My grandmother maintained a yard of flowers, mostly bulbs. She had a simple house with uneven floors and windows that were covered with ice on the inside in the coldest of winters. She had no money, she lived simply, but boy, did she have flowers. Read more

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Jim Parham says he is like many people when it comes to finding and appreciating the variety of flowers that can be seen on hikes or simple strolls in the North Carolina mountains. Read more



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For centuries, gathering sochan—also known as the green-headed coneflower—has been a rite of springtime for the Cherokee people. Read more


Four Hikes, Four Experiences

Max Cooper photo

Autumn is a fantastic time of year to hike the trails in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The daytime temperatures are wonderfully cool and the air is clear of haze allowing for vistas that extend to the horizon. Read more


The Smokies are known for their spring ephemerals. Hundreds of species of wildflowers, like bloodroot, Dutchman’s breeches, trout lily, trilliums and more impatiently claw their way through the brown leaf litter under the sparse spring canopy. Read more


If you’re hiking in the mid-to-low elevations of the Smokies this winter keep your eyes peeled for a splash of green. This may be the best time of the year to find two unique native orchids of the Southeast and Southern Appalachians. Read more


Purple Coneflower

Sow True photo

I hold the firm belief that while a natural green thumb can come in handy, it is the willingness to get dirty hands that is the superior characteristic of a successful gardener. Read more


Clingmans secret tunnel

Deb Campbell

Hikers, outdoorsmen, photographers, and locals reveal their favorite treasures of “the back of beyond”—from secluded trails and fishing streams to quiet overlooks and picnic spots. Read more

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U.S. Fish & Wildlife photo

As the bare canopy of Eastern deciduous forests allows the sun to shine through and warm the fecund earth each spring, ephemerals push through the leaf litter toward the sun, and the grays and browns of the forest floor erupt in color. Read more


Winter can be a long, cold affair in the mountains, but the annual emergence of early spring wildflowers signals that warmer weather is on its way. Celebrate winter’s end with one of these flowery trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Read more