestry in America. With Olmsted's advice and expertise, it became the first working model of a scientifically managed forest and played a critical role in the creation of our national parks. This meticulously researched book accompanies an exhibition organized by The Octagon, the Museum of the American Architectural Foundation; it chronicles Biltmore from inception, development, and construction through its Christmas 1895 opening celebrations, and into the present. Original architectural drawings, sketches, plans, presentation drawings, nineteenth-century photographs, and vibrant new color photography complete this portrait of a great landmark. Today Biltmore Estate belongs to George Washington Vanderbilt's descendants, who have opened the house to the public and have made it one of the most visited in America.





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