While exploring the Lake Lure area, my curiosity kicked in when I traveled over the Rocky Broad River. My attention turned to a garden of some kind on the old bridge that links Lake Lure and Chimney Rock. It was no ordinary garden and intrigued me to the point that I had to pull in and take a look.
The cobblestone path winds through a very eclectic array of flowering gardens, tranquil sitting areas, whimsical art displays and adorable fairy gardens. All are sitting on top of a beautiful old bridge lined with archways and the gorgeous backdrop of Chimney Rock. You can read all about Chimney Rock Park in my article, Chimney Rock: The Granite Marvel.
As I began to research the flowering bridge, I soon realized there was an amazing story to be told. One of the power of visions and the unity of communities.
The "flowering bridge" is a unique concept, in that there are only two in the United States. In 2011, the bridge over the Rocky Broad River originally constructed in 1925 to connect Lake Lure and Chimney Rock was closed giving way to a new and improved one less than 50 yards away. With decisions being made by the state on the fate of the old bridge, one Lake Lure resident had a vision of building a garden on the concrete structure, like the one he had seen in his childhood over the Deerfield River in Massachusetts.
Careful and creative planning took place, paying close attention to not deter from the beautiful natural scenery surrounding the area and to avoid disturbing the sensitivity of the river's life ecosystem. The vision spread and caused a community to come together, turning the obsolete aging bridge into a beautiful work of art for all to enjoy.
The vision did not stop there. The latest idea was the addition of a Sensory Garden sponsored by the Lake Lure Lions Club. This particular experience is added for individuals with disabilities especially individuals who are visually impaired. This enhances the visit experience of the garden by stimulating the senses of smell, hearing and touch with sensory appealing plants and appropriate signage. It is a beautiful example of how the gardens can blend and unite communities and break down the invisible barriers that continue to segregate the population of people with disabilities from the rest of society. As humans we all have commonalities and bringing people together to enjoy and experience the beauty of the gardens is a heartwarming lesson for us all.
This sense of how visions can connect and bring together a community to beautify and preserve a man made structure, fusing and blending it in with the natural setting is an amazing inspirational story. It not only brings a community together but also unites all those that visit. Be sure to strike up a conversation with the volunteers at the garden. They love to share their stories. They are proud of the work of art they have helped cultivate.
Planning on visiting the Lake Lure area? Be sure to take a look at my article Lake Lure: A Top NC Mountain Resort to learn more about the area.
Have a story of the uniting of a community? Please share below!
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at Balboa Press