America in Bloom promotes nationwide beautification through education and community involvement by encouraging the use of flowers, plants, trees; enjoying clean environments; celebrating heritage; and planting through volunteerism.

America in Bloom judges were in Flat Rock on June 08, 2017. They review and evaluate each participant in six categories. The participant was Henderson County, and Historic Flat Rock, Inc. was invited to contribute  within the category of ‘Heritage Preservation”. The judges looked at historical, natural, and cultural heritage examples. Also included in the judging are preservation and restoration of buildings, homes, churches, historical gardens and heritage trees, museums, archives, interpretive programs, and more. The local representative for Henderson County and a representative  from the Flat Rock Village Council selected the destinations for the 2017 judging.

The judges started their tour in Flat Rock at the Park at Flat Rock, and continued at the HFR, Inc. Cultural Center/ Museum where they listened to a brief discussion on local history before boarding a minivan. While driving the judges and local representatives listened to information presented directly from the National Register of Historic Places document. The group first  headed to Teneriffe, the home of Marv and Helen Seibold. They then  walked the manicured grounds, took many pictures, and were in awe at what they witnessed. The Seibold Family well represents what it means to preserve and protect.

The next stop was Hilgay. Jack and Millie McCandless answered questions about their Nikko Fir and specific plantings on the property. The sunken garden; the designof which was influenced by Frederick Law Olmstead, Jr., who visited the property in May 1905.

The last stop was Hopewood. The judges walked through the formal garden, the kitchen garden, and viewed Heritage Trees. Dennis and Victoria Flanagan help end their tour of Flat Rock and send them on their way.

We hope that in 2018 the American in Bloom  judges will view Mountain Lodge, and additional historical gardens.

– Victoria Flanagan