The Buds of May

Garden Jubilee is downtown Hendersonville’s joyous herald of summer.

It would be too basic to say that it’s coming up roses in Hendersonville when it’s more like allium, Carolina Snow lily, experimental blue festuca grass, and whatever other rare — or, for the eco-minded gardener, fiercely indigenous — plant can grow in Southern Blue Ridge soil. Gardeners here just don’t fool around — witness the city’s top showing in last summer’s America in Bloom judging, where public spaces coast to coast are rated for adherence to sustainability, diversity of verdure, landscape styling, and other urban-beautification efforts.

Just so, Garden Jubilee, a Memorial Weekend downtown tradition, is an unusually abundant plant show featuring more than 260 vendors, making it the largest event of its kind in this slice of Carolina. Thousands of annuals, perennials, trees, shrubs, vegetables, and herbs go on sale, with an emphasis on hard-to-find specimens. Lawn displays and interactive events for kids and adults are another highlight; the guest speaker this year is Bill Slack, landscape and gardening specialist with Southern Living Magazine.

Thanks to the flourishing importance of so-called “outdoor rooms” —everything from patios to pergolas, decks to waterfalls — in our temperate region, a strong push of inanimate garden elements, e.g. sculpture and furniture, will scoop pride of place. In anticipation of all this good growth, helped by a preliminarily beautiful weekend forecast, the Southeast Tourism Society has named the Jubilee one of its Top 20 Festivals and Events for 2016.

Garden Jubilee, May 28 and 29, downtown Hendersonville. 9am-6pm. Free. No pets.

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