Here in mid June along the Parkway, visitors will find the mountains in transition between spring blooms and the typical summer variety. Rhododendron, Flaming Pink Azalea and Mountain Laurel arrived somewhat earlier than normal this year. Although many areas of the mid-elevations are reporting some of these still in bloom, the peak has past in most areas. The high elevations, however, are somewhat different. North of Asheville, Craggy Gardens and Mount Mitchell, nice displays of Rhododendron are showing right now as well as in the Graveyard Fields area south of Asheville. Mountain Laurel, Catawba Rhododendron and Turkey Beard are also reported to be nice in those high elevations around Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina as well. Chestoa View loop trail south of Linville Falls, visitors can look for Bowman’s Root, large Houstonia, and some nice Flame Azalea. In the high plateau of Virginia, south of Roanoke all the way to the state line, visitors will find Mountain Laurel and Flame Azalea, a few still blooming. Bowman’s root is blooming especially, just north of Mabry Mill with patches of yarrow, fleabane, and flox. Summer blooms such as Butterfly Weed and Black Eyed Susan are beginning to show from Park View north towards Roanoke as well. Have a safe parkway visit! Enjoy the view, but watch the road.
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