Mountain Flowers

A Little Color - mlm c@We just returned last week from a wonderfully relaxing trip to the North Carolina mountains, more specifically Blowing Rock, NC. We hoped, but didn’t expect to see much fall color. To our delight, while there was only a little, there was far more than expected.

Orange-Green Branch - mlm c@

We usually stay in local bed and breakfasts or the Chetola Lodge. This year, we rented a cabin near Boone, NC. The weather was lovely:  70’s in the day and high 60’s at night. For the first time since childhood, we slept with the windows open.

Front Porch - mlm c@

Of course, I Snapped Photos of Flowers Everywhere We Went

Geraniums - wht w pink ctr - mlm c@Dahalia - white - mlm c@Blowing Rock has plants and flowers everywhere, and I do mean everywhere. Nowhere is there any ugly gravel or bare dirt. The town has a very active garden club that keeps the area beautified year ’round. Hostas and ferns abounded, but petunias, geraniums, poppies, candytuft, purple and white coneflowers, impatiens, and nasturtiums, to name a few. The beds looked slightly like small English gardens because of the way the flowers of complementary colors tumbled over each other.

Brown-Eyed Susan

Brown-Eyed Susans - mlm c@

Balloon Flower
Balloon Flower - mlm c@

See how the bud is puffed up like a tiny balloon? It gets larger and larger until it pops open. I had these in my garden in the Charlotte, NC, area. I’ll have to find out whether or not I can grow them here in central Florida.

Autumn Joy Sedum
Autumn Joy Sedum - mlm c@

This is another flower I grew when we lived in NC. There are many types of sedum, and this one is my favorite. Sometime in late July or early August the flowers open to a pale pink. They gradually become darker pink, and finally almost a maroon color that is perfect for fall gardens. I haven’t seen it in gardens around here, or in garden centers, so I suspect it may not do well here. Darn it!

We Explored the Mountains Again, Too.

Did you know that, a few million years ago, the Appalachians were taller than the Rockies were at their highest point? The Rockies, too, have begun to lose height at a rate of about 1/2 inch every 10 years or so. I learned that little tidbit when we lived in Colorado.

The tallest point we reached was at Rough Ridge Overlook where the elevation is 4,293 feet above sea level. Entering Blowing Rock from the south on US Hwy. 321, the Eastern Continental Divide elevation is much lower.

Blue Ridge - mlm c@

Eastern Continental Divide - mlm

Entering Blowing Rock from the south, we were just barely into the mountains.

We drove up onto the Blue Ridge Parkway and looked out over the Blue Ridge Mountains, and walked a short trail where we saw many beautiful, but unfamiliar wild flowers.

Appalachian Wild Flowers

Here are some of the mountain wild flowers we saw. All were growing in dense shade. I still need to learn their names. Because they are native to a colder climate, and higher elevations, they will likely grow well in a lot of places, but not here in central Florida where we are less than 100 feet above sea level.

Wild Flowers at Viaduct - orange mlm c@

This one looks to me like a tiny orchid. Unfortunately, this was the best shot I could get. I had left my micro lens in the car, and had to lean out over a lot of snaky-looking weeds to shoot this one.


Viaduct Wildflowers Budded - mlm c@

I would have loved to have stayed long enough to see what this one looks like when the the buds open.

Wild Flowers at Viaduct - yellow mlm c@

We’re back home now, trying to catch up on work that was left behind. I love it here, but I miss the mountains sometimes, too. We’ve decided to go back every year, but a bit later in the season for more color. Also, so we can use the fireplace in the cabin. It just wasn’t cool enough this time. We also can’t wait to go back to some of the restaurants we discovered while there. I will write about those, but in a food-related blog/website that I am building.  It’s not yet ready for prime time.

I cut more basil today, so I need to go now and dry it. Gotta have plenty to last through the winter, you know.






9 responses to “Mountain Flowers

  1. These pics make me want to go back to he mountains. Thanks Maria!


  2. Lovely article Maria. Thank you for sharing those beautiful pictures. I can see why you want to return.


  3. Beautiful collection of flowers! I’ve never seen balloon flowers before; they’re so sweet. The orange ones that look like orchids (I agree) are actually Spotted Touch-me-nots. Love those too! It looks like I need to visit the mountains sometime. 🙂


  4. Garnette Shasteen

    We love the NC area too.  The beach as well as the mts. We spent a couple long  summer vacations in Ashville.  So enjoyable.  We now have close friends in Buford,SC, so that is were we spend any time away from here.  Except for family time in Ohio. The flower pix you shared  are very much enjoyed. Will see you at Chrismon class.  PS-sat with a Becky at dinner at Church last nite, would you please share her last name and contact info?  Regret that I didn’t get this from her at the time.  she is in the Christmon class.   Thanks 


    • Hi, Garnette. Thanks so much for your comment. I’m glad you enjoyed the photos. That was the first trip we have taken since moving here that we weren’t ready to return home. We both longed for another day or two of exploring the mountains. Of course, I wanted another day to find more mountain wildflowers, and to take flower photos. Unofrtunately, the cabin was booked. About Becky’s contact info, I will send you an e-mail.


  5. What a wonderful trip. I can almost smell the scents in the air, just gazing at your photos. I will watch for that new food-related site. Exciting!

    Liked by 1 person

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