Monthly Archives: August 2009

Is this garden tour appropriate for children?

Children are very welcome in our West Asheville gardens!  As a matter of fact, one of our goals is to inspire and enable parents and kids to get involved in gardening, both in community endeavors and at home.

We ask that children be supervised in the gardens, for their own safety and with respect to the home owners.  Please be especially aware of your children around ponds, garden art made of hard materials, walls and slopes.

Can I bring my dog on the stroll?

Please leave your pooch at home.  With respect to the garden owners, their own pets, as well as the visitors on the tour, everyone will be much more comfortable.  Stop at the Westend Bakery to pick up some organic dog treats though and you won’t be coming home empty handed!

Can I show my garden next year?

We’re happy and proud to be in West Asheville and it’s wonderful to see so many beautiful gardens!  Now in its third year, the West Asheville Garden Stroll continues to slowly grow. Currently the stroll team clusters gardens in selected neighborhoods of West Asheville to keep the stroll walkable and manageable for the small group of volunteers to put on. These clusters move from year to year to showcase more of the diverse community of West Asheville.

If you would like to have your garden on a future stroll please contact us at Chances are good the garden stroll will be in your neighborhood soon.

Cars in neighborhoods

We recommend that you use the centralized parking that will be available near the featured neighborhoods. The garden stroll is exceedingly walkable and bikeable this year.

West Asheville Baptist Church on Haywood Rd. has ample parking for the library opening ceremony and garden stroll check in. Ample parking is available at Grace Baptist Church at 718 Haywood Rd and West Asheville Park at 198 Vermont Ave for the garden clusters. Limited parking will be available at Rainbow Mountain Children’s School, 574 Haywood Rd.

Each cluster of gardens makes for a relatively easy stroll through the neighborhoods. Walking offers more opportunity to explore West Asheville and to see walk by sites that are not featured gardens on the tour. Bicycle riding is also highly encouraged.

The West Asheville Garden Stroll is a rare chance to intimately experience the great outdoors of our urban environment that so often goes unnoticed.

Do you have recommendations for clothing?

Most importantly, wear appropriate shoes.  While all our gardens are in the city, some have slopes, pathway surfaces vary and  others have water features which may cause the surrounding walkways to be slippery.

Watch the weather for the day of the stroll. Local folks know this, but if you’re coming here from out of town for the stroll, be sure to have an extra layer of clothes  for easy adjustments to temperature changes.

Sunscreen is always a good idea and be sure to carry water or pack a small beverage cooler in your car.

Is the stroll canceled if it rains?

Here in Asheville, it’s pretty much impossible to predict the weather.  Often times, we get everything in the course of a single day.  If it rains on the day of the stroll, we’re having it anyways!  Bring an umbrella or raincoat and enjoy the lush gardens.  More than likely, the rain will give way to sun anyways.

2009-13: Wamboldtopia

angel Garden Fairy Althea wamboldtopia3 wamboldtopia4

Wamboldtopia encompasses our garden, studio and home. It is our sanctuary and playground, wide open for creative expression – a little Utopia if you will! It all started 10 years ago with a simple geometric herb garden and has grown ever since.”

Damaris Pierce and her husband Ricki, a.k.a. The Rock Pirate, combine their passions for gardening, masonry and sculpture in their magical and playful garden. Between the stone castle studio, dog cabin, water garden and elf tower, there are countless rock creations, garden sculptures and gnome homes. A metal dragon tumbles up the front stairs, fairy doors surprise in hidden spots and a massive stone and brick arch greets visitors. The brick circle in the back was finished by Ricki just in time for their wedding six years ago. Wamboldtopia is a living canvas and testament of a couple’s love for each other and for all that grows.

Event extras: Bill Pillmorewill play the guitar on our magic circle various times during the day.  Artist Gary DeVore will be painting in the garden. Little neighbor Dylan will be offering refreshing lemonade.  Children welcome with adult supervision.

Additional Photos from the day of the stroll.

Wamboldtopia The Guardian Wamboldtopia Wamboldtopia Tower

2009-12: Gnomon

christopher1 christopher2 christopher3 christopher4

The Gnomon is the garden that Christopher Mello has created on the corner of Westwood and Waynesville Avenue off Haywood Road behind the Rocket Club and the bio-diesel pump. A gnomon is the shadow caster of a sundial and the name is in memory of a fallen gardening friend, Randy Palmer. Rest in peace Randy.

The garden is five years old now and is basically a collection of all the red and black leaved plants that i can find. Also included are plants with unusual flower shapes and colors and fragrances. I am now incorporating many edibles in the mix, lettuces, cabbages, and kales are the main thrust of the winter garden. As the garden is adjacent to My art studio at 307 Waynesville Avenue, visitors will find my rusty metal and ceramic work abounding. Perhaps the strongest feature in the garden is the waterfall constructed of giant metal plates that were once the water tower for the Chesterfield Mill in the river arts district.

This is a purposefully dark and moody garden. Hopefully as beautiful to visitors as it is to me. It is an intentionally public space and visitors are invited to revisit the garden anytime. daylight only please. Always welcome are donations of blue bottle and “dead” shovels.

Event extras: Christopher’s artful creation will be available for sale

Additional photos from the day of the stroll.

Gnomon Contemplation Gnomon Urban Chickens

2009-11: Burton Street Community Peace Garden

Flowering-sign Fresh-Harvest Pizzas-in-the-oven Mother's-day-harvest-label

Started in 2003 as a peaceful response to the current war in Iraq and heavy drug activity in the neighborhood, Burton Street Community Peace Gardens is a growing labor of love in the heart of the Burton Street Community. From its humble beginnings as an overgrown lot filled with discarded 40-ounce bottles, the Gardens have grown to include two vegetable/flower gardening sites, stage area, fire pit, cob pizza oven, greenhouse, and sculpture gardens.

With a focus on environmental and community responsibility, the garden design and sculpture park have been created using found/reused items (most from the immediate neighborhood). The Gardens are hydrated from direct rain, in addition to rainwater collected in the 550-gallon tank of a neighboring residence. The greenhouse frame was constructed using steel poles from a discarded McDonalds playground. Brick, block & concrete used to build the fire pit, garden beds, & cob oven are all sourced from residences or sidewalks that were demolished and headed for the landfill.

Of special note is the sculpture park that is the creative endeavor of artist and poet DeWayne Barton/B Love along with other local artists. The installations, like the gardens, are created with found/reused items and each tells a separate and compelling story of social and environmental justice.

Our vision is to be a sanctuary for positive action, which results in neighborhood food security, community cohesion, and a vibrant, sustainable local economy.

Event extras:

  • 12 – 1 PM – fresh pizza from the cob oven
  • 2 – 4 PM –  tours of the gardens & sculpture park w/ B Love

Additional photos from the day of the stroll.

Burton Street Community Peace Garden Burton Street Community Peace Garden Dragon