Gardens & Patios

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Get growing and explore!

Page Curated by Elizabeth Mann

Creating a garden and even a small farm is now more accessible than ever, even in the mountains. Homegrown herbs, mouthwatering vegetables, and sensational flowers bring to life the gardening experience for home owners. So get growing and explore how local gardens and farms in the mountains are making an impact.


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Living and vacationing in the Appalachian Mountains is a unique experience. There is an abundance of history, culture, adventure, places to see, and many things to do.

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Hamilton Gardens
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Spring Gardens

Cultivating Your Organic Garden This Spring

by Elizabeth Mann

Gardening cultivates a spirit of perseverance and diligence, but the foundation of a healthy garden is in the soil. So when getting ready to plant a garden, the place to start is to get the soil tested.

After you receive the results back from your soil test, you will know the soil’s pH and its mineral makeup. Now you know which amendments to add to balance out the soil. One of the keys to a healthy garden is plenty of compost, which is rich in nutrients.

Keeping Pesty Animals Out of Your Garden This Spring

by Elizabeth Mann

For those who live in the Appalachian Mountains, the close proximity to wildlife allows nature lovers to observe animals as they go about their daily routines. But for gardeners, there are two animals that are dreaded. If you wake up one morning to see a section of your garden patch devoured the culprit is most likely deer or rabbit. Both leave a trail of evidence that can be discouraging to gardeners who, after eyeing their precious tomatoes for a whole month, discover them gone.

Windowsill Herbs for Cooking

by Elizabeth Mann

Herbs are versatile plants. They are tasty, medicinally useful, and pleasing to smell. When it comes to cooking with herbs, however, the first decision is whether to use fresh or dried. According to, the recommendation is that if a dish needs to simmer longer than 45 minutes, dried herbs should be used. Dried herbs are more condensed and poignant so the amount used should be cut in half.

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Explore Contemporary Mountain Life

Living and vacationing in the Appalachian Mountains is a unique experience. There is much history, culture, adventure, places to see, and many things to do.

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The Crossroad of Past and Present II

by Melissa Detto

"Wow!" Jenna ran her hands through her long, blonde hair. She blew out a breath of air and looked down at the churning water, which was tinged with purple hues from the sun’s climb down the sky.

“I feel nauseous.” Jenna turned her head, her eyes taking in the crowded balcony of the restaurant that overlooked the river below. She smiled at a girl who was begging her parents to take her tubing. A second later, her lips turned down when she thought about her aunt’s revelation only moments before, a revelation that had changed her life.