By Hope S. Philbrick
Winter giving you the shivers?
Feel the warm promise of spring at an exclusive new exhibit at the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden in Belmont, North Carolina.
Step inside the tropical Orchid Conservatory, peel off your coat, and feel a rush of joy while standing face to face hundreds of brightly colored orchids. There are bold displays—cascading down rock walls, crowded into clay pots, hanging from trees, and more—but take time to explore or risk missing some small discreet beauties.
Nestled strategically among the blooms are 24 whimsical works of art by W. Gary Smith, who designed the Lost Hollow children’s garden at DSBG as well as the new children’s garden at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Texas and Enchanted Woods at Delaware’s Winterthur Garden. His work is inspired by culture, imagination and childhood.
The exhibit includes opportunities to learn how Smith’s art was translated into Lost Hollow and also to explore your own creativity with hands-on events and classes.
With its warm humidity and peaceful ambient sound of a rushing waterfall, the conservatory is a haven worth lingering inside. But, if you can tolerate the weather conditions outdoors, take time to stroll through DSBG’s five gardens: the white garden, four seasons garden, cottage garden, canal garden and perennial garden. Though flowers may be rare sights this time of year, there are evergreens, sculptures, fountains and other treasures to inspire dreams of summer. Plus, the odds of encountering children in Lost Hollow are lower in winter than any other time of year, so seize the opportunity to explore and even play if it suits your mood.
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden was named by HGTV as one of the nation’s “20 Great Gardens.”
One visit and we think you’ll agree.
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
6500 S. New Hope Rd.
Belmont, NC 28012
DSBG is enjoyable in all seasons, however, Art & Orchids can be enjoyed now through March 18, 2015.
Garden admission is $12 for adults, $11 for seniors age 60+, and $6 for children age 4-12 and free for children up to age 3, making the Odds of Encountering Children inevitable. But with 380 acres, 3.2 miles of hiking trails and five gardens in addition to the orchid conservatory, finding a quiet space to contemplate nature is relatively easy.
Where To Stay…
Hampton Inn Charlotte-Belmont at Montcross
820 Cecilia Alexander Drive
Belmont, NC 28012
This location of the national chain meets all expectations of convenience, comfort and cleanliness.
Odds of Encountering Children: High, but we saw none during our stay so you may get lucky.
Where To Eat…
The String Bean
106 North Main
Belmont, NC 28012
The diverse menu expands daily with features that reflect the season and the chef’s whim. From banana bread French toast to duck fat fries, fig flatbread to seared tuna, Rueben to Cuban to burger-of-the-day, temptations abound. Showcasing local ingredients since 2008, The String Bean is a casual restaurant plus a butcher shop, deli, bakery and seller of more than 300+ wines and 200+ beers—with an impressive selection that earned accolades from Wine Spectator.
Odds of Encountering Children: High, but if the Friday evening we visited is any indication, the place will be so busy that any screech emitted by a fussy child will be lost in the energetic buzz of adult conversation.
– Photos © HSP Media LLC
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