Mountain Gardeners Historic Flat Rock, Inc.

In 2016-2017 an HFR “Heritage Tree “program was initiated. A board member attended a meeting of the Hendersonville Tree Board and asked if HFR could use the same name for a program already in place – “Heritage Trees” to initiate a program in Flat Rock. HFR owes a debt of gratitude to Wes Burlingame – who sat on this board and for being the one to smile and say yes.

Over the last few years in Flat Rock trees have been photographed and measured. To date in the historic district documentation has been started for the following trees:

Nikko Fir
Poplar Tulip
Basswood (American Linden)
Japanese Maple

At one point in time the Incense-Cedar at Saluda Cottages was recognized as a State Champion Tree. She stood in her cradle until it became a grave. Documenting her life has been an important endeavor. HFR will continue to document trees within the historic district.

The membership and friends of HFR were asked “What would you like to do that would be fun, educational, and represent the heart of the historic district”? After the “Historic Garden Tour” in 2019, a few members stepped up and voiced their opinions. The consensus was to have an educational gardening group. With the publication of the first HFR book in 2020 “Gardening Tips from Well-Seasoned Gardeners” more attention has been given to the landscapes in Flat Rock.

HFR has Community Partners who are here to answer questions about plant and tree health:

Steve Pettis – Extension Agent, Agriculture-Consumer and Commercial Horticulture – North Carolina Cooperative Extension (master gardener educational program)

Al Neve and Matt Beauregard – Epperson Tree and Plant Health

HFR’s website will be expanded to offer gardening recommendations, information on native plants, featured gardening articles and photographs. A group has even discussed being able to tour gardens in areas outside of North Carolina, when that option is possible. The planning group for the 2021 Mountain Gardener calendar has a name – “The Seed Pods”. In 2020 the group was able to hold two in person outdoor meetings, following COVID-19 protocols. This year we will follow the same format, with preregistration for each event.

May 15, 2021 a lecture is scheduled: David Pike from Witherspoon Rose Culture will be coming to Flat Rock for educational sessions on roses. Thank you to Dave Erwin, a life member of HFR, for introducing us to David Pike.

The group has met during the fall of 2020 (outdoors) and voted on the name “HFR Mountain Gardeners”. The Mission Statement for HFR is “To protect, preserve and promote the historic and cultural heritage of Flat Rock, NC.” This rings true for the Mountain Gardeners – as we discover the deep roots in the district – and uncover more about those who came here, what they planted, and the gardens they created. We are tasked to care for the abundant beauty we have all around us in public and private landscapes. We hope to work in collaboration with other groups; both Master Gardeners and those new to Flat Rock who may have never donned gardening gloves before. We welcome you all.

Victoria Flanagan
Historic Flat Rock, Inc.