****This project is pending a joint effort with Fiskars and myself to deliver some loppers and pruners to this organization. There have been some delays but the project is still a go—more to follow before December 08. Thank you Fiskers!!!
During my recent trip to Blowing Rock, NC, I noticed that the hydrangeas looked especially incredible and numerous. I hadn’t remembered so many. For a few weeks now, I’ve been trying to track down any information leading to this explanation.
The Thomas family has taken on the task of restoring the Cone Estate of Hydrangeas. We are talking about 1,000s of hydrangeas that had been overgrown and were disappearing under the overgrowth. Many of these hydrangeas had been passed from home to home through propagation. They were lovingly attended at one time and it was rather grand during the 1920’s to a time it became an unfavorable environment for them to thrive and bloom. They had not been trimmed or cared for in decades. But along came Lowel Thomas and his wife who have done a remarkable job of taking on the restoration of the hydrangea, perennials, and now the orchard gardens.
These beauties are blooming everywhere in several varieties. The town has gotten behind the project with lots of support and the hydrangeas have awarded the efforts. The Blue Ridge Parkway foundation just awarded a $10,000 grant toward the cause. It started with two people with a passion and vision to preserve the glory of what once was. To think, these old friends were almost lost to neglect. Can you imagine a whole town full of hydrangeas? It is beyond beautiful.
Please read the entire story here and stop to appreciate the courage it took to dream such a dream. This is a link to The High Country News. The story moved me more than any I’ve read lately. I hope you enjoy it too.
In a post coming soon: The Moses H. Cone mansion, gardens, and orchards. But if you would like to follow this story with the Thomas family and get some background information on why the gardens are so worthy of preservation then please follow this link for The Moses H. Cone Memorial