Wildflower Whimsy

Clay_Bolt_Swamp_PinkMay 8 & 9, 2015


Nature’s first green is gold, 

Her hardest hue to hold. 

Her early leaf’s a flower; 

But only so an hour. 

Then leaf subsides to leaf. 

So Eden sank to grief, 

So dawn goes down to day.

Nothing gold can stay. 

– Robert Frost


An Ephemeral Celebration

The annual emergence of the spring wildflowers in the woodlands is a remarkable event.  As the first warm rays of sunlight touch the forest floor, thousands of plants awaken from their winter slumber.  They decorate the forest with a riot of color and fragrance advertising their beauty to pollinators and humans alike. Soon, the leaves of the trees will fill in the canopy and rob the wildflowers of sunlight.  Many of these plants, known as ephemerals for their short season of productive growth, will disappear back into dormancy, not to be seen again until next spring.

100% of the proceeds from Wildflower Whimsy go directly to the Botanical Garden. The Highlands Biological Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.


Tickets – details coming soon 


2014 Event Schedule (2015 Schedule Coming Soon)

Friday, May 2

5:00pm – 6:00pm – Guided Garden Tours

See the Garden as you’ve never seen it before on a guided tour, led by staff and other garden enthusiasts.


6:00pm – 7:00pm – Lecture: “Wildflowers and Native Perennials and Even a Few Exotics for the Southeast”

Speaker: Peter Loewer, The Wild Gardener

Peter Loewer is an established writer and botanical artist. The topics of his books are diverse within the world of botany. In 1973 he wrote the first book on ornamental grasses, “Growing and Decorating with Ornamental Grasses.” Other books include a book on nocturnal flowers titled “The Evening Garden,” another “Thoreau’s Garden” and “Jefferson’s Garden”, both of which were illu­strated by Peter Loewer. In addition to being an avid writer, The Wild Gardener has a garden show on public radio in Asheville, and is a contributing editor for Carolina Gardener. The American Horticultural Society named his book “The Wild Gardener” one of the 20th century’s 75 best garden books. He currently teaches and practices art – particularly printmaking – and works on pen and colored pencil renderings of native plants and pollinators. For an example of his work, check out the cover of Sow True Seed’s 2014 catalogue.


7:00pm – 8:00pm – Live Plant Auction & Reception

Live music provided by Adam Bigelow & Ian Moore. Directly contribute to the Botanical Garden’s annual budget by bidding on carefully selected plants and other items. Enjoy the spring evening with wine, music, and an ephemeral light display in the Botanical Garden.


Saturday, May 3

10:00am – 2:00pm – Wildflower Walks

Boxed lunch from Dusty’s Rhodes Superette provided. See reverse for Wildflower Walk descriptions and details of what to bring.


Wildflower Walks

Sagee Manor Gardens

Led by Ezra Gardiner, Botanical Garden Horticulturist; and Canty Worley, Arborist & Landscape Designer 

Don’t miss your oportunity to tour one of the most beautiful gardens on the Highlands Plateau. The 13 formal gardens were designed by the late Rosemary Verey, a distinguished 20th Century English landscape designer. This mountaintop retreat also offers 360-degree views of the surrounding landscape. Easy.


Plant Diversity along the Chattooga River

Led by Kelder Monar, Botanical Garden Horticulturist

Experience a rich diversity of native plants along this wild and scenic river, one of the most diverse river gorges in North America. We will walk along the Chattooga Loop Trail and identify native plants in the context of ecological conditions. Moderate.


Panthertown Valley 

Led by Adam Bigelow, Gardener & Botanical Consultant

One of the most beautiful and biologically unique sites in the southern Appalachians, the spectacular scenery  of Panthertown Valley has earned it the title “the Yosemite of the East”.  Moderate-difficult.


Wildflowers of High Falls Trail along Shoal Creek 

Led by Walter Wingfield, President, Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust; and Max Lanning, Botanist

The High Falls trail boasts great wildflower diversity and abundance. This walk along the banks of Shoal Creek in Glenville also offers views of two spectacular waterfalls, Rough Run and High Falls. Easy.