Bonsai the day away in Asheville Oct. 10-11

            The North Carolina Arboretum in Asheville hosts the annual bonsai expo Oct. 10-11. The arboretum has a growing collection of more than 100 specimens of bonsai, which are miniature trees, shrubs and vines. The collection includes Japanese maple, Chinese elm, tropical plants, American plants such as limber pine and species native to the Asheville area, such as the Eastern white pine.

            The arboretum is a beautiful autumn drive of about 20 minutes along the Blue Ridge Parkway from Lovers’ Loop Retreat, our Asheville bed and breakfast alternative. The arboretum is worth every mile, and the bonsai expo is fascinating. The event honors the ages-old Asian tradition of cultivating miniature plants, shaping them in artistic ways and arranging them in distinctive containers.         

            The event is free once you pay the arboretum’s entrance fee of $6 per car. You also can access the arboretum for free by bike or on foot. The bonsai expo features the juried work of bonsai growers from clubs in a six-state region of the eastern United States. There will be educational programs, workshops and bonsai plants and tools for sale.

            While you’re at the arboretum, take the opportunity to walk or bike on the many trails and to see the different gardens. It’s a great place to visit year-round when you stay at Lovers’ Loop Retreat, one of the Asheville vacation rentals.

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