New Volunteer Shares her Story of Finding the Lake Lure Flowering Bridge

By Lisa Greenlee

The GPS was plugged in, and we had set out to eat with some locals for dinner one December evening. We were unfamiliar with the area, never having heard of Lake Lure, and eventually found ourselves on a dark and windy road. At 58 degrees, it was not too cold, and considering we were from Pennsylvania and were experiencing the coldest winter in years.

We followed the twists and turns of the Lake Lure perimeter per our GPS when all four of us suddenly and simultaneously gasped. The kids put their little fingers against the window as their dad drove by and said, “Can we stop, Dad? What’s that?”

It was just magnetic. An entire walking bridge lit up with the most beautiful Christmas lights that highlighted stunning plants, that may I add, were still alive and blooming in December.

I wanted to stop, too, but I didn’t know what it was, the cost, or the time it would take. It was just magnetic. Realizing we had over an hour before we needed to meet our party, my husband turned around.

When it comes to gardens, we Greenlees have one rule: Look, lightly touch, and smell. The Lake Lure Flowering Bridge takes it a step further: Experience.

We walked into a literal FREE storybook. A hidden seat inside a large tree we’ve dubbed “The Narnia Tree” greeted us. My little thespians went into drama mode turning themselves into Lucy and Peter. A tropical garden brought us to Christmas in Hawaii, and Peter Cottontail’s mini garden awakened imagination.

Two of the Greenlee children were delighted with Mr. McGregor’s Garden.

The two things that really struck us, though, were The Secret Garden and the magical romantic arches that made you feel like royalty as you walked through the overhead stream of Christmas lights. Back at home, we were just starting rehearsals for “The Secret Garden: The Musical,” so the enchantment of a real Secret Garden nestled its way into our hearts.

Returning to Lake Lure over a series of months earlier this year, we brought our teens. We grabbed the 10-year anniversary treasure hunt and my teens took the lead. Photographers in the making, they honed in their skills in the most enchanting setting. The teacher in me loved watching them teach each other the things they knew. They even mentioned bringing the dog, because the Flowering Garden had a spot just for him!

In June we made Lake Lure our home, and I decided I needed to be a part of this garden experience. As a classroom teacher for over 20 years, I’m thrilled to see the education program taking life, and I can’t wait to be a part of this group!

If you are interested in volunteering at the Lake Lure Flowering Bridge, please email or stop by the gardens on Tuesdays and Thursdays to talk to our volunteers. We’d love to have you join our team.

Save the Date! Plan to attend one of our remaining classes this year. They are fun, informative and best of all, free! All classes begin at 10 am and last about an hour with time for Q&A. Watch for more information and be sure to like our Facebook page for up-to-date information on classes and other activities at the Bridge.

August 22 – Harvesting and Preserving Herbs – Join Master Gardener Charlotte Gardner and learn how to harvest your herbs and preserve them for future use.

September 26 – Winterize your Garden – It’s time to start preparing your garden for the cold, wet days ahead. Join long-time gardener Maryann Brown as she shares with you how to winterize your garden and protect your investment from winter cold.

October 24- Making Seasonal Wreaths – Join Debbie Clark, Lynn Lang, and Barbara Meliski and learn how to design a wreath using plant material collected from your garden or landscape and finish it off with a beautiful bow.

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