The Garden Club of America recently awarded Southern Highlands Reserve with its Zone VIII Horticulture Commendation. The commendation was awarded this April with appreciation for SHR's dedication to horticulture, preservation, conservation and education in the uniquely beautiful native plant gardens of the Southern Appalachian Mountains and beyond.

Located in Western North Carolina at an elevation of 4500 feet, the varied topography and forest types found on our 120 acres allow us to emulate many of the plant communities found in high elevation forests of the Southern Appalachians. The Reserve has been aptly described by some as “the largest and most diverse collection of native Southern Appalachian plants and their cultivars.” The gardens are managed to illustrate how thoughtful design combined with complex native plant communities can showcase our high elevation microclimate. Each garden room is designed to elicit an emotional experience, fostering a human connection with the plants, animals and environment surrounding us.