On The Road: At the garden

By Liz Horton - bio l email

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -  Spring has sprung and what better way to enjoy the colors than to take a short ride to the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden, in Belmont. Kara Newport, the executive director of the garden says it's a great place to daytrip. " It's very close and convenient to get to but it feels like you've come to a different place."

It's hard to ignore the beauty of budding blooms, but I asked Kara Newport, what separates this garden from others in our area."It has a lot of southern appeal, southern plants and it really highlights the best of what you can grow in our region," answered Newport.

Experts prune, pluck and water each plant with plenty of tender love and care, but this year they are focusing on more than just the flowers. It's about experiencing a southern garden, and heading home inspired. Today a new event kicks off called "Come Sit a Spell" that will let you see the garden from a new perspective.

Employees at the garden invited local artists to create innovative seating options for guests to enjoy. The response was overwhelming. Artists from all over the southeast entered pieces. They range from classic to contemporary, and some are quite resourceful. My favorite is made out of garden hoses. It comes complete with an ottoman, too. There are more than 50 chairs for you to sit in and try out, and they will remain in place until August. While you're there, vote on your favorite chair. If a local artist has a crowd favorite, they win a prize.

Though stylish seating is an option, you can definitely get some exercise as you enjoy all of the sights and smells of this escape. We headed over to the Orchid Conservatory for a tropical experience. Blooms, waterfalls and floral aromas take you away to a peaceful place and leave you feeling fulfilled and inspired.

Keeping with the theme of southern charm, the garden is now offering classes. Staff invite you to come try your hand at canning, or learn how to grow a vegetable garden. Class schedules can be found on the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden website.


START: Charlotte, NC

1. Start out going SOUTHWEST on S TRYON ST toward W 4TH ST. (go 0.5 miles)

2. Turn RIGHT onto W HILL ST. (go 0.1 miles)

3. Merge onto I-277 S/US-74 W. (go 0.9 miles)

4. Merge onto FREEDOM DR via EXIT 1A toward US-29/NC-27. (go 2.5 miles)

5. Merge onto I-85 S via the ramp on the LEFT toward GASTONIA. (go 7.7 miles)

6. Take the NC-273 exit, EXIT 27, toward BELMONT/MT. HOLLY. (go 0.3 miles)

7. Turn LEFT onto NC-273/BEATTY DR/PARK ST. Continue to follow NC-273. (go 2.0 miles)

8. Turn LEFT onto S CENTRAL AVE/NC-273. Continue to follow NC-273. (go 4.1 miles)

9. Turn RIGHT onto ARMSTRONG RD/NC-273. (go 2.4 miles)

10. Turn RIGHT onto S NEW HOPE RD/NC-279. (go 0.7 miles)

11. Turn LEFT. (go 0.0 miles)

12. Turn SLIGHT LEFT. (go 0.0 miles)

13. Turn RIGHT. (go 0.4 miles)

14. Turn SLIGHT LEFT. (go 0.1 miles)

15. 6500 S NEW HOPE RD. (go 0.0 miles)

ARRIVE:  Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden, 6500 S New Hope Rd, Belmont, NC 28012 US


>> TOTAL ESTIMATED TIME: 38 minutes | DISTANCE: 21.66 miles