Thursday, June 14, 2012

Bloggers Fling: The Gentling Gardens

We are now starting Day 2 of the Garden Bloggers Spring Fling! We headed up the mountainside on a narrow road. I am glad I was not an oncoming car going against 2 big yellow buses! Our Destination: Blue Briar Cottage founded in 1906.  Click HERE to read more about this interesting place. Also, be sure to click on the photo gallery for pictures of the cottage. I failed to snap any.  
Peter and Jasmin Gentling have called this wonderful place home for the past 40 years. They have created the most beautiful gardens on a hillside that had the Saint and I in total Awe. 

We were greeted by a structure surrounded by Woods, Stone and lush shades of green. 

A Potting Shed, a Greenhouse or Spring house? No, the Art Studio of Peter Gentling.
 Pathways of many types lead one to the surrounding gardens. Here you see gravel.
Here you see stone steps with earth beneath.

Here you see stacked stone steps.
And here you see a grass pathway. This was once the main drive to the house via horse and carriage. Teddy Roosevelt visited his son here as he called this place home at one time. 
 This is the view to the left from the front porch.
 Two bus loads of bloggers were strolling the land and not many in view of the camera. Yes, this is a very large garden.

Weeping Atlas Cedar made for a gate down towards the water pond. I never made it to the pond as I was side tracked and forgot to return later on. Duh...
 The water has been diverted via PVC Piping and a Bucket from a natural spring. Making the creek from the top of the hill to the bottom and into the land and river below.

 I think this looks so natural as if not planted by hands.
 Tall, to medium, to short, to ground cover type beauties.
 What is this? Variegated Ginkgo! Never before heard of, much less seen by my eyes until now!
As a child, we had a huge Ginkgo tree in our front yard so I am familiar with Ginkgo's but not of a variegated type. Click HERE to read about that old tree I loved... I research this a bit and found many different types of Variegated Ginkgo Trees! Ha, learn something new every day!
 Stunning spots had me stopping in my tracks throughout this garden.
 I really liked the toadstool type item in the center of this area. Recycled materials maybe?
 Lush green grass, a stone wall and dappled color on the hillside.
 It was so breathtaking to gaze downward at the beauty.
 Big Purple Globes (Allium) stole the show in this spot!
 The stone work had me stopping often.
 Jasmin told us that most of these walls were forgotten as they were taken over by brush in the past. Can you imagine how surprised they were to discover them when cleaning up the land after years of neglect?
 Stone walls terrace the land to the point that walking around was not a hassle to me. Never once did I become short of breath while strolling these gardens. Well, I lost my breath a few times by being captivated by the beauty. Look beyond the wall in this shot above. The sun seems to be casting a beam on the background view. 

This garden is a true gardeners delight.
Works of Art could be found through out the gardens.

The Resident Kitty was not sure what to think of so many people in her gardens. 
One can only imagine how much dirt these tools have seen over the years.
The Saint was taking it all in. He and I made a big observation within this garden. Have you notice anything different from the pictures I have shared with you today? A most beautiful garden but with little Red, Purple, Orange, Yellow, White or any color of blooms. Most of this garden is built on texture and height of mostly green plants! The Saint and I have decided we need to add more green and texture to our gardens!
 Bloggers visiting while sitting on the front steps of the house.
I had the honor of enjoying these bloggers company during lunch while sitting on the front porch. Rose of Prairie Rose's Garden, . Lisa of GreenbowChick-er-Doodles and Mom of The Garden Junkie and our very own Tina from here at In the Garden. Original Heart of Pine wooden floors beneath our feet. We enjoyed chatting with the most humerus Jasmin. She told of two bear cubs sitting and rocking in these very chairs! Of course The Saint and I were looking for the critters but with close to 90 people wandering around, I am sure they were keeping their distance. We missed the upper level of this beautiful place but maybe we can return again some day. (Click HERE for more from Explore Asheville about this secret garden)

As we loaded the buses for departure, Peter and Jasmin escorted us up the hill back to the street. As the buses pulled away, Jasmin was waving goodbye as if sending her children off to School! We enjoyed our time with THE GENTLINGS, In the Garden...

Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden


  1. I can see you saw tons of inspiration in this garden. It is very lush!

  2. What a beautiful, lush and peaceful garden. The Gentlings have gentled their surroundings.

    Thank you for this tour.


  3. Wonderful post. I agree with you. I want to add more green texture to the garden and stonework. Thank you for sharing this garden with us.

  4. Skeeter, I can't tell you how much I enjoyed reading this post--I felt like I was walking through this garden once again. You may not have made it up the hill in the back, but you pictured some spots that I either missed or had forgotten about. I hadn't even thought about the lack of color, but you are right--it's not really needed with so many different textures and types of foliage. Thanks for the link love; it was so much fun sitting on the porch and chatting with all of you. But if we'd stayed the afternoon, I would have been ready for more exploring of this beautiful garden!

  5. My heavens Skeeter,
    When ever I think I'm losing interest in gardening it only takes one look at a place like this to get me going again. It's just beautiful!

  6. It was a beautiful garden! I did not realize all the history and sure appreciated that link to the article on Blue Briar Cottage. I also did not realize all those famous gardeners have visited these gardens and now so have we! Those two dawn redwoods have quite the history. Jasmin never mentioned that part or at least I didn't hear. I so enjoyed chatting on the porch. I snapped a picture inside the bathroom of a flower pocket. Perhaps I'll post it soon. The flower pocket had fresh flowers in it too! It was quite an idyllic spot to retire.

  7. You got some great photos of this wonderful garden. I too was thrilled to find the variegated Ginkgo.

  8. Thanks for a wonderful tour Skeeter. It is a wonderful garden. I really miss the N.C. area. I too had a dry stacked rock wall in back of our MH. I repaired it as some of it had fallen. I had a long garden on top of it. So pretty. It's a shame that I didn't take pics of it.

  9. I am so envious, I wish I could be there with you seeing such beauty.

  10. Hello everyone! The Saint and I just returned from the "Giant Plant Sale" at McCorkles Nursery! I could not resist the cheaply priced hydrangea's, hosta, myrtles, rose's, etc... The Saint even had a ball with the bargains. I shall post on this trip later....

    Darla, Sooooo much inspiration in this garden!

    Flower lady, Yes, such kind Gentle Gardens!

    Mary, I am on the look out for green stuff!

    Rose, Some one mentioned on a posting about how they learned to walk a garden then turn around and walk it back the other direction! Amazing what you may spot that you missed the first go round with a different angle on things. Great advice...i could have stayed there all day long but then I would have missed the bubbly at Biltmore. hee hee...

    Randy, You are so Right! After this trip, I was ready to get home and dig in the dirt again! So inspiring....

    Tina, I hope more people check out that link. I found it by google and found it most interesting. I missed the flower pocket....

    Janet, I was shocked to find out of them then to discover there are many different types, Well, blow me down....

    Lola, such a shame indeed! I do not have many pics of our old homeplace and so wish I had snapped more but back then, it was an expensive hobby the cameras....

    Jennifer, Blogs is the next best thing to being there! I have seen so many beautiful gardens through blogs and am ever so grateful when I cannot be there myself...

  11. I loved your view of the Gentling's garden. They were such nice people and superb gardeners. You did not miss photographing much here and got some wonderful angles and views. The photo of the Saint is really a nice image.

  12. WOW I love all that lush green, it is gorgeousbut all that stone work is absolutely breath taking!!!!

  13. That is a jaw dropping I am in awe...and a wonderful spot to stop and rest while you take it in!