Article Copied from the American Rhododendron Society Blog

Print date: 4/17/2024

Appalachian Spring Event

31 December 2011 @ 09:58 | Posted by Bob

"Appalachian Spring", the 2012 ARS-ASA International Convention takes place May 4 – 7, 2012 in beautiful Asheville, North Carolina, in the heart of the picturesque Blue Ridge Mountains where native azaleas and rhododendrons burst into bloom every spring.

Visit the event's enormous plant sale. Over 3,000 plants are being grown for the sale, featuring the hybridizing efforts of local plants men James Harris, Velma Haag, George Beasley, Augie Kehr, James Todd, Don Johnson, Kelly Strickland, and Earl Sommerville.

Four fabulous days of tours are planned for your enjoyment and wonder. We will be visiting a variety of beautiful gardens in Asheville and Hendersonville, North Carolina, and just across the border in South Carolina.

Tours include the Biltmore Estate and Gardens, this Frederick Law Olmsted designed estate has the largest single family home in America, the Charles Dexter Owen Garden, with a large collection of Dexter hybrids, the North Carolina Arboretum, whose 65 acres of cultivated gardens pay tribute to the region's rich cultural heritage, and the Ed and Mary Collins Garden, featuring dwarf rhododendrons, evergreen and deciduous azaleas, dwarf conifers and may perennials, wildflowers, and unusual trees.

Other gardens open for touring include the James and Mary Ann Stewart Garden, previously owned by Dr. August "Augie" Kehr, with one of the largest collection of magnolias in the U.S., the Bob and Audrey Stelloh Garden, with many native wildflowers, mountain laurels and thousands of choice azaleas and rhododendrons, and the Doley and Melody Bell Garden with an estimated 3000 rhododendrons, including Dexter, Haag, Leach, Kehr, Gilkey, Delp, Van Veen, Richardson, and Lee hybrid rhododendrons, and Glenn Dale, Back Acre, Exbury, and Girard hybrid azaleas.

Guest speakers at the event include: Don Hyatt - talking about plant diversity in the Southern Appalachian Mountains, Nicholas Yarmoshuk and Christina Woodward - discussing cold-hardy rhododendrons for diverse locales, and Dr. Thomas Ranney - talking on how the unique azaleas found on Gregory and Wayah Balds in the Appalachian Mountains evolved from complex hybridization among the native species.

Both members and non-members are welcomed at the 2012 ARS-ASA International Convention. We hope to see you there!