If you ever find yourself wandering around western North Carolina consider making a stop at Saint Paul Mountain Vineyards in Henderson County. Located on Chestnut Gap Road near Hendersonville the winery offers award winning wines in a fabulous setting. (for more information click here)
In the fall of 2013, I completed a master plan for the tasting room and in the spring of 2014 the first phase was installed. The goal of the plan was to maintain the feel of a farm and create an inviting space for tasting their wonderful wines. Since the winery and tasting room is located in the heart of apple country, we wanted to add some outdoor spaces to take advantage of the beautiful surroundings.
Recently I added another layer of plantings to the first phase and thought I would share the project. A warning…the building is a very dark, olive green and situated so that it is difficult to get great pictures as it seems the sun is always at a crazy angle, so bear with me on the picture quality.
The first installment focused on the front of the tasting room building. The entrance was on the side, but the plan was to move the front door and create an eye-catching and inviting entry.
One caveat to the plan was the need to be able to get a truck into the large overhead doors to the side. To make this accommodation, I needed to include a driveway wide enough for a small truck. I also wanted to use this space for more than just a pretty entrance. This was valuable real estate that could become a gathering spot for special events or additional outdoor seating when the back patio filled.
Before we began, the entry door was moved, so the first step was to pour the concrete for the truck driveway and a front entry sidewalk.
Next the sidewalk was extended to include a circular patio.
A circular patio, large enough to accommodate several small tables, was poured.
A timber border created the boundaries and fresh soil was added for the plantings.
The first plantings were installed in the spring of 2014. The arborvitae will grow fairly quickly to create a screen from the parking area and roadway.
As seen below, the plantings are just emerging from a fairly cold winter. I added another layer of plants—some ornamental grasses and some additional perennials—so the space should really fill in soon. I find it best to revisit spaces to add layers of plants as the garden evolves.
Early this spring you can see the wonderful color of the red bud trees against the dark building. The red buds (Cercis canadensis The Rising Sun™) have a dark pink bloom that initially leafs out with an orangy-colored leaf that turns into a beautiful chartreuse before turning green. The tree can have all three colors at once on it. It is pretty delightful as far as red buds are concerned.
The bright chartreuse of the trees and emerging shrubs provides a nice pop of color against the dark building.
Phase 1 also included a perennial border down the length of the drive.
It’s always fun to see a before and after picture because it is a great reminder of what is accomplished. The new entrance to the tasting room is inviting and says “Come on in!”
A visit to Saint Paul Mountain Vineyard won’t disappoint! Tell them Julie sent you!