Sunday, May 6, 2012

Saturday May 19th

Day two of Asheville Fling 2012 will begin in the parking lot of the Four Points Sheraton with the loading of the buses beginning at 8:45 am. The buses will leave promptly at 9am. Do not miss the bus. Our generous sponsors Corona Tools, the Whitegate Inn and Gardener's Hollow Leg are all helping cover the expense of the buses for the three days of Fling.


The garden of Peter and Jasmin Gentling is located on a mountain above Asheville and is reached by a narrow, barely two lane wide road. There is no parking. It's location will not be disclosed. Be on the bus or you won't see it.

You will be rewarded for following instructions. Two plus acres of a collectors garden on a terraced mountain side await you.

I first visited on a cold and windy day when the first hint of spring was stirring. It was obvious from what I saw that in another couple of months the garden would be filled to overflowing.

I strongly recommend a good pair of walking shoes. The garden is steep with many stone steps going from terrace to terrace. A native woodland garden extends off one end for a nice leisurely stroll. Shrubberies and flowers abound. Two Dawn Redwoods tower above it all.

Lunch will be served in the Gentling garden by Laurey's Catering beginning at 11am. The buses will load and leave for our next stop at 12:30pm.

Now you may certainly enter the Biltmore, our next stop on Saturday on your own. It is a public place. However if you are not on the bus with the garden bloggers you will pay the entry fee that is running around $60 a head for same day tickets. I'd recommend being on the bus. You can use that money to buy plants at the gift shop and nursery behind the conservatory.

When we first enter the estate a staff gardener will join each bus who will be able to give a brief historic overview about Biltmore and Frederick Law Olmsted's impact on the development of the grounds and the forest as we drive the three miles to the gardens. Each attendee will be given a copy of the original 1895 guide map which shows the original planting plans. Staff gardeners will also be stationed at specific places on the grounds for you to ask probing questions while you stroll the magnificent gardens.

At 3pm a champagne toast and social hour will be hosted by Biltmore in the Conservatory. You must be wearing your Asheville Fling 2012 name tag that we will provide in your information packets to be served champagne or other refreshments. There are bound to be several hundred other people milling about. You will need to be identifiable.

We will load the buses and head back to the hotel at 4pm.

Saturday night's dinner is being served at the Asheville Masonic Temple, 80 Broadway St. directly across Woodfin St. from the hotel. Dinner begins at 6pm with light pupus - an assortment of timbales served with bread and crackers. Between 6 and 6:45 pm a lodge member will be available for guided tours of this historic building. Dinner will be prepared by and begin being served at 6:45 pm by the Colorful Palate.

Alcohol is not allowed in the Temple. If you are thirsty for more than tea or lemonade there are a couple of bars right across the street. I hear tell if you mention you are at a function at the Masonic Temple you might get a discount, kama'aina rate.

Entree cards with your meal choice will also be in your information packets (placed inside your name tag holder). Bring this card with you. It should be placed where you sit to aid the cater waiters. Your entree card will also have a number on it. This number is for the door prize drawings that will happen at Saturday's dinner. No entree card, no number, no chance of a door prize for you! You will get a swag bag filled with all kinds of garden goodies from our generous sponsors listed in our swag category on the Fling blog. To increase your chances for more garden goodies, don't forget your entree card.

Homemade ice cream, including dairy free options will be scooped up by The Hop for desert. Dinner should conclude around 8:30 pm.

Dinner will be followed by a discussion about the evolution of blogging led by Dee Nash and Pam Penick. This will conclude by 10pm. The lights will dim and flash and it will be time to leave the Masonic Temple for the streets of downtown Asheville.

I hope I have covered everything for Saturday.