Tips on Creating Your Own Butterfly Garden

Coves community gardens

The folks who live in Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina truly value the region and the lush landscape that provides a home to all the native plants and animals. Those who have chosen Carolina mountain properties as their home have formed a collaborative effort to protect the Blue Ridge Mountain’s natural heritage. One amazing way to establish a gorgeous property is to encourage and maintain the scenic beauty that surrounds us in the mountains, valleys, woodlands and fields.

The butterflies that grace North Carolina are astoundingly gorgeous, and the people living in the High Country enjoy planting gardens to encourage the local and natural species. There are over 175 species of butterflies in North Carolina. Butterflies, and of course caterpillars, are a real asset and necessity to our native landscape. They help pollinate our flowers as well as provide nourishment for our wildlife. By planting butterfly nectar plants and butterfly host plants, you can help preserve the landscape. This will provide a place for the butterflies to feed and reproduce, and will make your time outside visually stunning.

Creating a butterfly garden is relatively simple. The first step is having a basic understanding of which butterflies are native to Carolina mountain properties. Once you know which butterflies thrive in your region, you can decide which ones you want to attract so you can grow a garden to lure these majestic creatures into your yard. Since the plants and butterflies are all native, you’ll be working alongside nature, and that’s a beautifully simple thing!

You can design your garden with the help of a local nursery, by looking at plans online, or simply by relying upon your own creativity. Butterfly gardens can be vast or tiny. Think about incorporating both annuals and perennials–depending on how much gardening you want to do from year to year. The best way to attract these colorful creatures to your yard is to plant a wide variety of nectar plants in the sunny spots, (which will feed the adult butterflies), as well as host plants for the caterpillars. Tapping into the generous sun of North Carolina ensures your butterflies will have plenty of space to bask and warm their bodies before they fly; their wings are designed to be effective solar collectors!

Some of the native butterflies of Western North Carolina and their preferred diet:

Brushfooted Butterflies
• Monarch (milkweed)
• Painted Lady (thistle, hollyhock and sunflower)
• Question Mark (nettle, elm, hackberry, hops, false nettles)
• Red Admiral (nettle, false nettle, pellitory)
• Viceroy (willow, poplar, apple)
• Variegated Fritillary (various, including pansy)
• Mourning Cloak (willow, aspen, cottonwood, elm)
• Red-Spotted Purple (wild cherry, oak, poplar, hawthorn, willow)

• Zebra (pawpaw)
• Spicebush (spicebush, sassafras)
• Eastern Tiger (sycamore, willow)
• Black (dill, parsley, carrot, fennel)

• Silver Spotted (wild licorice, locust)

Sulphurs, Whites and Yellows
• Cabbage White (broccoli, cabbage–mustard family)
• Clouded Sulphur (alfalfa, clover)
• Orange Sulphur (alfalfa, vetch, pea)
• Cloudless Sulphur (ornamental cassia, canary bird bush)

Choose flowers that bloom in various sizes so that no matter the size of the butterfly they can access the nectar. You can strategically place a few large flat rocks for butterflies to perch upon to bask in the sun. Don’t forget to provide shelter for the butterflies in your habitat by leaving standing dead trees or a brush pile. There’s nothing like contributing to the conservation of our Carolina mountain properties while also creating a visually pleasing yard.

Some interesting facts about butterflies: their vibrant colors are caused from sunlight reflecting on their wings, not from pigment. And the life span of a butterfly is relatively brief, from a mere week to nine months.

The Coves Mountain River Club is a sanctuary for many of our native plants and creatures. The residents of The Coves value their panoramic views and form a collaborative effort to maintain the pristine landscape. Wildlife watching is a popular pastime in North Carolina. Take a ride along the Blue Ridge Parkway that winds through the charming towns and gorgeous mountains and affords such awesome views, and you’ll discover all the other folks who care so much about our state. There’s nothing better than being able to observe the wildlife from your very own porch or deck while you sip your morning coffee. The Coves is the perfect setting for wildlife watching. No matter our age, watching the spectacular metamorphosis of a caterpillar to a butterfly is a magical show.

Stop by and take a look at The Coves two beautiful community gardens.

Call 828.754.0700 now to schedule a tour!

Tags: Greenways & Trails | Lenoir

Lenoir Parks, Nature Trails and Greenway

Lenoir NC nature trails

Sometimes, when you live in the city, it’s hard to find a safe way to get adequate outdoor exercise.  And really fresh air is often in very short supply.  So you’re forced to choose between breathing the traffic fumes or closing yourself off in a fitness center.

Imagine being able to step out your front door, inhale a deep breath of clear mountain air and have such a wide range of choices for being at one with nature that each day can bring a brand new adventure.

At The Coves Mountain River Club, we’re so fortunate to enjoy easy access to miles and miles of walking trails, pathways and greenways that offer enthusiasts and novice outdoorsmen alike some of the very best hikes near Asheville NC.

The natural beauty of the City of Lenoir and greater Caldwell County is the perfect environment for a leisurely stroll, a long bike ride, or a challenging aerobic workout.  And our year-round mild weather allows you plenty of opportunities to get out and enjoy yourself.

Lenoir Greenway connects to the Caldwell County Library, the Lenoir Aquatic and Fitness Center, and the Lenoir Rotary Soccer Complex.  It includes one of the more popular mountain bike trails in North Carolina.  On any given day, you’re also likely to encounter casual cyclists, runners, walkers and skaters.  The Greenway is perfect for all ages and abilities and offers convenient parking, restroom facilities and benches.

For breathtaking scenery, be sure to experience T. H. Broyhill Walking Park, on Lakewood Street in Lenoir.  It’s nearly a half mile in length, lighted and paved.  You’ll be surrounded by a beautiful, oriental-inspired botanical garden that includes a lake, with waterfowl, trees and flowers.  And public restrooms are available.

At Granite Falls, in southern Caldwell County, you’ll find another one of the great hikes near Asheville.  Lakeside Park comprises 72 acres on Lake Rhodhiss and has a one-mile trail that’s smooth and suitable for both hikers and mountain bikers.  For a somewhat more strenuous workout, try the footpath along the shoreline.  There are also three fishing platforms, public restrooms and a picnic shelter.

More of our mountain bike trails in North Carolina can be found just a short drive from The Coves Mountain River Club at Redwood Park in Hudson.  Redwood features two outdoor basketball courts, two tennis courts, one sand volleyball court, and horseshoe pits, plus picnic tables and covered shelters available for parties by reservation.  It has three separate playgrounds for children, nature trails with interpretive trees, and an outdoor amphitheater in the Barton and Estoy Hayes Forest.  The McCreary Recreation and Fitness Center and Hudson pool are located there, too.

These are just a few of the many nearby venues where you can enjoy exhilarating hikes near Asheville or take on one of the famous and challenging mountain bike trails in North Carolina.  Living at The Coves, you can take advantage of additional trails and tracks in not only Lenoir, Hudson and Granite Falls but the communities of Baton, Buffalo Cove, Collettsville, Gamewell, Oak Hill, Valmead, Sawmills and Happy Valley.

If you’d like a complete list of locations and many more details regarding the features and facilities available visit the City of Lenoir’s website.

While you’re visiting the foothills, be sure to stop by The Coves Mountain River Club.  We’re proud of all we have to offer, and we’d love to show you around.

Being right on the Johns River makes attractive for retirees who like fishing, boating and other activities on or in the water.  Our golf course is known for its spectacular mountain views.  And the homes here offer all the modern design, efficiency and convenience you want while blending perfectly with their natural surroundings.

Why not take control, start anew and build the life you want?  There’s so much to do and see here – and our mountain air has a way of giving you a level of energy and motivation you may have forgotten existed.  Hiking, biking, photography, sightseeing, local culture…the list of opportunities for learning and self-improvement goes on and on.

We look forward to meeting you soon!

If you’re exploring the area for the first time, ask for our 84 page complimentary Western North Carolina Visitor’s Guide which provides more information about living in the foothills.

Tags: Greenways & Trails | Lenoir

The Beautiful Summer Flowers of Western North Carolina

North Carolina flowers

This is the time of year to begin your search for North Carolina mountain homes for sale when a variety of beautiful summer flowers are blooming and adding a splash of color to the region.  What’s your fancy–the wildflowers that dot the Blue Ridge Mountains, majestic golden sunflowers, or the much-adored daffodils, tulips, and lilies that thrive in our well-tended gardens?

Our region is ideal for both wild and home-grown flowers—thanks to an incredibly favorable climate and soil that’s rich in nutrients.  Whether you’ve just settled into your North Carolina mountain homes, or you have been enjoying season after season of mountain life, we can all use a few pointers for creating eye-catching flower beds for the perfect accent to our homes.  Gardening can be made easy with a little knowledge alongside your trowel.

After you have selected just the right spot for your garden, there’s a wide variety of both annual (petunias, zinnias and marigolds) and perennial (daylilies, black-eyed Susan, and iris) plants that will do extremely well.

Whether you are limited by space and need to use containers on your porch, balcony or patio, or you have a sprawling piece of property, remember to choose a spot where your plants can bask in the sun two to six hours a day.  Some plants need full sun and others do just fine with partial.   Full-sun possibilities include zinnias to create lovely borders, pentas, angelonia, portuluca and periwinkle (which don’t need a great deal of watering) and melampodium and lantana in a variety of colors (both trailing and upright); partial-sun possibilities will brighten up your gardens and patios—torenia, impatiens and begonias are some of the popular selections.

For fresh soil that has not been gardened, adding fertilizer never hurts.  Mid-May is a safe time to begin planting when there is no threat of a frost.  Some gardeners like to begin their seedlings indoors to get a little jump start on the planting season.  If planting seeds is not your preference, buying mature plants will ensure you don’t lose any time.  Don’t forget to water your flower beds, especially as the weather gets warmer.

Isabel’s Garden, set alongside the peaceful Johns River, brings the community of The Coves together.  Gorgeous English flower beds add vibrant charm and vegetable gardens provide a healthy home-grown garden-to-table fare—luscious tomatoes, crisp peppers, a variety of greens and of course sweet watermelon all thrive in Isabel’s Garden.  The herbs—rosemary, sage, basil, oregano, mint and more, provide the most savory accompaniment to your recipes.  There’s nothing more satisfying than growing your own vegetables side by side with friends and neighbors, or sharing a meal that is deliciously fresh and nutritious.  The perfect climate means the growing season is generous, from March to sometimes as late as December.

Flowers bloom throughout The Coves in the various gorgeous seasons in the Blue Ridge Mountains.  There is a strong sense of pride taken in the landscape at The Coves, from the charming homes that are carefully planned and constructed, to the impeccable gardens and trails.   All of this tended and natural beauty creates an idyllic environment for those who’ve made The Coves their home.  Come explore North Carolina mountain homes for sale at The Coves while the flowers are in full bloom.

Call us at 828.754.0700 to schedule a tour!

Tags: Greenways & Trails | Lenoir

Cedar Rock Country Club Welcomes Coves Residents


Did you hear? If you live at The Coves Mountain River Club, you’re cordially invited to join Lenoir’s storied Cedar Rock Country Club.  Whether you choose a full membership or one of several other options, you’ll be part of local history that stretches back more than fifty years.

Known as the “Showcase of the Foothills”, the club and the village of Cedar Rock were created in 1965 by a group of businessmen.  They saw Hibriten Mountain as the perfect centerpiece for their vision, and they commissioned Ellis Maples to design the 7,153-yard course.  Featuring lush, carpeted Bermuda tees and fairways and beautifully manicured bent grass greens, Cedar Rock has hosted countless state and local tournaments, charity events and member functions.

Of the many things to do in Lenoir NC, golf is certainly high on the list.  Our year-round mild weather and breathtaking surrounding are ideal motivations for getting out and working on your game.  Cedar Rock has five sets of tee markers to accommodate all levels of play and offers panoramic views of the surrounding mountains.  There’s also an excellent practice facility, with two practice tees, a chipping, pitching, bunker area and a large putting green. 

Located at 2065 Cedar Rock Estates Drive in Lenoir, the Clubhouse is a popular gathering place.  For meals, The Grill is open Tuesday through Sunday, with breakfast on weekends and lunch and dinner six days a week.  Upscale dining is available year-round in the Lounge, Main Dining Room and Fireplace Room.  Members can enjoy dinner each Thursday night, and food and beverage service is provided for local organizations, civic groups, weddings and parties.  Culinary Institute of America graduate and long-time chef John Deschler oversees the operation.

With its breathtaking mountain views and spacious meeting rooms that can accommodate more than three hundred guests, Cedar Rock Country Club provides a setting like no other for weddings and receptions.  And their dedicated, experienced staff works hard to meet and exceed your expectations.

From the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day, Cedar Rock offers swimmers a large pool with racing lanes and a diving board.  A kiddie pool is also available. The deck has lounge chairs and tables with umbrellas and a 20′ x 20′ covered cabana.  You can play tennis on four lighted composition courts, and tennis pro Adam Smith offers clinics and private lessons.

Cedar Rock Country Club expands your list of things to do in Lenoir NC with events such as February’s Red Dress Dance, a popular fundraiser for the Wig Bank of Caldwell County.  Chef John creates a special Valentine’s Buffet menu each year.  There’s a Birthday Night every other month, with half-price meals and complimentary desserts for anyone who celebrated a birthday during the previous sixty days.  They also host Ladies’ Wine Nights, bridge groups, garden clubs, a brush and palette club, a book club, an investment club, and local organizations.

It’s easy to see why our homeowners at The Coves see Cedar Rock Country Club as a local treasure.  You can learn more about the many advantages of becoming a member by visiting their website.

Of course, there’s a wealth of things to do in Lenoir NC – many more than you might imagine.  Moving here can be the start of a whole new life, with options you’ve never had or never had time to pursue.  And our natural surroundings promote a healthy new lifestyle.  You can enjoy boating, fishing, hiking, bike riding, photography, exploring, and of course plenty of golf.

Visit us soon at The Coves Mountain River Club.  We’d love to show you around, answer your questions and tell you more about Cedar Rock Country Club and other opportunities to make living here in the Blue Ridge Mountains the very best years of your life.

If you’re exploring the area for the first time, ask for our 84 page complimentary Western North Carolina Visitor’s Guide which provides more information about living in the foothills.

Tags: Greenways & Trails | Lenoir

Get Ready for the Bootlegger 100 – WNC Mountain Biking

WNC mountain bikingGet ready for the Bootlogger 100! Pisgah Productions presents the most scenic and challenging bike ride you’ll do this year surrounding the gated communities near Asheville NC.  Register now for the “Bootlegger 100”, starting and ending in downtown Lenoir on Saturday, April 20, beginning at eight A.M.

You can choose one of two options:  107 miles with 9760 feet of climbing or 58 miles with 4583 of climbing.  Experienced riders call the longer route, which takes you up to the Blue Ridge Parkway, one of the most challenging in the country.  Both will wind down through beautiful Wilson Creek Gorge. 

The “Bootlegger 100” is an eagerly anticipated event for active residents in Western North Carolina.  It’s very well-organized, with all of the turns clearly marked so you know you’re still on course.  You’ll be required to wear a helmet and have both a front white light and a rear red light illuminated the entire time you’re riding.

You can sign up online until Noon on April 19.  Register in advance for just $70, a savings of ten dollars off the day-of-race cost.

Pisgah Productions was formed in 2003 by Eric and Erinna Wever with a simple idea:  to push people to go further than they knew they could go and to have a great party afterwards.   All of their race and ride events operate under special use permit from the U.S. Forest Service.  And a portion of the proceeds from the “Bootlegger 100” will be donated to two non-profit organizations:  the Asheville Humane Society and The Pisgah Conservancy.

Mountain biking’s a popular pastime in the foothills of Western North Carolina, because it’s an easy and pleasant way to get exercise and enjoy the clear, fresh air.  And you can do it alone or with a group.  There are 27 bike trails in and around Lenoir, including the single-loop Zack’s Fork right in the middle of town.  They all offer spectacular views, and there are riding challenges suitable for all ages and skill levels.

Rachel Carson wrote: “Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts”.  Studies have shown that the more you can remove yourself from the stresses of daily life and find solace in nature, the happier and more energetic you will be.

Those of us fortunate enough to live in gated communities near Asheville NC are never at a loss for opportunities to get out and enjoy the abundant beauty around us.  And your neighbors at The Coves Mountain River Club will tell you that once you experience mountain trail riding for the first time, it will become a passion.  There’s so much to see at higher elevations, with pleasant surprises at every turn.  You’ll hear the rustling of the leaves and the chirping of birds, and you’ll experience a profound sense of inner peace and pride of accomplishment.

Of course, the “Bootlegger 100” is just one of many group bike riding events held during the year, along with a full calendar of other activities.  Anyone who lives here in the foothills and says there’s “nothing to do” just isn’t paying attention.  At The Coves Mountain River Club, being located on the Johns River at Wilson Creek affords us a wealth of fishing and boating opportunities, and there are plenty of nearby trails that can easily be explored on foot.  We’re blessed with year-round mild weather, and being on the edge of the Pisgah National Forest gives us a front-row seat for the annual fall foliage change.

If you’re like most folks who are looking at gated communities near Asheville NC for retirement or just to get away from the pressures of city living, be sure to set aside time to visit picturesque Lenoir and explore The Coves Mountain River Club. Our mountain community has stunning views and rolling topography. Amenities include a mountaintop clubhouse, infinity-view swimming pool, river amenities, community gardens and so much more plus there are all kinds of mountain biking trails around The Coves!

Call 828.754.0700 to schedule a tour.


Tags: Greenways & Trails | Lenoir

2018 North Carolina Fall Foliage Forecast Near The Coves

fall foliage WNC

Autumn 2018 is just around the corner, and fall foliage North Carolina is graced by a vibrant palette of colors you just can’t find tucked into the back-to-school Crayola box.  Leaf peeping has become an annual tourist event that has surged over the years and for many good reasons.  Psychology Today ran an article three years ago, “How Autumn Leaves Change Our Inner Lives,” so aptly describing how “the memory persists, enriching your life in ways that may last long after the final leaf has fallen.”

It’s clear that folks who bask in Lenoir North Carolina weather get to reap the gift of living in the region day after glorious day.   When we stare out over a colorful vista, we feel the emotion and connection of being part of an awe-inspiring universe.  The Banner Elk elevation is the perfect spot to soak in all the colorful changes—the yellows, oranges, reds, and deep purples illuminated by the mountain sun.  No wonder this region of the country has been the rich source of inspiration for so many talented poets, painters and other renowned creative souls.  There is no doubt that slowing down to observe the transition from green to a splendor of color is good for us–mind, body and soul.

For those of you who are worried that our August rainfall will dampen the foliage, put your worries aside.  According to the Biology Department at ASU, rainfall does not lessen the vibrancy of fall foliage North Carolina.   Instead what truly makes for a gorgeous fall season is the sunshine and temperatures in September.  Howard Neufeld from ASU in Boone runs the Fall Color Guy Facebook page for those of you who like to keep informed.  “If we start to get a cool down, with sunny days and cool nights,” he explains…this will make for a spectacular and colorful show.  Meteorologists are calling exactly for that—normal fall temperatures and less rain will make for some incredible mountain displays.

Some experts have also studied the effects of elevation and latitude on our fall color, which would help explain the beauty of the foliage at places that share the same Banner Elk elevation.  This means that taking a spin down the Blue Ridge Parkway can give you a different colorful landscape from one location to the next.  Boone is 1000 feet higher in elevation than Asheville, so its trees have a colorful head start.  The region also has many micro climates which help create a diverse and visually stimulating landscape.

Wondering when to start your leaf peeping travels?  Anytime from here on into November.  The reds are already showing up in the higher elevations. Aim for the higher elevations first, like Banner Elk elevation, where all the magic starts.  We are fortunate in this region to have some of the highest peaks in the eastern US, and also to have such an extreme variation in elevation that our season lasts much longer than other areas of the country.  If you miss the peak change at one elevation, you can take a short excursion to a lower elevation and catch the highlights there the next week.

Those of us who are living a charmed life at The Coves, enhanced by Lenoir North Carolina weather, can hop onto the Blue Ridge Parkway and plan a fall adventure with ease.  The colors in this region will be most vivid in mid-October.  Take a colorful and leisurely ride to Grandfather Mountain, Boone, or Linville Falls and bring your camera to snap those astounding panoramic views from any number of convenient overlooks. 

Remember that the softer light of morning and evening are ideal for capturing the leaves.  Grandfather Mountain is the highest peak in the Blue Ridge and contains a variety of wildlife and flora and fauna, as well as hiking trails to raise your pulse along with your spirits.  The Linville River originates at Grandfather Mountain and cascades into two breathtaking falls.  The Linville trails are the perfect spot to be surrounded by autumn’s bright hues.

An abbreviated leaf peeper checklist for the area:

• Last week of September—higher elevations—Grandfather Mountain

• First week of October—high mountains of Asheville

• Second week of October—Mount Pisgah

• Third week of October—Banner Elk, Pisgah National Forest and Linville Gorge

So make sure you step outside your dream house at The Coves Mountain River Club and share the magic of the autumn season with your fellow neighbors and nature lovers.  Take a relaxing stroll beneath a canopy of brilliant hues and feel your stress slip away with every step. Bask in the temperate Lenoir North Carolina weather.  There is nothing more cathartic than focusing on the beauty that surrounds you at The Coves as well as the fall foliage North Carolina.

Call us at 828.754.0700 to schedule a visit!

Tags: Greenways & Trails | Lenoir