A Friendly Reminder…

When you read the post about the Black Bears of Biltmore, make sure you visit the site so you can see the short video I made of the bear family…

Black Bears at The Biltmore Estate

A warm summer afternoon cruising around Asheville’s iconic Biltmore Estate might not be as colorful as Spring or Fall, but surprises always lurk around the next bend.

Biltmore House in Summer

Biltmore Estate Gardens in Summer

Biltmore House Asheville

But the best came when I found a Black Bear family romping along the road, oblivious of passing traffic. A mom and three very young cubs were such a treat to watch,

Exploring Hunt Fish Falls on Lost Cove Creek

Five years ago I wrote this post, and it bears reblogging…

Living in The Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina- A Blog

          (If you’re reading this in your e-mail, click on the headline above and go straight to the blog)

 If you make a right turn onto Old Jonas Ridge Road off The Blue Ridge Parkway just north of Linville, and only a few miles south of Grandfather Mountain, the first thing you see is a giant Christmas tree farm. What I found unusual was the large number of Colorado Blue Spruce growing there. Most of these farms grow the popular Fraser Fir, and it was refreshing to see something new! After a couple of miles, you turn onto a gravel one lane forest road, and wind your way about six miles along the ridge, moving deeper into a thick forest.  With the windows down, you feel the 65 degree air, cooled by a recent passing thunder storm. Your destination is a small parking area at the Trailhead…

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The Craftsman Wonders of Cheshire Village

A recent post highlighted the Village of Cheshire in Black Mountain, North Carolina, and now my first visit there has yielded a treasure of incredible homes that captures the history and architectural beauty of these breathtaking Mountains. As you move through this neighborhood of quiet streets, walkways, and meticulously landscaped gardens, you’ll be transported to a time long ago when community meant everything, and sitting on a large front porch brought neighbors together to visit and chat about family and their daily experiences. Keep in mind that everything you see is less than fifteen years old, which makes Cheshire even more remarkable.

Cheshire Village MountainsFrom the moment you enter this sanctuary of urban design, you’ll be aware that you are surrounded by high mountains and lush vegetation and large open public spaces, all carefully orchestrated to bring a sense of peace and order to daily life.

Cheshire Village MansionsLarge homes with verandas, numerous windows, and the creative use of wood and stone hark back to an America long ago. Every one is a work of building art, and cars are mostly invisible here, hidden in rear alleys and garages. The homes are close  together by design, and walking trails link all parts of Cheshire to a Town Center with restaurants and specialty shops.

Cheshire Village Street lightStreets are named for legendary authors and poets like Poe, Keats,  and Wordsworth. This Tudor home lives up to the name out front.

Cheshire Village GardensAround every corner, evergreens and flowers excite the senses and complement the homes that they frame.

Cheshire Village Fences Throughout Cheshire, low fences and stone dividers invite visitation and contact.

Cheshire Village StairsStone stairs connect the street with the porches, and have the appearance of being carved from the rocky hillside.

Cheshire Village EyebrowAn “Eyebrow” over this porch is a common Craftsman detail, and this Grand Staircase draws neighbors to pay a visit.

Cheshire Village LandscapingThis Cape Cod style house is almost lost in the woods…

Cheshire Village ShinglesShingles were always a Craftsman trademark…

Cheshire Village TreehouseThese tall and narrow houses are part of the “Treehouse” section of Cheshire Village, where the hillside is steep, and the trees large.Cheshire Village Treehouse stairs

Cheshire Village Treehouse 3

Cheshire Village Tall HouseThis tall home in the regular neighborhood is influenced by the Treehouse area…

Cheshire Village CottageSmaller cottages can be reserved by the night if you’re looking for a special mountain retreat… There are seven cottages in Cheshire Village.

Cheshire Village Home

Cheshire Village Gables

Cheshire Village porches

Cheshire Village TownhomesNew Townhomes are nearing completion adjacent to the Town Center. as are villa type cottages in the same area…Cheshire Village Views

Cheshire Village ColumnsStrict design guidelines are followed to maintain the classic atmosphere of Cheshire Village. The entire village was a masterplan community, similar to Seaside and Watercolor on the Florida Gulf Coast, Habersham in Beaufort, South Carolina, and Windsor in Boca Raton, Florida.

Cheshire Village CloudsI’m looking forward to visit in the fall when the colors will be incredible. 

The Tiger Lily Flowers of June

Every June, along the roadsides of the Blue Ridge Mountains, a profusion of color blankets the normally green undergrowth. This year, an abundance of rain combined with a late spring bloom has multiplied this annual orange extravaganza. The Tiger Lily acquired that moniker because of its animal like stripes. These tubers grow mostly underground except when they burst forth in early June. 

Tiger Lily Roadsides

Tiger Lily Blossoms

Tiger Lily Sea

Tiger Lily Family

The Village of Cheshire at Black Mountain

Fifteen years ago I read an article in SOUTHERN ACCENTS Magazine about a new town development for Black Mountain, North Carolina, and recall being intrigued by the prospect of living in a place like Cheshire Village. It was designed by the same team who designed SEASIDE on the Florida gulf coast.

The years passed, and I forgot about The Village of Cheshire until yesterday when, as I’m apt to do from time to time, I read old magazines, and there was this article again. 
I just did a Blog post about my rediscovery, and it’s almost like finding a hidden Frank Lloyd Write home so close to my own. I think you’ll enjoy what I found.
Cheshire Village Black Mountain
Cheshire Village Black Mountain rendering
Cheshire Village
Cheshire Village Black Mountain 2
Researching Cheshire today was like a time warp, seeing first hand how a dream was realized from so long ago. 
cheshire village 2
The Village has been completed beyond my wildest expectation. Visit their website to see what I mean.
You can actually rent one of their seven guest cabins if you want to have a unique Blue Ridge Mountains experience…

Village of Cheshire
Cheshire’s green built cabins are set in Western North Carolina’s High Windy mountain range, offering healthy mountain air and leafy retreats all four seasons of the year. Our cabins are green certified as NC Healthy Built Homes by the WNC Green Building Council. Each of our 7 cabins and treehouses takes up a tiny footprint in the Native Rhododendron and Mountain Laurel surroundings with porches overlooking beautiful Camp Branch Creek. Carefully planned and beautifully executed, the rustic Cheshire Cabins were created with your relaxing getaway in mind. We invite you to stay awhile and explore the Asheville area when you stay at the Cheshire Cabins. Rates are less than $300 a night, and the cabins have multiple bedrooms. This is a bargain in these mountains.
Everything highlighted in this video from ten years ago has been realized…
I can’t wait to go to Cheshire Village and walk its quaint streets and make my own images of such a magical place. Who knew?
Cheshire Village street

Cheshire Village Bed and Breakfast9820-04

Bed and Breakfast

Cheshire Village Stream

Cheshire Village Bungalows
Cheshire Village Town Center

Town Center

The Natural Rhododendron Gardens of Roan Mountain

This was originally posted five years ago, but these spectacular Flowers are always worth another visit.

Living in The Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina- A Blog

Every June thousands of people flock to Roan Mountain to walk among the magnificent mounds of rhododendrons. In a good year, these dense shrubs, standing taller than a person, create a spectacular display with thousands of magenta blooms. Each rhododendron’s round, manicured shape is a testament to severe pruning by wind and winter weather. The peak blooming period is usually around the third week of June, but this year, the bloom has come early, and the blanket of flowers over the upper slopes of the mountain are already impressing impatient visitors.

Around 1830, General John T. Wilder bought 7,000 acres across the top and sides of Roan Mountain. It was Wilder who built the road to Carver’s Gap at 5,550 feet. He also constructed a 20 room log inn near the summit of Roan High Knob in 1877, then replaced it with the luxurious Cloudland Hotel. For about 20 years…

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