Are you ready to get out and enjoy the spring? We “Ashevillians” certainly are. Asheville is just bursting with new color and life and spring is one of the best times to enjoy this vibrant city. Whether you’re a seasoned horticulturist or a casual nature enthusiast, Asheville’s gardens offer an escape into serene beauty. From grandiose gardens to immersive plant experiences and native blooms – nature is calling. So, grab your camera and let us help you plot a flower-filled route that will make your soul sing this spring. 

3 Popular Gardens in Asheville


A statue of Frederick Olmstead in the flower garden at the NC Arboretum in Asheville, NC

Beautiful photo via NC Arboretum Facebook

The North Carolina Arboretum

With nearly 450 acres, the North Carolina Arboretum serves as a gateway to the region’s natural beauty. Its mission is to cultivate connections between people, plants and places. It’s located within the Bent Creek Experimental Forest – a popular hiking and mountain biking destination.  

The Arboretum itself features 65 acres of cultivated gardens, including the peaceful Stream Garden and the impressive Quilt Garden, which showcases native plants in a design inspired by the Appalachian tradition of quilt-making.

The Arboretum is a hotbed of activity in spring, not only for its blooming flora but also for its program of events. Seasonal exhibits often grace the gardens, adding an artistic touch, while the Bonsai Exhibition Garden provides a serene space for contemplation. The Arboretum hosts workshops, plant sales, and guided walks that offer a deeper understanding of the natural environment. And, the Western North Carolina Orchid Society hosts the Asheville Orchid Festival here from April 12-14. Guests can purchase orchids, view beautiful displays and attend classes and lectures.

Biltmore Gardens

The Biltmore Estate, a historic icon renowned for its architectural grandeur, also houses some of the most meticulously maintained gardens in the state. The legacy of renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, the Biltmore Gardens are awe-inspiring any time of the year, with spring being an exceptional season. In spring, Biltmore Blooms is a two-month-long celebration of the season, running from March 25 through May 23, and coincides with the Chihuly Exhibit, featuring the artist’s most celebrated works.

Get tickets for Biltmore Blooms!

Overlooking the botanical garden in springtime at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC

Photo by Biltmore Estate via Facebook

The Walled Garden, designed by Olmsted himself, and the Italian Garden are the crown jewels of the estate’s 8,000-acre grounds. Dozens of cultivars of tulips, azaleas, and roses paint the landscape in vibrant hues, mirroring the elegance of the estate. Throughout the spring, garden visitors can enjoy live music, tips from gardening experts and more. 

For an ongoing calendar of events and special ticket deals, visit  Romantic Asheville

Botanical Gardens at Asheville

Tucked away on the edge of the University of North Carolina- Asheville campus, the Botanical Gardens at Asheville offers an immersive experience in the native plant communities of the Southern Appalachian region. With an emphasis on preserving the region’s natural habitats, the gardens provide a tranquil environment for education and appreciation.

Features like the Native Woodland Garden, the Heritage Garden, and the Wetland Garden are at their most vibrant in spring, showcasing the diversity of the local flora. The gardens also host botanical art workshops and guided bird walks, making it an ideal destination for those seeking to deepen their connection with nature.

Each garden in Asheville is a delicate symphony of blooms, with indigenous and exotic flowers, alike, blanketing the landscape. At this time of year, one can expect to see an array of irises, daffodils, tulips, and an explosion of azaleas. The fragrance of the gardens is just as memorable as the sights, with climbers like honeysuckle and wisteria leaving sweet fragrances lingering at every turn.  

And, it’s not just about the flowers. Many of these gardens host several activities to engage visitors of all ages. How about a little yoga or acupuncture while taking in the spring scents? Now – that’s very Asheville. Or, book a photo tour of you and your travel mates having an intimate garden party. Just say – cheese – and maybe a little wine too. 

Think Outside the Garden

Once you’ve explored these Asheville gardens, there’s still plenty more in store. The Flowering Bridge in nearby Lake Lure, NC is something to see. The bridge incorporates more than 2,000 plant species and is managed by volunteers. This delightful destination makes for a great little side trip. It’s only about a 45-minute from downtown Asheville and visitors can also take in sweeping views of the Chimney Rock or take a spring hike with a naturalist at Chimney Rock State Park.

Sunset at the Flowering Bridge in Lake Lure, NC

Photo by Flowering Bridge via Facebook

And, the Cradle of Forestry – the birthplace of forestry and forestry education in America opens on April 13 for the 2024 season – is just getting geared up after a little winter hiatus. This 6,500-acre site sits deep in the heart of the Pisgah National Forest and their goal is to help people connect with nature and to inspire them to  FIND Outdoors. Less than ½ a mile away is one of the best Spring hikes in the area too – Pink Beds. It’s a five-mile loop and is especially appealing to naturalists due to its large pine trees and rare mountain bogs. The rhododendrons and mountain laurels begin to pop in late May through June. 

The front of the Cradle of Forestry building in the Pisgah National Forest

Inspire Your Inner Gardener

For those of you who would like to take a little something home, Asheville is also filled with some amazing nurseries. Just make sure to check your planting zone to ensure what you buy will thrive where you live. For example, Reems Creek Nursery sits North of Asheville and B.B. Barnes is located just to its south. Both spots have consultants on hand as well as special events, workshops and spring sales.  Rose’s Garden Shop, is a smaller locale off Asheville’s Charlotte Street, a charming neighborhood known for its beautiful tree-lined streets. This shop is a great place to find unusual plants and vintage gardening accessories.  

So, are you ready to jump in your car and head to Asheville yet? The gardens are at their peak in late April to early May – the prime time for spring blooms. So, plan ahead and come play with us this spring in one of the most colorful cities in North Carolina. We’ve got lots of places for you to stay. Book your spring vacation today