Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Bloggers Fling: Ku'ulei 'Aina and Bonnie Brae

Noontime on  Day 3 of the Garden Bloggers Spring Fling took us way, way, way up into the mountains.  Bloggers gathered at the home of our very own Fling Organizer, Christopher of "Outside Clyde". Here you see him surrounded by listeners as he told of how he and his father built his home together. I failed to snap pictures of his home but Click HERE and go to Christopher's Blog and see several postings of this charming home nestled on the mountain side.
 Christopher's house is new therefore, his gardens are pretty much a Clean Slate for a Garden Artist to paint with colors, textures, stone work, etc. The Artist is coming out in this small area where bottles form a small garden area. This Garden is Ku'ulei 'Aina, the Garden that will be, in the months and years to come. After strolling around and taking in the views a bit, we had an awesome buffet lunch.

Christopher sent us next door through this Wild Meadow. It looks a bit difficult to walk in this photo but I assure you it is not at all.
See, nice paths that his mother, better known as "Bulbarella" pretty much walks daily!
 This Meadow was alive with beauties even though we missed the Hundreds of Spring Bulbs planted by Bulbarella. I bet it is a sight to see during the Spring Showing!
 There was still plenty to see along this lovely walk.
 At the end of the Meadow, we arrived at Bonnie Brae, Home of Bulbarella.
 The view from her porch is just stunning!
 On an upper level, I could see St Francis calling me in for a look.
 We took the Garden Gate and headed into the woodland gardens.

What a treat to be able to stroll through this beautiful woodland haven.

Pathways led us past such beauties as this Iris.
 This white iris.
 And my favorite deep purple almost black Iris.
Pathways wound all around the woods that were filled with shade favorites such as hosta. Must not be any deer at Bonnie Brae...

One had no idea what would be around the next path, such as this neat work of art.
 Or this fallen log that has been turned into a natural looking planter. What a great idea! making note to self..
 A sun filled peony.
 A cute little birdhouse sitting upon a stump.
 The last of the azaleas.
 Christopher had planned the Fling for the Peak Season of the Azaleas but Mother Nature did not play nice for us as she came really early this year. We saw the remains of few Azaleas but still beauty all around us.

We could have spent hours upon hours wandering those beautiful woods but time was not on our side.

As we stroll back through the Wild Meadow, I spotted this old chimney. All that remains of a place once called home for someone. When I see such structures, I cannot help but wonder the story of such a place. A large tree now grows in what was once maybe the living room.
Back to Christopher's Driveway where Bloggers had gathered for a Plant Development Forum. This is where The Saint and I had to say goodbye. Sigh, but time for this dream to end and for us to get back to our real world.

I hope to make it back up that mountain some day to see the progress made at Ku'ulei 'Aina and to stroll about Bonnie Brae and maybe see those bulbs in bloom.

I tell ya, Asheville is full of beautiful gardens, art and people. Wonderful places to visit and such a charming downtown area filled with fun shops. Biltmore was on my Bucket List but I never thought of Asheville. If you ever get a chance to visit Biltmore, be sure to check out Asheville as well. You are in for a wonderful treat. Click HERE to find out more through Explore Asheville. And tell "Del" that Skeeter Sent ya!


  1. Thanks again for another lovely garden tour. How wonderful it would be to live in the mountains like that. Wow.


  2. I so enjoyed touring Christopher's garden again through your photos and narrative, Skeeter--and I didn't even have to climb up any slopes this time:) I missed the sign for Bonnie Brae; how did I do that?? But otherwise I traveled the same paths as you; what an enjoyable afternoon we had.

    Thanks for finding the Explore Asheville contest; I hope one of us wins another trip!

  3. A very inspirational post. I really like the log as planter idea too.

  4. Oh Skeeter, I can only imagine the wonderful items that were tucked here and there in that woodland garden. The natural planter of the fallen tree was cool or sure...I can't remember the old saying about seeing just a chimney standing, it's good luck or something like that. I always wonder what the story is too.

  5. You've outdone yourself with all these posts on our blogging conference in Asheville. That view from the porch was stunning. I also thought both houses were really neat. The meadow was one of my favorite places in the garden. I just loved all the little plants growing naturally around the meadow with that cool chimney. You forgot to say you and I both missed that chimney at first. The Saint had to really show me it when we walked up to the house then you spotted it on the way back. It was hidden in the meadow in plain sight! I wonder about that house that was perhaps once there?

  6. Forgot to say good luck with the contest! I don't know of anyone who deserves to win more than you with all these wonderful posts!

  7. Flower lady, the only thing that would make me think twice about mountain living, the snow and ice of winter. Plus long winters verses my short (if any) winters here in GA.....

    Rose, the sign was at the end of the driveway by the road. I knew it was there as we parked our car nearby. You were on the bus and they never went up that far so you did not see it unless you walked out to the street. I spotted it and kept that in mind when walking around. I have a bad memory so was sure to snap a pic of signs to each garden for writing postings. I feared I would not remember what flower was seen in what garden if not for the reference in my camera. LOL....

    Mary, I cannot tell you how many of those logs we have discarded from our land. I will rethink that after seeing this wonderful natural planter…

    Darla, there was so much to see here and there during that walk. This was our last garden and I was about picture snapped out so did not take as many pics in this garden as in the others. But enough to give you an idea of the natural looking beauty. I wonder about those old chimneys and also when I see clumps of daffodils near rows of old trees and nothing else in sight. I know an old homestead was once in that view…

    Tina, you are too kind. It was so much fun seeing all these wonderful gardens with you by my side! We had the best time and I can see us touring more gardens together some day in the future. Maybe Charleston if not sooner…. I hope you add your technical aspects to each of these gardens as I don’t see that part of a garden. I just enjoy the beauty while you take mental notes and see the inner works of it all. Yes, that was funny how we never saw the chimney while the Saint did! I think you and I were more captivated by the wild flowers when he was looking beyond. If I don’t win that trip back to Asheville, it will not be from not trying. LOL….

  8. Yes, Phillip! I am glad you and Michael were able to squeeze in a visit before you headed home! It was so beautiful and pleasant on that mountain. Enough so to make a gal want to call that place home…

  9. Time was limited in all the gardens, looking back I think we could have spent a lot more time in soooo many of them.

  10. Tell "Del" that Skeeter Sent ya! Ha ha. Skeeter you are the odds on favorite to win there is no doubt about that.

    We do have deer, but they are country deer and do not recognize city kind food like hosta. They eat the wild stuff like the Showy Orchis.

    The old chimney is also home to a geocache that people find and log in to. I was told the house there burned down twice and was used as a place to stay when they brought the cows up and stayed to grub the pastures. Back then there were no herbicides. Maintaining a pasture was done by hoes.

  11. Janet, Can you imagine if we had unlimited time in those gardens the trouble we could have gotten in to... Probably a good idea to keep us moving....

  12. Christopher, There could only be one other person entering and I would loose to them. That is just my luck. Heck, with all those wonderful door prizes at the Masonic Lodge dinner, I did not win one thing and the Saint did! Ha....

    Interesting about the deer not eating your hosta. Our deer mostly come into our gardens for the corn we provide them. But occasionally, they do nibble a bloom or two. I spray Liquid Fence to deter them and it seems to work. We love wildlife and try to live in harmony with them. If they do eat a bloom, oh well, no great loss as it will return some day....

    That is very interesting about the house and the geocache. Someone posted on that I do believe. I shall have to research that a bit more.

    And as far as the Hoes maintaining the fields, Bless Their Hearts! Ha, sorry, could not resist....

    Thanks again for planning a wonderful Fling. You are the best!!!!

  13. Thank you Skeeter for another fantastic tour. I know it was beautiful & much, much more so than ours use to be while I was there. I too wonder of the history of that chimney, one of my favorites. I'm so glad you & Tina were close to see all the beauty. It was a pleasure for all who attended.
    Good luck with the contest. You sure deserve it.

  14. Quite a trip for all of you. I enjoyed every post very much! Wonderful pictures for sure.

  15. Thank you Skeeter for another fantastic tour. I know it was beautiful & much, much more so than ours use to be while I was there. I too wonder of the history of that chimney, one of my favorites. I'm so glad you & Tina were close to see all the beauty. It was a pleasure for all who attended.
    Good luck with the contest. You sure deserve it.

  16. Enjoyed your bloggers fling. Wish I lived in an area where there were gardens to tour. Not that there aren't any nice gardens here, just not many that you can go tour.
    I was at Biltmore one time but unfortunately it was a dreary rainy day, so we didn't get to see the gardens.
    Thanks for sharing.

  17. You did a great job photographing this set of gardens. I really enjoyed the naturalness and the walk in the woods. Great views too.

  18. I think this would have been my fav garden trip...I cannot believe the deer food in the woods and no deer damage. I also tend to dream of what structure, people, life was spent in places where we find remnants of buildings like the chimney... fascinating.