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.
Your ticket includes heavy hors d’oeuvres, wine & beer, garden tours, an auction #, and a seat during the lecture on Friday night. On Saturday your donation includes lunch and a wildflower walk.
Members: $40 donation for both days
Non-members: $50 donation for both days
Friday Only: If you wish only to attend Friday evening’s activities, tickets for $25 will be available at the door.
Click here to download the brochure and mail your registration/payment
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 a well-known writer and botanical artist. “The Wild Gardener” was named one of the best 75 garden books of the 20th Century by the American Horticultural Society. Peter teaches art at the NC Arboretum and Penland School. He practices printmaking, and works on pen and colored-pencil renderings of native plants and their pollinators. Peter designed the cover of Sow True Seed’s 2014 catalog.
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.
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.
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.