By Mitsi Chorak

As we leave summer behind us and begin to prepare for the winter season, I am reminded of the hard work and dedication of our Lake Lure Flowering Bridge volunteers.  The gardens are reliant on volunteers who use their time, skills, and energy to maintain the gardens, and it is not just a dedicated few. There are also those who have limited time to give and come whenever time allows.  Some notable volunteer moments were the Lake Lure Classical Academy Honor Society students and the visiting grandchildren who worked alongside their Grandmothers: how wonderful to pass the torch to a younger generation!  My favorite story is the mother and daughter who were visiting Lake Lure from Maryland and happened upon the bridge one day.  They were so impressed they came the following day to volunteer, and did they work!  They helped replant a Carolina Wildflower garden into its new location.  Thank you Simya and Natalie!  

Also of note were the projected 100,000 visitors from all parts of the country and abroad.  Our comment books were filled with their wonderful messages.  We were fortunate to host several group tours, both large and small.  Our guests were from magazines, radio stations, garden clubs and church groups.  The bridge is becoming a very popular destination!

The weather is colder and the flowers are gone, but the colors of fall are beginning their own show in the surrounding mountains, adding beauty to our winter gardens.  In November, we begin preparations for the coming holidays.  While we are thinking of cozy sweaters, turkey and pumpkin pie, we are also busy cleaning, pruning, and mulching.  We will be adorning the bridge with a beautiful Christmas tree in the Atrium, and fresh cut winter greenery.  Our creative volunteers will handcraft wreaths and swags to hang throughout the gardens lending their fragrance and beauty.  Hundreds of sparkling lights will hang along the entire expanse of the bridge and colorful and whimsical decorations will be installed for all to enjoy.

So, bundle up, come to the Lake Lure Flowering Bridge to view the dazzling display of holiday finery, and prepare to be awed!  Our official Holiday Lighting is December 1st at sunset.  

Mitsi Chorak is a Lake Lure Flowering Bridge board member.

Pictures:

1. Pix of Lake Lure Classical Academy Honor Society students (pic by Alice Garrard)

Pictures by Mitsi Chorak

2. Kemper Hill and Grandmother Pamela Paulis

3. Zoey Cathey, Granddaughter of Mitsi Chorak

4. Simya and Natalie of Baltimore

5. What to expect at the Lake Lure Flowering Bridge in December