Mountains in Bloom fearures private gardens

The Bascom is hosting its bi-annual Mountains in Bloom event, featuring private gardens in and surrounding Highlands Country Club.
“These gardens are among the best on the plateau,” said Janet Robbins, chairman of the Mountains in Bloom Committee. “It’s a chance to see gardens that are not usually open to the public.”
The garden tour, slated for July 20, is a fundraising event for The Bascom, and is a popular one with area residents.
“The homes up here are just spectacular so the gardens that go with them are spectacular as well,” Robbins said. “You might get ideas for your own garden.”
The Mountains in Bloom organizers looked at gardens throughout the area before settling on six in the Highlands Country Club area.
“We were looking for a variety of plantings, a variety of designs and different space considerations in the gardens,” Robbins said.
Those who attend the garden tour will park at Highlands School, 545 Pierson Dr., and be taken by bus to each garden site, where they will be joined by guides who provide information on each garden’s special features, types of plants and areas of note. The guides will also discuss the context and history of the garden and home it surrounds.
The Bascom Board Member Robert Tucker said the garden tour was started more than 20 years ago.
“My wife, Corbin, and I have worked on many of the tours and enjoyed every one of them,” Tucker said. “My favorite job is driving vans and listening to the attendees’ comments.”
“The Mountains in Bloom garden tour exposes the beauty of Highlands to those who might not ever see these gardens and the plateau,” Robbins said, adding the tours have been “an extremely popular tour for years and brings visitors to Highlands from all over the southeast.”
“There are many who come just for Mountains in Bloom,” she said.
The morning tour times have already been booked; however there are tour times available in half-hour increments from noon to 2:30 p.m., according to Lin Sheffield, marketing manager at The Bascom.
The Mountains in Bloom garden tour is foremost a fundraiser, which is designed to not only introduce people to the lovely gardens and to encourage the social experience of the tour, but to help with the operations budget of The Bascom and to further its goals, Tucker said.
Tucker said The Bascom is an asset to the community, but its funding can be challenging.
“The annual budget is well over a million dollars, and all must be raised by benevolent donors and our annual fundraisers,” Tucker said. “We receive little or no funding from government agencies. Robbins said events such as Mountains in Bloom are crucial to ensure the longevity of The Bascom.
“It is amazing that a town this size has a visual arts center which is free to the public,” she said.
The cost of the Mountains in Bloom garden tour is $100 per person. The event will be held rain or shine, and participants are urged to wear appropriate clothing and comfortable shoes as the garden terrain may be rocky and uneven. To purchase tickets or for more information, contact Sheffield at 828-787-2866 or go online to and follow the “Events” link to “2018 Mountains in Bloom.”
Davis Moore contributed to this story.

The Highlander

Phone: 1-828-526-4114 
Main Fax: 1-828-526-3658 

Address: PO Box 249, Highlands, NC 28741
Located: 134 N. Fifth Street, Highlands, NC 28741 
Hours: Monday-Friday 8:30am - 5pm