Monday, May 30, 2011

Asheville Bed and Breakfast Finds Asheville Has Been Named a 'Transition Town"

"Transition Town"? What's that?", you say. "Transition from what to what?", you say. All good, questions. On this day, set aside for remembering those who have given their lives to keep the rest of us safe, a serious topic seems appropriate. So let me tell you a little story.

I was glancing through the local, daily newspaper this morning at our Asheville bed and breakfast, as I usually do each day. In the second section, the one called " Mountains", on the left-hand sidebar, down below the report of a road accident and the closings of various municipal buildings and services for this, the Memorial Day holiday, was a very small article. Almost too small to be called an article, but I don't know what else to name it. But it caught my eye.

The headline said"Asheville named 'transition town'." So I was were you are...thinking "What does that mean?" So it seems there's a world-wide, truly grassroots organizing of communities called Transition Initiative ...373 throughout the world, including 87 in the U.S. It acknowledges the efforts of communities....now including Asheville, North Carolina...to plan a sustainable future in the areas of energy, climate and economics. In short, to plan for a future without dependence on fossil fuels, creating cleaner air and water, to ensure sources of wholesome, local-based food supply by supporting local farmers and reducing pesticides. Certainly sounds like the Asheville I know and love.

How to do these things? To start at the beginning, at the roots of each community, with groups of individuals with a common goal. Slowly, but continuously.In fact this afternoon is a meeting to get some people together to push forward. No easy, but truly a cleaner, sustainable future. Watch for more...The website that is the co-ordinating point for this initiative in the United States is: www.transitionsus.org.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Asheville Bed and Breakfast Notes Events Happening This Memorial Day Weekend.

As we gather to honor those who have given their lives over many generations to keep us safe, Memorial Day Weekend is also the traditional start of the Summer season. In and around Asheville there are many "goings-on".

The Mountain Sports Festival includes a variety of events including a 10K Trail Run, Cycling races, a golf challenge and the French Broad River Triathlon. The Triathlon includes a 1.5 mile run, a 2.5 mile paddle on the French Broad River, an 11mile bike ride. Whether you wish to participate or just watch some of the events, it will prove exciting, we can be sure.

Did you know there are white squirrels in Western North Carolina? Well there are and they have their own festival! To celebrate the humans will have a 5K and and 10K race around the Brevard, NC area. And fun festival events( that always include food) will be going on this Saturday and Sunday.

And Summer must be on the way, because the Asheville Memorial Day "Pool-a-Palooza" will take place Monday from noon to 6pm. Wet and fun at theAsheville Parks and Rec. pool at Gashes Creek Road.

As always very close to our Asheville bed and breakfast, at Pack Square in Downtown Asheville, at 3pm on Monday, the Asheville Memorial Day Ceremony to honor our nation's fallen heroes and heroines.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Gardeners Note: Asheville Bed and Breakfast Says A Walk Through the Garden is Positively Theraputic!

I talk about our bed and breakfast gardens frequently. There are a number of reasons for that: gardens can be enjoyed for a number of reasons. One is for their purely visual appeal. Colors and shapes of flowers and foliage are a wonder in their variety. They can be seen as an overall impression like a painting, or by its individual parts...the individual plants themselves. Silver-gray, bright green and chartreuse are all leaf-colors that are used to enhance the visual appeal of the garden. Bright sun or shade or a cloudy day will show you that the same garden never actually looks the same...the garden in the morning is vastly different from the late afternoon or early evening garden. The visual experience is always new.

Another way to experience our bed and breakfast gardens is by using your nose. Plant material and the earth deliver to you a whole new level of appreciation in the garden. Our garden is filled with plants whose scent is wonderful. Of course the flowers of roses, peonies, lavender and many others are heavenly. With many of them, you don't even need to be very near them to experience the wonderful fragrance.

But there are many sensory details and surprises out in the garden. Herbs are mixed in with the perennials and annuals. In fact, my favorite way to walk through the gardens includes touching many of the plants to release the scent from their leaves. Catnip, lavender, dill, fennel, creeping thyme and santolina are all delights to the touch and to the nose! And then there is the smell of the earth...on a cool Asheville morning, the smell of the damp ground is heaven!

And what does this all add up to? My vote goes for "theraputic" as the overall impression. A garden is a visually layered sensory experience. And to do it justice, you need to make yourself consciously slow down...and by doing so, this Asheville bed and breakfast garden will also encourage you to breathe deeply, move slowly and deliberately take in all that is around you. A truly lovely way to start or end your day in Asheville. Enjoy!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Asheville Bed and Breakfast Notes One More Event for This Saturday

So, we hope you'll drop by the Montford Music and Arts Festival on Saturday, starting at about 10am. But Asheville is filled with fun and interesting, so here's another event for the early evening on Saturday. And it's free!

At 7pm, in the River Ats District, just minutes from our Asheville bed and breakfast, is a multi-media event involving mural artist Molly Rose Freeman. Working with her are Michael Libramento and Garth Grimball, providing music and dance.

So come down to the RiverLink Sculpture Garden & Performance Plaza located at 117 Riverside Drive across from the Cotton Mill Studios. The program is expected to last about an hour. For seating, bring a chair or a blanket. We hope to see you there!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Asheville Bed and Breakfast Looking to "Montford Music and Arts Festival" This Weekend!

Yes, it's coming up this Saturday. This is the 8th year. And yes, it's going to be fun! It's a street festival that takes place on the streets of Asheville's Montford Historic District, just a couple of blocks from this Asheville bed and breakfast. Two stages are going to be set up: one on Montford Ave. and the other on Soco Street, and events will be on both stages all day.

Great music including Grammy Award winner David Holt plus so many more! Starting around 10am til after 7pm, the music, dance, arts and food make this event a fun-for-all-family-members experience. If you're looking for an old fashioned neighborhood street fair, come to Montford...the neighborhood named by "This Old House Magazine" as North Carolina's "Best Old-House Neighborhood"! Historic yet full of fun and good neighbors and lots of takent. Come by thia Asheville bed and breakfast, and sample the "Montford Music and Arts Festival" on Saturday, May 21st!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Asheville Bed and Breakfast Notes the 75th Anniversary Season of the Brevard Music Festival

Not far from this Asheville bed and breakfast, about 45 minutes away is the Brevard Music Center. Each summer an incredibly broad range of music comes to Western North Carolina...along with luminaries from the music and opera world.For example, the music director is none other than Keith Lockhart, whom you may remember as director of the Boston Pops.

In 2011 the schedule begins Friday June 24th with a special 75th Anniversary Concert. From then, just about every day piano, orchestra, string quartets, vocal recitals take place and they promise not to disappoint. Many events also offer a pre-concert free lecture. Some events, including music student recitals are also free.

Over the July 4th weekend are several concerts celebrating America's birthday in grand style. And just a little different is the song-writer and performer Michael Feinstein with a show called "The Sinatra Project" on August 1st. And the grand finale of the season will feature none other than cello legend Yo-Yo Ma on Sunday afternoon, August 7th.

So this summer, come to Asheville and stay at our historic, award-winning Asheville bed and breakfast and then head over to the Brevard Music festival. You'll be glad you did. For more info about thye schedule take a look at brevardmusic.org.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Asheville Bed and Breakfast says Asheville NC is voted "Beer City USA" !

One first place win is good. Two wins are great. But what do you call it when you win three times in a row? Well, Asheville is calling it a "Three-peat" because Asheville has just been voted "Beer City USA" in a national poll for the third year in a row In fact, Asheviile got 46% of all the votes cast around the country!

The trend for small-batch beer and ales has been around in the USA for a number of years. It's caught on all over the country and some folks are even trying their own hand at it at home....would you call that "BIY"?

Asheville has many micro and nano-breweries with a history that goes back to the early-1990s. The first was the Highland Brewing Co. that had its start right in 1994 in Downtown Asheville just a few minutes form our Asheville bed and breakfast. Now there are more than 10 breweries and also "tasting rooms" where the officianados can partake of seasonal and unique brews. Why there's even a tour you an take that visits a number of breweries.

And coming up on the weekend of June 3-4th, the Beer City Festival will be a lively addition to Asheville's list of fun things to do. Come stay with us at our Asheville bed and breakfast and you'll be just minutes from Downtown Asheville and from all the varieties of food and beverage that Asheville has to offer!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Asheville Bed and Breakfast Garden Note: Climbing Roses and Peonies in Bloom






Wow! There's almost no way to describe what our Asheville bed and breakfast gardens look like at this time of year...the climbing roses are showing their stuff and the peonies are just bursting forth!

Every year I'm speechless (well, at least temporarily!) at the show that is going on around the garden. The colors, shapes and fragrances are something I think I'm prepared for...But every year it's always even better than I remembered! And they don't require a lot of work, so you can really enjoy them without feeling that you need to baby them.

Climbing roses here at Abbington Green Bed & Breakfast Inn include the white r."Iceland"in the Chartreuse Garden, the tiny,pale pink multi-flowered r."Cecile Brunner" in the Parterre Garden and the 19th century, dark pink r."Zephirine Droughin" in the Lower Garden. And while these varieties can all rebloom during the Summer, the first flush in May is the super show that we wait for all year!

And traditional garden peonies (Peonia lactifolia) are in the Lower Garden and the Cottage Garden at our Asheville bed and breakfast. The p."Duchesse de Nemours" are the most fragrant and are white with creamy white centers. The p. "Sarah Bernhardt" are a multi-layered pink, and the p. "Karl Rosenfield" is a lovely magenta-red. Outstanding!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Asheville Bed and Breakfast Notes The Montford Music and Arts Festival Coming on May 21st

Yes, this will be some party! The neighborhood street festival that is The Eighth Annual Montford Music and Arts Festival will have 2 stages, one on Montford Avenue and one on Soco Street, just a couple of blocks from our Asheville bed and breakfast. You can expect a super street festival atmosphere with music, dance, food, crafts and art... and lots of neighborhood and audience participation!

The entertainment begins at 10am on Saturday, continues til after 7pm. and includes the star-power of four-time Grammy Award winner David Holt and the Lightning Bolts. Drummers, marimba bands, blues and high-energy dixieland-style jazz...this Montford Music and Arts Festival has it all! Add to that fun games, activities for kids and lots of food to sample and you'll just begin to get the flavor of what to expect!

Asheville, and indeed the Montford Historic District that was recently named North Carolina's "Best Old-House Neighborhood" by This Old House Magazine, is known for its artists, writes and musicians. And this Asheville bed and breakfast extends you an invitation to stay with us at Abbington Green Bed & Breakfast Inn for the weekend and then stroll just a couple of blocks over to the Montford Music and Arts Festival on Saturday, May 21st. We expect you'll have a lot of fun and return with a smile on your face!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Asheville Bed and Breakfast Notes The LEAF Fest ival is Coming on May 12 -15.

Just a few miles east of this Asheville bed and breakfast, the Lake Eden Arts Festival, affectionately known as "LEAF", is coming once more to Black Mountain, NC from May 12th- 15th.Located in a scenic 600 acre area that was formerly the historic Black Mountain College, the festival setting includes mountain views, hiking areas and lakes.

What is the Leaf Festival? It's a wonderful array of music, dance, food, crafts and fun that also includes international and American cultural diversity. With stars like Voice of the Wetlands AllSTARS from Louisiana, Ricky Scaggs and Kentucky Thunder, the music also includes the wide-world with groups from Africa, Central America, and blues, folk and jazz and mariachi. Just about any of your favorites ( or your new favorites) will be there!.

Add to that contra dancing, puppets, steel drums a fiddle contest and a "poetry slam", LEAF is the very definition of 'diverse'. Oh yes, and over 50 'healing arts' professionals will be there to offer massage and other ways to add to your relaxation. Nothing like a lovely massage to feel great and relaxed!

So order your tickets online ( you will need them in advance) from the LEAF Festival 2011 website. And make your reservation here at our Asheville bed and breakfast so that Asheville can be your 'anchor' spot for your glorious visit to the Asheville NC area!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Asheville Bed and Breakfast Looks Forward to "Fiber Weekend" at The Folk Art Center

"Fiber Weekend"?, you say. "What's that"?, you say. Our Asheville bed and breakfast reminds you we have good news: it has nothing to do with eating your vegetables! No, seriously, this is cool! Coming on the weekend of Saturday May 14th and Sunday May15th at the Folk Art Center, you'll see crafts people from the Southern Highlands Craft Guild using natural materials to make "wearable art", quilts, household implements and more.

You can expect a fun and educational experience. For example, have you ever wondered where your wool sweater came from? Seen an actual sheep shearing? Well, this is one of the things you can see at "Fiber Weekend". And then the sheep's wool is dyed...you can see that, too. Then the wool is spun to make yarn...you can see that, too. And then weavers and knitters take that wool and make wonderful clothing and accessories. So, you can see the parts of a process from start to finish.

And on Sunday, a fashion show featuring the wide range of hand-made traditional to funky clothing and accessories will take place at the Folk Art Center, located on the Blue Ridge Parkway, just minutes from our Asheville bed and breakfast. Come on over and have some fun!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Gardeners Note: Alliums Blooming at Our Asheville Bed and Breakfast!




I look forward to many aspects of the Spring season...you can probably tell that by the number garden-related notes that I post and the enthusiasm which I apply to each new bloom category. Well, not to disappoint you, here's another! The gardens at this Asheville bed and breakfast are filled with a number of varieties of Alliums.

Allium is quite a number of varieties of plants that are related to garlic. Some are quite small, that is less than a foot tall, while others are wonderous stand-outs above most of the Spring garden with blooms atop 40 to 48 inch tall flower spikes! Each year, over the past dozen or so years, I have added more Alliums to the gardens. They generally bloom at the very end of April through into June, depending on the variety.

These photos show some of my favorites in my Asheville bed and breakfast gardens. They include Allium christophii with its "green eyes" centered in lavender petals; very tall Allium Globemaster with its softball-size blooms, and my absolute favorite: the lower-growing but incredible Allium shubertii that looks like a huge fireworks explosion! After several weeks it dries out leaving a "skeleton" of the fireworks that can be spray painted silver or gold and used at Christmastime in a large bowl to decorate your home. Amazing!! Hope you enjoy the show!