Wednesday, March 30, 2011

An Asheville Bed and Breakfast Believes You'll Enjoy "Downtown Art Walk"

Asheville North Carolina has been a very notable arts community for a hundred years. Thomas Wolfe's mother's boarding house , the setting for "Look Homeward Angel", is located and can be toured right in Downtown Asheville. Zelda Fitzgerald and her husband writer F. Scott Fitzgerald lived in Asheville. Carl Sandburg's home, complete with some of the famous goats, is just a few miles from Asheville. And short-story writer, William Sydney Porter, widely known as "O. Henry" was a native of North Carolina and is buried in Riverside Cemetery in the Montford Historic District just a few blocks from this Asheville bed and breakfast.

In fact, today Asheville North Carolina is very pleased to boast "more working artists per capita than any other city in America". So it would probably not come as surprise, with so many 'Ashevillians' describing themselves as "artists, writers or musicians", to find that there are a great many artists' workshops and galleries in Asheville. In fact there are galleries showcasing local and Southern artists located in several areas including Downtown Asheville, the River Arts District and others at Biltmore Village. And all are easily accessible from our Asheville NC bed and breakfast.

Luckily for all of us, five times a year, on Fridays from 5-8pm, the galleries in the Downtown Asheville area present "Downtown Art Walks". And this Friday, April 1st (no foolin'!) is the first of the Downtown Gallery Walks for 2011. More than 20 galleries will participate and will be offering these expanded opening hours. The Gallery Walk is self-guided and you can expect to see a variety of painting, glass, clay, metal and more. You can check out information at www.ashevilledowntowngalleries.org.

So, y'all come to our Asheville bed and breakfast this weekend, and be sure to arrive early enough to spend time atAsheville's "Downtown Art Walk" before dining in some of Asheville's outstanding one-of-a-kind restaurants! Look forward to meeting you soon!

Monday, March 28, 2011

An Asheville Bed and Breakfast Alerts You to the Arrival of the Circus!


Yes, the real thing: The Ringling Bros Barnum and Bailey Circus is coming to Asheville NC!. This year's offering is entitled Zing Zang Zoom" and they promise that it will be classic Circus fun and thrills.And it's here starting Thursday March 31st through Sunday, April 3rd. You can get tickets via the Asheville Civic Center or at ticketmaster.com

I first took my five year-old daughter to the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus at Madison Square Garden in New York City more than thirty years ago. We lived in Manhattan at the time. Even if you've not actually been there, you may be familiar with "the Garden", as it's referred to in New York, from the many televised sports events and concerts that play there. What you will probably remember about Madison Square Garden is that it is big. Seating capacity is somewhere around 18,000-20,000 people with an Arena area that accommodates ice hockey, professional and college basketball tournaments, the Westminster Kennel Club dog show and...the Circus!

At "the Garden" there are seats up near the ceiling of the area that are called "the nosebleed section"...because they are way up at the top of a very tall arena. So, you're probably getting the sense that you can see events there from 'kinda close' to 'way far away'. The Circus viewing is the same...events high up over your head, some close to you, and some pretty far away...the full "three ring" deal.

No doubt that New York is big and exciting, and Madison Square Garden is also big and exciting. But I'm happy to tell you that a smaller venue, like Asheville North Carolina Civic Center has a great many benefits for the Circus-goer. If you stay at our Asheville bed and breakfast, it's going to be close by and the thrills of the Circus will be easy. In fact, you'll actually see the Circus better than you ever will in New York! Your seats will be closer to the acts and getting there and parking will be a dream...especially compared to New York City!

One of the key acts will provide enough decibels to satisfy even the most avid air show or NASCAR enthusiasts! This act has motorcycles!...inside a steel globe cage with a (very brave) young lady standing in that cage while those motorcycles roar past. Clearly a precision act where a half an inch might be the difference between life and death! Probably not an overstatement to call it "death-defying".

Of course, it wouldn't be the Circus without lots of clowns, people balancing on the high-wire high above your head, elephants and dogs! And this Circus event will not disappoint. In Asheville, we'll see all those things...plus cotton candy, balloons and hot dogs, too.Everything you remember from when you were a kid, and everything you want your children to experience, too. Or maybe just the 'grown-ups. without the kids!

So our Asheville NC bed and breakfast is pleased to remind you that the Circus is coming to town this week and this weekend!



Saturday, March 26, 2011

Asheville Bed and Breakfast Gardens Celebrate "the small stuff"





Ok, so we're always associating the best things in life with something like,"Bigger is better" or "Getting to the top", or "King of the hill". All those phrases and many more are all about looking for the best things by looking up...up, not down. Definitely not down.

Granted, it's true that lots of things in your garden are truly wonderful if you look "up". We'll talk about "up" another day. But today, today is for "down".

I don't suppose that plants are sensitive about their names. At least I hope they are not. After all, botanists are the ones who name them. Some plants even have the name of the person who named them in their name. For example, imagine there was a plant called "convelaria abbingtongreenii"...some newly discovered (imaginary) plant that was first found at Abbington Green Bed & Breakfast...so forever, it would have our Asheville bed and breakfast as its name. (Don't worry, I'm making this up...there is no such plant, or at least not yet.)

But let me mention two early Spring garden plants that not only are only seen if you look "down", but they also have names that sound really un-important. Let's celebrate phlox sublata and vinca minor. Wow, do they sound un-important...one is sub, or under something. And the other is minor...as in, very not-major.

The names are a clue that these lovely plants are low-growing, way "down". At this time of year here in Asheville, NC at our bed and breakfast and around town, you'll see phlox sublata spreading to cover the tops of stone walls in sunny, warm places and seeming to drip over the sides. Purple, lavender and pinks are their colors. And vinca minor is considered by some people as a weed...it can cover or even 'take over' an area given enough time and enough inattention. Their jolly little purple flowers pop up bravely from earth that still looks really lifeless from Winter.

But you've gotta love these little guys. They're positively fearless! Probably gonna get frozen at night some of their bloom time. Maybe even get snowed on. But do they shrink from their task of brightening the world? Oh, no! They're right out there early every Spring... so if you're at or near this Asheville Bed and Breakfast in the next week or so, please stop by and be sure to look "down" for these diminutive spots of color!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Asheville Bed and Breakfast Alerts You to "La Boheme" Next Weekend

"La Boheme", you say? Do you recognize the name? Perhaps. Well, you probably know that "La Boheme" is an opera. Ever see/hear it? Perhaps not.

At this Asheville Bed and Breakfast, I'm happy to encourage you to experience this one in Asheville. You can see it next weekend, April 1st and 2nd at the Diana Wortham Theater at 7pm in Downtown Asheville. And it's performed by Asheville Lyric Opera and you'll enjoy it.

'Why do you think I'll enjoy opera when I've never seen one', you say? That's easy! It's got a story that's improbable and music and vocals that will make you laugh and make you cry. What does that sound like? A Broadway musical? A comic book story-line? Welcome to the wonderful world of opera...yes, I'm serious!

This opera, "La Boheme" was written by the Italian Giacomo Puccini and premiered in Turin, Italy in February, 1896. The story is about some young people living in Paris in the artists' district in the 1830s. It involves celebrations and joy, then sadness and, since this is about Parisians, written by an Italian and sung in Italian, love is a major player.

One thing that you can anticipate when you go to an opera, especially an Italian opera, love will be involved. The love in opera may come to a happy end...occasionally. But more often, it will take lovers to the heights of ecstasy, then fate will deal the lovers a fatal blow. Plots involve mistaken identity, illness, miscommunication, poverty, sometimes war...sound corny? Maybe. But also think about what Shakespeare's plots were like. Great art in the form of words and music is pretty universal really. It reflects human experience, but is often exaggerated to make its point.

The music of "La Boheme" is considered by many to be Puccini's finest score. The music expresses gaiety and comic moments as well as pathos which the listener cannot fail to understand. You'll probably recognize a number of the musical passages, especially if you happened across Luciano Pavarotti on TV or recordings. Rodolfo, the male lead character in "La Boheme", was a role among many played by Pavarotti in opera houses around the world.

I have found that, in general, opera gets "a bad wrap". It is true that many opera plots are convoluted and improbable. And even a dyed-in-the-wool opera fan would admit that certain operas would qualify as "an acquired taste"! But it's not uncommon to hear people say, "Oh, I don't like opera. All those overweight people wearing horns on their head, shouting at the top of their lungs..." If you then go on to the next question, "Have you ever seen an opera?", the answer is often, "Well no, not actually. But I'm pretty sure I wouldn't like it."

Costumes and staging also contribute to the multi-faceted experience that is opera. Whether minimized to make you focus on the music, or opulent to create a battle or a gala ball, staging can often be a 'star', too. Ever see "Cats" or "Lion King"? And opera is no exception.

So far, with "La Boheme" we have 1. a complex plot, somewhat improbable but with comic and tragic moments, 2. music that is the among the finest ever created for opera, 3. beautiful singing, 4. staging and costumes... and all just a few minutes away from the Montford District where our Asheville bed and breakfast is located. Yes, do yourself a favor and make it a point to see this opera next weekend on April 1st or 2nd. We hope you will!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Asheville Bed and Breakfast Supports Success for Local Farms

In the Asheville area, this Bed and Breakfast is pleased to have access to many local farms and farmers' markets...that means great food available in the community! Benefits of locally grown vegetables, fruits, meat and eggs are becoming understood and sought after more and more. Local businesses are supported. The environment benefits because the food is transported a short distance, rather than thousands of miles. The food that you and your family eat is fresh. And the farmers are your neighbors. Big 'wins' for everyone!

This Saturday, near downtown Asheville NC, you can visit the "Meet Your Farmer, Community Supported Agriculture Fair" from 2-6pm. You can learn about farm "share" programs and sample products from more than 15 farms in the local Asheville area.

The Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs promotes "subscriptions" in which shareholders get regular, usually weekly, boxes of produce, eggs, meat or other farm products throughout the season. Farmers benefit from the advance subscriptions and consumers benefit by regular availability of truly fresh local food!

Local farms may be located near your home, too. But if you're in Asheville this weekend, this bed and breakfast is happy to suggest that you drop by the "Meet Your Farmer CSA Fair" program on Saturday to taste and to learn more about the program!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Asheville Bed and Breakfast Gardens Are Showing Off Daffodils





The temperature is up; the temperature is down; then up, then down...why you must be describing early Spring in Asheville. And our Bed and Breakfast gardens are all the more happy.

Daffodils, like tulips or azaleas, have varieties that may bloom in early Spring, while others are 'mid-season', and others are 'late'.The 'early' varieties are blooming now...all over Asheville. Whites, solid yellows, orange throats, large, tiny...all sorts. Bobbing in the breeze (bobbing enough to make photographing them a little tricky), the groups of flowers look as if they might be laughing or gossiping among themselves! Do have a look.

Another favorite thing in Spring, that also makes every plant stand out, is mulch. That's right, m-u-l-c-h...the brown stuff made of the best ground, aged, hardwood bark. And while that might sound a little like a description of a fine, aged wine...you'd be right. Secret formulas, lots of work and aged to perfection.

When mulch goes down on your garden soil it will hold moisture in and keep your garden looking very spiffy, too. The really aged stuff will not be strong-smelling or drive you or your gardening helpers away. It just smells good like only rich, damp ground can! The gardens at this Asheville Bed and Breakfast are a constant source of delight as they change from day to day. See you in the gardens!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Asheville Bed and Breakfast Believes, When We Were Not Looking, Spring Has Sprung!

I'm always in favor of surprises...good ones, that is.If you have a choice, who wouldn't choose a 'good surprise'? Well, here it is: An early Spring...or maybe a preview of Summer. Call it what you will, it's definitely here in Asheville. And our Bed and Breakfast is loving it!

I have made reference on at least a couple of occasions to "Looking for the corner that Spring is just around".You may have recognized that quote as coming from a wonderful childrens book called "Frog and Toad". A Newberry Award-winning book, it uses the most wonderful language and humor to describe how difficult it can be for a child (or for me!) to wait for Winter to be done and for Spring to arrive! If you have children or grandchildren (or you're like me, and feel like a little kid anyhow), then I suggest you find it, as well as the others in the series. Great fun.

Note to Gardeners and Garden Enthusiasts: You will recall that once a year, for only 5 or 6 days, the weeping cherry trees and the weeping plums bloom. It's really disappointingly short, their bloom time. But it's something you wait for every year. And when they bloom....NOW...it makes you smile every time! Cascades of pale pink blossoms drooping almost to the ground. So lovely! And so ephemeral.

Daffodils are in full bloom, even though they won't like today's temperature in the mid-70s.But usually you can count on the "daffs" to be pretty resilient.They are blooming all around Asheville, including at my bed and breakfast gardens. I hope you have some blooming near you, too, if you can't make a visit to Asheville soon.

I guess we can do little but watch and wait for what weather 'Mother Nature" has in store for us here in the mountains around Asheville NC. Meanwhile we are wondering where we put the sun-block and where the floppy gardener's hat was put away last Fall. Note to self: Go find that stuff. It looks like we have just located " the corner that Spring is just around"!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Asheville Bed and Breakfast Suggests Some Play and Some Ideas

The latter part of this week, including the weekend brings with it lots of opportunities. And this Asheville Bed and Breakfast is happy to remind everybody that St Patrick's Day is not only Thursday, March 17th but it is more than probable that you will find that the "Wearing of the Green" has a lasting effect...and you will find lots of company in Ashevile NC who will be more than happy to provide the spirit of the Irish on Friday or Saturday or Sunday, too!

But let's not overlook an opportunity for those of you who have a home. Because a home is a special place for you and your family, it is usually in need of attention...and if you're like I am, you also love projects that involve your home. Projects can be great fun to plan, if not always to execute. But whether it's freshening up with outdoor paint, or garden plantings or redecorating...this is the time of the year to put those ideas together. And they always look great when they're finished!

So what could be more appropriately timed than the Western Carolina Home Show? It's here in Asheville North Carolina and just a walk or short drive from our Bed and Breakfast since we're in the Montford Historic District, just north of Downtown.And it's this weekend, March 18th, 19th and 20th at the Asheville Civic Center. Whether it's learning more about 'green building' or redecorating or the latest in energy-saving windows, or more...this show has it all.

Come to Asheville to relax at our Bed and Breakfast this weekend and share in the fun and the ideas that Asheville has to offer!


Monday, March 14, 2011

Asheville Bed and Breakfast Offers the "Luck o' the Irish" with an Irish Soda Bread Recipe

Irish lore has it that the Irish are lucky...not just a little, not just now and then, but pretty lucky all the time. (How lucky is that!) But even if you haven't any known relatives on some branch of your family tree, you can still enjoy aspects of St Patrick's Day because, here in NC at this Asheville bed and breakfast and all around the world, "Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick's Day!"

Don't worry, no one will ask you to rid any location of its snakes (as St. Patrick had done). And you won't have to bend over a high castle wall, backwards (!) to kiss the "Blarney Stone'", either. We'd support a much closer-to-home, much safer, much more amusing means to celebrate.You can just join into the festivities to whatever degree you like...( Hey, this 'being Irish' on St. Patrick's Day is sounding pretty good, yes?)

One traditional thing you might try is Irish Soda Bread. It's a very easy and very yummy way to practice "being Irish". Naturally there are a great many versions of this simple, round bread. If you don't know any friends who make it ( the ultimate 'easy' way is to try some that some one else made!), then here's a very easy recipe so you can rehearse "your Irish"!

Irish Soda Bread

2 cups flour, unsifted

2 Tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons Baking Powder

1 teaspoon Baking Soda

1/2 Teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon dried caraway seed (optional)

1/4 cup chopped raisins( optional)

Combine all dry ingredients, then:

Stir in 1 cup "Soured" milk (a few drops vinegar in whole milk) or Buttermilk.

Mix quickly to form sticky dough. Dust work surface with flour and turn dough onto work surface. Form into 8-9 inch round, flattened slightly. Turn dough so some flour lightly coats the entire loaf. Using a dull knife dipped in flour to press into the dough, make 2 impressions on the dough to form a cross.

Place dough on buttered baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes, until light-to-medium brown. Remove from oven and brush the "cross' area with 3 Tablespoons melted butter. Let cool on a cooling rack until sufficiently cool to eat!

Yes, we believe Irish Soda Bread is wonderful way to rehearse "your Irish" on this St Patrick's Day or any day when you have a yearning for a quick, easy homemade treat! From our Asheville Bed and Breakfast right here in North Carolina, we're wishing you to the"Luck of the Irish", all year long!













Irish Soda Bread

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Asheville Bed and Breakfast Prepares for St. Patrick's Day!

There's an old saying here at this Asheville bed and breakfast and all around the world that, "On St. Patrick's Day, everyone is Irish!" We would certainly subscribe to that! After all, who can't appreciate the Irish patron saint of a country who is supposed to have driven all the snakes out of Ireland? What's not to love...

And if you've had the good fortune to live in or to visit Ireland, you know that in Ireland the grass is an almost unimaginable color of green. Think, if you can, what the color of the 13th green of the Augusta golf course is. And remember that the golf course has been babied and watered and fertilized and tended every day so it will look like that when you see it on TV. But just imagine, in Ireland, the countryside looks that green naturally! Mother Nature is in charge of that...amazingly beautiful!

So the day of St Patrick's is often a great time for a parade...especially where we have large Irish-American populations like New York City and Chicago, to name just two. The sound of bagpipes also comes to mind along with drums, and off we march!

And speaking of Chicago, they always make the river bright green one day a year, each St Patrick's Day. Who could forget standing on a windy day in Chicago for the parade wearing a down coat and boots, as I myself have done, while the native-Chicagoans arrived at the parade in shorts and tee shirts?! I guess "cold" can be a relative term. And who could forget that very same St. Patrick's Day parade as portrayed in "Ferris Buehler's Day Off"?

Lucky for us, St. Patrick's Day comes with its own traditional foods as well. Corned beef with cabbage and potatoes is a steamy, hot meal for what is often a really cold day. And my favorite Irish Soda Bread recipe has always been a favorite at our house and at this Asheville bed and breakfast.

Now that Asheville NC is also "Beer City USA", according to a national poll, it means that not only do we have fabulous homegrown beers and ales, but that on St. Patrick's Day you can find many imported ales and stouts that would make any Irishman or woman proud! Come over to Asheville for the "wearing of the green"... and come for a stay in Old World comfort at Abbington Green Bed & Breakfast, too!


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Asheville Bed and Breakfast Alerts You to Comedy!

Yes, it's true, as they say, "Laughter is the best medicine." And certainly we can always use a great laugh.

So you're in luck if you travel to this Asheville Bed and Breakfast this weekend where you'll find that Asheville North Carolina is the venue for the "23rd Annual Comedy Classic Weekend". And where, exactly is this tantalizing event being held? It's at the Grove Park Inn and Resort, more commonly described by me as "that quaint little 512-room resort, complete with golf course and spa."

Just about 2 1/2 miles from us, through some residential neighborhoods (no highways required), GPI is where the comedians are gathering. Of course, it's always a great thing if you bring your own sense of humor with you no matter where you go. That way, when you run across a terrific comedy show, it will lift your spirits even more!

And in between the laughing, the River Arts District has some galleries/studios that will be open on Saturday, March12th starting about 11am. So consider an Asheville Bed and Breakfast visit and some fun things to do this weekend. The weather forecast is great and the itinerary is terrific!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Asheville Bed and Breakfast Celebrates Mardi Gras with a "King Cake"

If you happen to be from Louisiana, with a lifetime of Mardi Gras connection and lore, you probably know exactly what I'm talking about. "King Cake"? But even if you have not heard about the tradition of the green, gold, and purple- frosted, silver and gold sprinkled, braided coffee-cake style delight, welcome to that club! And the Mardi Gras 'purists' will tell you that there's a small plastic baby(no kidding) put into the cake before it's baked...so somebody gets the piece with the baby in it...for luck.

But no matter, in the quest to make cooking fun, at this Asheville Bed and Breakfast we will try this today, today only... for Fat Tuesday... for Mardi Gras. I've heard that it may be even more fun to make than to eat, so to make it more interesting, here's a slightly different take on the Mardi Gras "King Cake". This one is gluten-free!

The words 'gluten-free' may surprise you here. Surely the traditions of "Fat Tuesday" does not normally carry with it the worry about the healthiness of anything that you eat or drink today! But if you have gluten sensitivity, and many of us do (and others of us do, but may not know it), we think that you should not have to give up sampling the wonders of regional American cooking.

So, roll up your sleeves and get out: a baking sheet, clean kitchen cloth, plastic wrap, food
colors, and 'sprinkles' and...
For the cake:

1 cup warm water
1 Tablespoon dry active yeast
1 Tablespoon sugar
Mix these together, let stand for about 15 minutes, until doubled in volume.

4 1/2 cups Gluten-free , all-purpose baking flour, plus extra for the work surface and
dusting the tube pan before baking (Available at many supermarkets and at
healthfood stores)Or, if you prefer, look up gluten-free flours you may combine
including rice flour, tapioca, potato starch and corn flour to create your own.
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Pulse in food processor to combine

1/2 cup sugar
1 stick butter at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Mix together using stand mixer until fluffy

5 egg yolks
Add egg yolks to sugar mixture, one at a time and mix thoroughly

Gradually add egg/sugar mixture to flour mix. Process until course.
Add yeast mixture and pulse 8 times or more until dough forms a ball.
(If mixture is too dry, add water 1 T. at a time/If too sticky, add 1T. at
a time.) Transfer to oiled bowl, cover with a cloth and let sit in warm, dry
place for at least 2 hours, or until doubled in volume.

Lightly butter baking sheets. Lightly your work surface. Punch the dough down
a couple of times to flatten it. Divide into 3 equal parts. Roll out each piece
one at a time, to approx 12"by 4 " and about 1/2" high.
Roll into a log/cylinder shape, starting at the long side of the rectangle. Press dough edge
together gently to seal.
Braid the 2 pieces together, then shape entire piece into a circle. Gently seal dough ends.
Place dough on the large, greased baking sheet. Cover circle with plastic wrap and let
stand in warm place about 45 minutes, until it about doubles in volume.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Remove plastic wrap, and brush cake with egg wash: Whisk one egg white and 1T. milk.

Bake 35-45 minutes, until golden brown (using 'instant-read' thermometer:200-210)
Transfer to wire cooling rack; cool completely.

For icing: 4 cups confectioners sugar and one stick (8 T.) softened butter. Beat a low
speed until it's smooth. Then mix in juice of 3 freshly squeezed lemons.

Divide icing into 3 bowls: Color one with green food color
Color one with yellow food color
Color one with red/blue mix to create purple
Drizzle each color icing over a portion of the cake to make 'striped' effect.
Sprinkle with silver or other colored sprinkles....now...

At this Asheville Bed and Breakfast, today we will "Laissez les bon temps roulez"! Let the good times roll! Wher'r'yat?!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Mardi Gras on Sunday? We're Talkin' Asheville!

So you've never seen Mardi Gras on Sunday? Well, no worries, it's Asheville we're talking about! Sure, in Rio De Janeiro or in New Orleans the celebration before the 40 days of Lent begins goes on for more than a week.

But in most places, Mardi Gras, translated from the French is literally "Fat Tuesday", is just one day...the day before the start of Lent. And the one day of celebrating would be...a Tuesday! Families and churches typically hold "Pancake Suppers" on that Tuesday to get in one last day of sweet and yummy stuff to eat.

But leave it to Asheville, NC, ever a place of jolly surprises, to take the initiative to have the Mardi Gras Parade, not on Tuesday but on Sunday...this coming Sunday, March 6th.You can say, "Wher'yat" and "Who dat?" with the best of them!

Downtown Asheviile about 3pm Sunday, even if we have rain, will be the scene of great costumes and revelry, you may be sure! So if you've had the luxury and relaxation of a visit to our Asheville bed and breakfast on Saturday night and if you can be a bit more leisurely before you head for home... stop by Downtown Asheville and check out Mardi Gras Parade, Asheville-style!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Our Bed and Breakfast Gardens in Asheville are Waking Up






What is it about Spring that always makes us feel better? Is it that we've just about had enough snow for a while? Is it the prospect of warm, but not too hot weather? Lower heating bills before you need the air conditioner? Fresh vegetables soon arriving in the farmers' markets?

I'd vote for all of those plus a few more. Asheville gardens here in the Montford Historic District include many old trees and shrubs as a backdrop, so you always have the sense that the gardens and the old homes seem to "fit" well together. And whatever the perennials, annuals, blooming shrubs and roses that put on their show from Spring til Fall will also "fit" the character of Montford.

At this bed and breakfast, the gardens have a deliberate English character.As luck would have it, the architect who designed this house over 100 years ago was himself from England. So, winding pea gravel paths, lattice fencing, raised flower beds, hundreds of boxwoods arranged in symmetrical patterns were all added in the early-to-mid 1990s when I designed these award-winning gardens...creating the garden backdrop to "fit" the English character of the house that is now Abbington Green Bed & Breakfast Inn.
Early Spring in the bed and breakfast gardens may require some close observation to see the treasures. Winter and early Spring are more "subtle" times in the gardens.Lots of ground still appears to be bland and uninteresting. But look closer to see the bright yellow Winter Jasmine, little crocus in white, purple and yellow, and early-blooming varieties of daffodils. And of course, we've added pansies...a colorful treat that can withstand the very-likely snow we may still get before May. A visit to gardens here is always a pleasure, especially if you can make it your business not to be in a hurry.


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

An Asheville Bed and Breakfast Understands Travelers

On a recent trip, where I drove eight hours to get to my destination, I was reminded once again what it's like to be a traveler. We have all the great directions, mapping programs and GPS these days, but if this trip is your first time to your particular destination, there's always an element of anticipation or even surprise...and we hope it's surprise 'in a good way', but you may still be a little unsure about that.

The weather will have an effect. If it rains or storms while you're in transit, it will (and for safety, it should) slow down your journey.Whether you're driving or flying, the journey will not be the same as you planned when it rains or snows.And getting there will probably be a whole lot less fun. So you take a deep breath and try to remain cool...after all, this is supposed to be a vacation. It's supposed to be fun.

And of course, if you're driving, have you ever taken a trip where you didn't see those ever-present orange cones and signs that construction is on your road? Some people have joked in the past that the construction cone should be the official "state tree" in a number of states! Is there a closed shoulder on the road? Is there a detour?What does that mean? Probably more delays. Take another deep breath and try to remain cool...after all, this is supposed to be vacation. It's supposed to be fun.

So as you finally arrive in Asheville NC, and make your way to your destination at Abbington Green Bed & Breakfast Inn, I can promise you some well-deserved good news. Your room will be ready for you to relax and catch up on the comfort your are looking forward to.Your whirlpool tub and the king size bed will be waiting. We will welcome you with genuine enthusiasm and friendliness.

So whether your journey to Asheville was sunny and fair or not: We get it. We understand what it took to get here. We know you want to relax and that sometimes the most relaxing vacation "schedule" is not to have one. Take another deep breath...and this time you can actually relax...after all, this is supposed to be vacation. It's supposed to be fun....and Asheville, with all its art and food and mountains, really is fun! Our "bit of Britain" here in Asheville awaits you. See you shortly!