Hello Friends — My name is Heather Rayburn, and I’m a native of Asheville, N.C., a mountain town surrounded by the Blue Ridge Parkway and a short drive to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. (Yes, that’s me in the picture above with a butterfly that I raised this fall.) I’ve always had a passion for native plants. For the past eight years, I have had the extreme good fortune to work at the Botanical Gardens at Asheville, (BGA) a 10-acre public gardens dedicated to the promotion of plants native to the Southern Appalachians.
I’ve learned a lot working at the Gardens. It’s a magical place featuring more than 600 native species, with at least 70 of those plants on the rare or endangered list. We operate on a shoestring budget and have about 80 volunteers who keep things running. I created this blog and website so I could share with you what I’ve learned and, hopefully, you will be inspired not only to join the BGA, but also to bring native plant landscaping to your own yard.
Below: Red-tailed hawk photographed next to
Botanical Gardens at Asheville’s visitor center
I’ll also share funny stories, baking adventures, and the ups-and-downs of putting native plant landscaping into practice in my own yard. My goal: one blog post every other week. So stay tuned for my next blog post where I will begin to detail one of the most satisfying projects I’ve ever had in my own garden: attracting and raising monarch butterflies.
MONARCHLOVER.ORG is SPONSORED by:
Ben Gillum, of Keller-Williams Realty in Asheville, N.C.