Large trees create legacies. They can provide us with a sense of stability and hope with their large sizes and longevity. They connect us to the past while we enjoy them in the present.
My thoughts turned to the legacies created by trees and landscapes during a recent visit to Charleston and Savannah. I was overcome by the grandeur of the live oaks draped in Spanish moss that lined the historic streets and dirt roads and provided beauty and shade in historic sites and cemeteries. I thought about the vision of those people who not only had the foresight to plant these large trees and other plants but also those who have cared for them for many generations. Their visions of future possibilities are what we enjoy today.
Although we don’t have live oaks in the Appalachian Mountains, we have other large trees that are majestic in their own right. I’m thinking of tulip poplars, hemlocks, oaks, and beeches. In Asheville and the surrounding area we find many locations where visionaries planted trees and protected the beauty of our Appalachian mountains. In the heart of Asheville is the collected vision of George Vanderbilt and Frederick Law Olmstead, the father of landscape architecture. When Vanderbilt acquired the property that is now Biltmore Estate, it was eroded, barren and unproductive farmland. Visitors today see the lushness of the woodlands as they travel around the grounds and think that it’s always been a beautiful forest. (www.biltmore.com)
It’s only been a short 75 years since the establishment of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (www.GreatSmokies75th.org) and only 74 years for the Blue Ridge Parkway (www.blueridgeparkway.org). We are surrounded by the vision and dedication of leaders who saw the value of protecting the natural beauty of the Appalachian Mountains with the creation of national and state parks.
Most of us want to leave the world a better place than how we found it. As we celebrate Earth Day and Arbor Day (http://www.arbordayfoundation.org), I invite you to think of ways of creating your own legacy for future generations. There are many ways to do it. We can all take small steps in our own way that add up to big results.
Please let me know if we can be of assistance to you in your Asheville and western North Carolina landscapes.
Enjoy the beauty of nature and especially the beauty of trees!
Terri Long Landscape Design, Inc.
Enriching Your Life with Natural Beauty
Asheville, North Carolina