By Cathy Leestma

Happy early summer to all! This the time of year to kick up your heels, ride a carousel or smell the roses. Fortunately you can do all that and more in this beautiful area. If you are visiting, welcome! Breathe deeply, you won’t run into traffic jams only homemade jams. We pride ourselves on small town values including hospitality. Enjoy these moments and come back often!

Spring is a wonderful time to visit our nationally famous Lake Lure Flowering Bridge for many reasons, but this may be the best yet. The Bellevue Rose located on the trellis at the west side of the Bridge is in bloom. Take note of the size of this propagated plant that has its roots in Burke County, Georgia. According to Kerry Ann Crossley, the Burke County gardener who gifted this rose to Alice Garrard and who in turn had it planted at the Flowering Bridge, was once misused by Union Soldiers who used it as a tethering pole for their horses. The soldiers scattered when they were engaged in a Confederate pursuit, damaging the rose but not her spirit which lives on over a century later.