July 10, 2014

10 Snapshots from Lake Lure's Flowering Bridge - Photo by Jessica Walliser (HobbyFarms.com)
Photo by Jessica Walliser

I had the pleasure of spending 10 days in the mountains of North Carolina with family and friends in mid-June, where we visited horticultural wonders, including the Biltmore Estate. This week we’re going to continue our virtual tour at Lake Lure’s Flowering Bride. Then next week, we’ll make our final stop at a restaurant in Asheville called Sunny Point, where we’ll glean growing tips from Alice, one of the gardeners that helps maintain the eatery’s quarter-acre garden. (It’s the best breakfast in town, by the way!)

10 Snapshots from Lake Lure's Flowering Bridge - Photo by Jessica Walliser (HobbyFarms.com)
Photo by Jessica Walliser

Historical Transformation
For almost 90 years, the three-arch span bridge connecting the Village of Chimney Rock with the town of Lake Lure carried everything from horse-drawn carriages to modern vehicles. Built in 1925, this bridge was once part of the Charlotte-Asheville highway. When road construction forced the creation of a new bridge, local residents decided to preserve the original bridge and turn it into a pedestrian walk-way and garden.

10 Snapshots from Lake Lure's Flowering Bridge - Photo by Jessica Walliser (HobbyFarms.com)
Photo by Jessica Walliser

Spanning 155 feet and measuring 20 feet wide, the bridge now holds 12 stone-faced planters and a serpentine block pathway, along with benches and 1920s inspired street lamps. Several community organizations each “adopted” a garden bed and plant and maintain them according to each specific theme. Included is an herb garden, a raptor garden, a fragrant garden, whimsical garden, tropical garden, rose garden, prairie garden, and several others. Each bed holds a combination of flowers, shrubs, succulents, ground covers, statuary, artifacts, and signage.

10 Snapshots from Lake Lure's Flowering Bridge - Photo by Jessica Walliser (HobbyFarms.com)
Photo by Jessica Walliser

The Garden Views
From the bridge, visitors can view the Chimney Rock monolith and scenic Lake Lure. Each end of the bridge is decorated with trees, seating, and memorials. An iron gate formally welcomes visitors to the “Lake Lure Flowering Bridge.”  

10 Snapshots from Lake Lure's Flowering Bridge - Photo by Jessica Walliser (HobbyFarms.com)
Photo by Jessica Walliser

Nearby Hickory Nut Gorge was considered sacred to the native Cherokee and Catawba Indians that once lived there. The community of Lake Lure is working hard to preserve the beauty and history of this part of North Carolina.

10 Snapshots from Lake Lure's Flowering Bridge - Photo by Jessica Walliser (HobbyFarms.com)
Photo by Jessica Walliser

I was thrilled to have the opportunity to wander through these beautiful gardens with my young son. He enjoyed discovering garden gnomes among the plants, as well as walking the stepping stone paths at each end of the bridge. I was most impressed with the bronze statue in the raptor garden, the cactus and succulent garden, as well as with how well each of the gardens was maintained.

10 Snapshots from Lake Lure's Flowering Bridge - Photo by Jessica Walliser (HobbyFarms.com)
Photo by Jessica Walliser

Each garden contained a mixture of both native and exotic plants with each plant bearing a numbered marker that coincided with an easy-to-use identification guide placed in each bed. I especially enjoyed eaves-dropping on several different groups of people walking along the bridge—it was fun to hear everyone’s take on each of the gardens.

10 Snapshots from Lake Lure's Flowering Bridge - Photo by Jessica Walliser (HobbyFarms.com)
Photo by Jessica Walliser

One thought was universal, however, and that was that Lake Lure’s Flowering Bridge is breathtaking! If you’re in the area, plan to drop by for a visit. The garden is open day and night.

10 Snapshots from Lake Lure's Flowering Bridge - Photo by Jessica Walliser (HobbyFarms.com)
Photo by Jessica Walliser
10 Snapshots from Lake Lure's Flowering Bridge - Photo by Jessica Walliser (HobbyFarms.com)
Photo by Jessica Walliser

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