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Sun and Shade Demonstration Garden, Buncombe County


Name: Sun and Shade Demonstration Garden

Open to the public: Yes

County: Buncombe Co.

Address:  49 Mt Carmel Rd, Asheville, NC 28806

Link to the public garden map

Website: The Learning Garden

USDA Hardiness Zone: 7a

Extension Demonstration Garden? Yes

Approximate year the garden/landscape was established: -

What to look for: The garden started by converting a 9 x 40 ft. northeast-facing strip of grass bounded by a building and parking pavement into a well-designed, colorful, wildlife-friendly space. The garden's rocks and moss-covered logs were inspired by the surrounding Asheville and Buncombe County terrain. This teaching garden highlights plants that thrive in sun or shade. It includes both native and non-native plants in inground plantings, as well as containers for seasonal interest. Wildlife is encouraged not only by plant selection but also by a water source, places to seek cover, a mason bee house, hummingbird feeders, and a birdhouse.

The overall design, except for a few plants that did not tolerate sun in the sunniest area near the pavement, worked for all phases and used these approaches:

  • A blend of native and non-native plants
  • Containers to demonstrate creative seasonal arrangements to enhance in-ground plants   
  • Year-round interest through sequential blooms, colors, and textures in leaves and woody stems, trunks
  • Annuals and perennials, including shrubs, for pollinators and diverse insects, birds, and other garden creatures
  • Wildlife support through cover, nesting sites, water, and food  

Horticulture: This Sun and Shade Demonstration Garden is part of The Learning Garden and was designed and installed by NC State Extension Master Gardener℠ volunteers, who also maintain the garden.