History of the Daniel Boone
In March 1957 at a flower show in Hickory, North Carolina, H. Stuart Ortloff, landscape architect, discussed the difficulty of studying native plant material in North Carolina because of inaccessibility. Through an organized effort by the garden clubs in Boone, NC and the Garden Club of North Carolina, a plant sanctuary was planned and created in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The site would contain a wide collection of North Carolina native plant material and serve the dual purposes of conservation and education.
The state garden club planning committee leased an eight-acre lot beside THE HORN IN THE WEST outdoor drama site from the town of Boone, North Carolina for a period of forty-nine years at $1.00 per year.
A ground-breaking ceremony was held March 13, 1961. During the fall of 1961 and the spring of 1962 the Greene Construction Company completed the grading and construction of rock walls, flagstone walks, rock steps, a pond, and boulders for a rockery. Mr. Doan Ogden of Asheville, North Carolina was hired as garden architect. Working with a garden club committee, Mr. Ogen drew up the blueprint for the garden layout, along with a planting chart.
June 29, 1963 the Garden was dedicated as a part of North Carolina's Tercentenary celebration of the charter of Carolina colony.
Today this original plan remains the basic design for the Daniel Boone Native Gardens. The main axis is a wide grassed allee extending from the upper north entrance to the lower south entrance. The allee is anchored on the north with massive wrought iron gates forged by Daniel Boone VI of Burnsville, NC. The south entrance of the allee is marked by steps leading down to a rockery.
To the left of this grassy avenue, a graveled path winds around a wishing well and over the small bridge of the reflecting pool towards the Squire Boone Cabin.
This cabin was situated in the Gardens to honor the father of Daniel Boone - Squire Boone. It serves as an educational representation of frontier living in the years following the Revolutionary War. Beyond the cabin, along a path leading back up to the north side of the allee is a meditation maze of ferns and hemlock. Its center point is a statue of St. Francis of Assisi.
In 1992 the reflecting pool and surrounding area was re-planted as a bog garden. Today there is a small bridge across the bog garden that leads to the Squire Boone Cabin.
In 1973 a two-acre plot, originally owned by a private citizen was leased to the Garden Club of North Carolina. The section was designed as a fernery. Today benches and a small observation gazebo allow visitors to enjoy the quiet restfulness of this special garden.
In 1964 junior gardeners throughout the state of North Carolina collected nickles and dimes to donate a birdbath for the Gardens.
In 1963 a gatehouse was added to the gardens constructed from local stones of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
In 1996 a Pickin' Porch was constructed in the northern area of the gardens. Its presence recalls the custom of mountain families to gather on the front porch with neighbors in the evening and "pick a few.” The pickin porch reflects the hospitality of the mountain community of Boone, NC and the inviting presence of the Native Gardens. Close your eyes and you can almost hear Doc Watson strumming his tunes.
Daniel Boone Native Gardens remains a peaceful spot in the center of a busy community. Visitors are invited to the gardens to feast on a family picnic, take one-of-a-kind photo of a blooming flower, have a memorable day in the wedding garden, or simply sit and absorb nature. The Gardens are waiting.
GRATEFUL ACKNOWLEDGMENT TO ALL THE GARDEN CLUB LADIES - THEN AND NOW
WHO NURTURE AND MAINTAIN THE GARDENS
IN JUNE 2013 THE DANIEL BOONE NATIVE GARDENS REACHED A FIFTY YEAR MILESTONE.
THE LADIES WOULD BE PROUD OF THEIR GARDENS.