Friends of the Lake Lure Flowering Bridge is a gardening collective in Lake Lure, North Carolina that created this beautiful garden from their own blood, sweat, tears, and funding.
My song for this entry is Einstürzende Neubauten’s “Blume” (the German word for flower):
The historic Rocky Broad River Bridge was closed in 2011 after the new one was constructed, leaving a path of unoccupied concrete in its wake.
But the Friends heard its call for new life.
When the bridge was set for destruction, resident William Miller was struck with an idea that he went to the town hall to present. He quickly formed Friends of the Bridge with other residents in the community and they were granted conservatorship of the abandoned bridge.
In October of 2013, the Friends were pleased to announce the successful completion of their mission to create the “Gateway to Somewhere Beautiful.”
It took over two years from the birth of Miller’s idea to the start of its construction, but with a pooled $20,000 and seven months of hard voluntary labour the Friends finally had their garden.
Check out this TedTalk video of William Miller telling his journey:
The Flowering Bridge is my favourite part of Lake Lure. It spans a little over 150 feet long with a focus on native species. The gardens overlook the river and are rich with vibrant colours, aromatic breezes, the sounds of birds chirping, ducks splashing around in the river below, and the hum of passing automobiles.
There are 12 different themed gardens including a rose garden, herb garden, succulent garden, tropical gardens, whimsical garden, and others that rotate seasonally or annually.
Fragrant herbs, succulent plants, and patches of fuzzy Lamb’s Ear that beckon to be touched.
Views of the tropical and whimsical theme gardens.
The Secret Garden, which expands further back toward the woods away from the trail.
The Flowering Bridge is always open with free parking and admission. Unlike many historic sites there are no religious or political ties to the Flowering Bridge, so it is a neutral and welcoming place for everyone.
With the addition of the Helen Keller Multi-sensory Tour, an audio tour visitors can access by cell phone, and wheelchair access to most features, it is also a figurative bridge in the community.
The Flowering Bridge is and always has been maintained and funded by volunteers and donations from members of the Friends and other kind patrons. Anyone is welcome to donate or volunteer and I look forward to seeing how the gardens evolve over time.
Follow me further into Lake Lure!
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