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Home, Garden & Nature

May

Thursday May 23   8:30-12:00 

Botanical EcoTour: Wildflowers at Panthertown Valley

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Panthertown Valley is one of the most beautiful and special places in Southern Appalachia, with many great views, waterfalls, and distinct ecosystems. Join trip leader Adam Bigelow for a slow, easy walk along the trail to Salt Rock overlook, stopping to observe and identify many beautiful trees, shrubs, and wildflowers..

Location:  Participants will meet at the CLE Lecture Hall. Directions will be provided by guide upon arrival. Caravanning and carpooling is encouraged.

Trip Leader: Adam Bigelow is a Horticulturist and the owner of Bigelow’s Botanical Excursions, an Ecotourism business offering guided, interpretive walks with a focus on the Native Wildflowers and Plants of the Southern Appalachian bioregion. Adam has been studying and working with plants for over twenty years and is the Garden Manager for the Cullowhee Community Garden, a donation-based organic community garden supported by the Jackson County Health Department.

June

Thursday June 20   2:00-4:00 

Current Design Trends and How to Incorporate Them  Into Your Home

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Join Stacie Platt, Rustick’s Interior Designer, to discuss current design trends and how to incorporate them into your home. We will discuss what is new as well as design features that stay relevant year after year. To finish the discussion, Holly St. Ores will demonstrate a fun and easy way to dress your dining table for a dinner party with items found around your home.

Location:  CLE Lecture Hall. 

Presenter: Stacie Platt has had a passion for Design all her life and began her career in furniture and design while still in college. She moved to the North Carolina mountains after college to become the manager of High Country Furniture in Maggie Valley. After moving to Cashiers twenty-five years ago, she began working with Interior Enhancements and then moved to Rusticks in 2010. She is Rusticks’ Store Manager and Senior Interior Designer. This past year she co-chaired the Cashiers Designer Showhouse and designed the Showhouse’s Great Room.

Wednesday June 26   8:30-12:00 

Botanical Ecotour: Wildflowers and Plants of Whiteside Mountain

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Join trip leader Adam Bigelow on this slow paced but exciting walk up to the overlooks of Whiteside Mountain. Even if you’ve walked here before, it will feel brand new seeing this area through the eyes of a naturalist. Whiteside is home to many rare and special plants, including Clammy Locust which only grows on the Plateau.

Location:  Participants will meet at the CLE Lecture Hall. Directions will be provided by guide upon arrival. Caravanning and carpooling is encouraged.

Trip Leader: Adam Bigelow is a Horticulturist and the owner of Bigelow’s Botanical Excursions, an Ecotourism business offering guided, interpretive walks with a focus on the Native Wildflowers and Plants of the Southern Appalachian bioregion. Adam has been studying and working with plants for over twenty years and is the Garden Manager for the Cullowhee Community Garden, a donation-based organic community garden supported by the Jackson County Health Department.

July

Wednesday July 10   10:00-12:00 

Garden Party: Bloody Marys and Tea Sandwiches

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Home of CLE Board member Stephanie Edgar Reeves and husband Bill Reeves (both avid gardeners), the iconic cottage garden at Thistlewaite on Big Bearpen in Highlands was designed by Alex Smith of Atlanta in concert with classical architect Norman Askins who designed the house built in 2008. The 1.3 acre wooded site is contiguous to property deeded to the Land Trust leading to the Kelsey Trail. Surrounding the house (inspired by a turn-of-the-century house in the English Cotswolds) there is an approach garden with an herbaceous border of perennials and wildflowers leading to a lychgate entrance to a more formal, walled garden and terrace. There is also a small fern path and seep garden in the back of the house fed by a natural spring. Refreshments will be served.

Location:  Private Residence. Address and further details will be emailed to registered attendees closer to the date.

Friday July 12   2:00-4:00 

Growing Herbs and Greens for the Kitchen

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We live in the perfect climate for growing herbs and greens for use in the kitchen. In this class you’ll discover how to grow, harvest, preserve, and use herbs and plants that add flavor and nutrition to your cooking! We will discuss spring plantings - including basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme, mint, stevia - and greens you can plant now to have available fresh during the fall and winter months - sorrel, mustard, kale, and arugula. This class will cover optimal planting conditions and provide information on how to harvest, preserve, and use these plants in the kitchen beyond pesto and smoothies.

Location:  CLE Lecture Hall

Presenter: Shannon Quattlebaum is a master gardener and co-owner of Green Heart Awakening, a natural health and wellness store and classroom space in Pendleton, SC. She made the switch to a plant-based, whole food diet over 15 years ago and she enjoys sharing her knowledge of growing food and herbs for cooking and teas.

Monday July 15   8:30-12:00 

Botanical EcoTour: Wildflowers of the Highlands Botanical Garden

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How incredibly lucky we are to have access to the amazing place that is the Highlands Biological Station, including their Botanical Garden and Nature Center. This is a great location to observe many different types of plants and flowers and to see them used in both naturalistic and more traditional landscape settings.

Location:  Participants will meet at the CLE Lecture Hall. Directions will be provided by guide upon arrival. Caravanning and carpooling is encouraged.

Trip Leader: Adam Bigelow is a Horticulturist and the owner of Bigelow’s Botanical Excursions, an Ecotourism business offering guided, interpretive walks with a focus on the Native Wildflowers and Plants of the Southern Appalachian bioregion. Adam has been studying and working with plants for over twenty years and is the Garden Manager for the Cullowhee Community Garden, a donation-based organic community garden supported by the Jackson County Health Department.

August

Tuesday August 13   8:30-12:00 

Botanical Ecotour: Walk Through an Old Growth Forest

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Enjoy a gentle walk through an old growth forest in Brushy Face Preserve with some of the largest white pines in the region. Adam will stop to identify native botanicals as you meander the lush fern glade and cross two streams.

Location:  Participants will meet at the CLE Lecture Hall. Directions will be provided by guide upon arrival. Caravanning and carpooling is encouraged.

Trip Leader: Adam Bigelow is a Horticulturist and the owner of Bigelow’s Botanical Excursions, an Ecotourism business offering guided, interpretive walks with a focus on the Native Wildflowers and Plants of the Southern Appalachian bioregion. Adam has been studying and working with plants for over twenty years and is the Garden Manager for the Cullowhee Community Garden, a donation-based organic community garden supported by the Jackson County Health Department.

Thursday August 15   10:00-12:00 

Garden Tour: A Unique Woodland Garden in Highlands Falls

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Frank Langford of Memphis and Highlands will lead a tour of his magical garden. He is an avid gardener who has created over the years a space for shade loving native plants, including plants growing on the exposed roots of “nurse“ trees felled decades ago. Winding trails, ponds, bridges and stones are used in making this an enchanting garden. The property is bordered on one side by a narrow mountain stream and along the woodland garden by a small branch of the Ocoee River. The front garden has several large beds with Japanese Maples of several varieties and underplanting of ferns and other shade-loving plants. The driveway is bordered on the right by an Indian mound which is planted with native azaleas, day lilies and hostas. The back garden is sun filled with perennials and a central water feature in which a 1500 pound millstone “floats."

Location: Langford Residence. Address and further details will be emailed to registered attendees closer to the date.

NEW DATE! Tuesday August 27   2:00-4:00 

Don’t Treat Your Soil Like Dirt

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After this class you will never look at your soil the same again! Join Dr. Laura Ney as she introduces you to the complexity of the soil under your feet. Learn how soil, as well as many other place-specific factors, determine what plants do well in a given location, and what we can do to maintain and improve the functionality of our soil. Dr. Ney will also discuss Highlands soil and native plants that are well-adapted to life in mountain gardening environments.

Location:  CLE Lecture Hall

Presenter: Laura Ney is the Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Agent Athens Clarke County. After completing her bachelor’s in Horticulture from UGA, with certificates in organic and international agriculture, Laura worked as an educator and farm manager at the University of Georgia’s Costa Rica campus. She then earned a PhD, focusing on soil health and nutrient cycling.

September

Thursday September 5   2:00-4:00 

Intro to Fly Casting

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Join CLE for a day of learning to fly cast with experienced guides from Brookings! No experience is needed for this 2 hour introductory lesson, and all equipment will be provided! This is a great opportunity for newcomers to the sport of fly fishing to learn the basics, or for seasoned fishermen to hone their skills. Participants will get to practice their skills at the pond behind the Cashiers Lake Recreation Department. To keep this experience intimate, and ensure each participant receives adequate instruction, this program is limited to 10 individuals.

Location:  Address and further details will be emailed to registered attendees closer to the date.

Presenter: Brookings Anglers is a fly fishing outfitter that has become a destination for anglers to experience what WNC fly fishing is all about. With two locations (one in Cashiers, one in Highlands), the fly shop and cabin rental are located in a perfect location to fish many different watersheds, and offer a variety of trout fishing as well as smallmouth bass fishing. Staffed by 25 of the most experienced (and friendliest) fly fishing guides in NC, you will always leave with more knowledge than you came with.

Tuesday September 10   8:30-12:00 

Botanical EcoTour: Learn the Plants of Ravenel Park

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This easy walk to two scenic viewpoints is a popular and known location. Even if you have walked this before, you will get to see it as if for the first time by learning all about the Plants and Wildflowers we meet along the way.

Location:  Participants will meet at the CLE Lecture Hall. Directions will be provided by guide upon arrival. Caravanning and carpooling is encouraged.

Trip Leader: Adam Bigelow is a Horticulturist and the owner of Bigelow’s Botanical Excursions, an Ecotourism business offering guided, interpretive walks with a focus on the Native Wildflowers and Plants of the Southern Appalachian bioregion. Adam has been studying and working with plants for over twenty years and is the Garden Manager for the Cullowhee Community Garden, a donation-based organic community garden supported by the Jackson County Health Department.

October

Tuesday October 8   8:30-12:00 

Botanical EcoTour: The First Hints of Fall at Panthertown Valley

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Panthertown Valley is one of the most beautiful and special of places in Southern Appalachia, with many great views, waterfalls, and distinct ecosystems. We will take a slow, easy walk along the Blackrock Trail, where we will see many beautiful Trees, Shrubs, and Wildflowers.

Location:  Participants will meet at the CLE Lecture Hall. Directions will be provided by guide upon arrival. Caravanning and carpooling is encouraged.

Trip Leader: Adam Bigelow is a Horticulturist and the owner of Bigelow’s Botanical Excursions, an Ecotourism business offering guided, interpretive walks with a focus on the Native Wildflowers and Plants of the Southern Appalachian bioregion. Adam has been studying and working with plants for over twenty years and is the Garden Manager for the Cullowhee Community Garden, a donation-based organic community garden supported by the Jackson County Health Department.

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